my story thunderbird msf file viewer

How to View Thunderbird MSF Files ?

— Here My Story Goes —

A user installed his latest version of Thunderbird i.e. 38.4.0 version on his system. He then moved the older MSF data files of Thunderbird from the folder of Thunderbird and then he placed that older folder into the newer store folder of the newer installed version of Thunderbird i.e. 38.4.0 version. He them attempted to configure his account with the help of IMAP. Now came the problem that he encountered with his Thunderbird mail messages. When he tried reading his mail messages, he was completely unable to view anything and what he saw was only a completely empty folder. Now, he wondered that how he would be able to view his mail messages again from the Thunderbird MSF files.

For solving such challenges, it would be beneficial for you, as a user, to first know and learn what an MSF file is and what type of data it can hold?

Common User Queries...

  • What is Thunderbird MSF file format ?
  • What is Thunderbird MSF data ?
  • What are Thunderbird compacting folders ?
  • How to view and read an MSF File of Thunderbird ?
  • Where are the emails stored in Thunderbird ?
  • How to get a Thunderbird MSF Viewer ?
  • How to carry out the Thunderbird MSF import process ?

What is Thunderbird MSF File Format ?

Mozilla Thunderbird tends to store your email data in 2 parts basically. First is the MBOX file (this is without the extension) that is actually the standard format of Thunderbird for storing the emailing data. Second is the MSF file that is also called as the “Mail Summary file” (with .MSF extension), which is basically Thunderbird’s index file containing only the headers & the summary of the mails. All the other sub-containers such as the Drafts, Sent mails, Trash items, and Important etc., are usually stored inside the .sbd directory. In this, there are pairs for each of the containers such as the Draft.msf and Draft, Trash.msf and Trash, etc.

How to View and Read an MSF File of Thunderbird ?

The MSF file is the index file, not holding the text contents of the mail messages. So, in the above mentioned scenario, the user placed only the header & the emails summary, and not the entire email data. Therefore, rather than reading the MSF file, he just required checking of the Thunderbird’s email file that is without the extension. For verifying whether the file is of the type, MBOX, or not, you can follow the below given tips:

  • First and foremost, you must check the file extension: The files such as "INBOX, OUTBOX, etc." will get displayed simply without any of the file extensions.
  • Second step is to check the size of the file: The MSF file holds the size of only some few KBs while the MBOX file is larger in size.

Where are the emails stored in Thunderbird ?

In the Mozilla Thunderbird new version 38.4.0, the email file location is:

Windows 10, 8.1, 8, 7
C:\Users\<User Name>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>

Windows XP
C:\Documents and Settings\<User Name>\Application Data\Thunderbird\Profiles\<Profile name>

In this, one can find the INBOX file of the configured email account. Now, one needs copying of the Inbox file and then placing that file to some different location on the computer system, and then renaming it as the “Inbox.mbox” file.

How to View the Actual Emails in Thunderbird?

  • First, create a fresh folder in the Local Thunderbird Folders
  • After that, right click on this newly created folder
  • Now, go to “ImportExportTools
  • Now, click on the option, “Import MBOX file
  • Then, import email messages
  • After that, select the option for importing the file
  • Click OK
  • And then, choose the option for “Import
  • You are done!

Thunderbird MSF File Viewer

An easy solution to the problem stated earlier in the practical scenario of user can be to fetch the Thunderbird MSF file viewer software that provide facility to read Thunderbird MSF files together with attachments, HTML links, send and receive information.

Recommended Software

If someone wants to transfer Mozilla Thunderbird emails in Microsoft Outlook, Windows Live Mail, Apple Mail, Goolge Apps, Office 365 and convert Thunderbird email messages into Adobe PDF documents, HTML files, RTF documents etc, then take help of this powerful Convert Thunderbird Emails, which helps you in converting unlimited Thunderbird emails in required file format and save your valuable time.


Mozilla Thunderbird MSF (Mail Summary Files) files contain information about header and summary of the email messages. MSF files are not important for users because these files doesn’t save any actual email messages inside it. But users typically search for how to view Thunderbird MSF files.

Yes, the tool supports any type of Gmail data whether it is hangouts, mails, contacts and etc.

Yes, the tool supports every edition of Windows OS like Win 10, Win 8.1, Win 7 and previous Windows OS versions.

Yes, this software is 100% free and users can preview unlimited thunderbird emails through it without having any problem.

By default, MSF files are created by Mozilla Thunderbird. MSF files are Mail Summary File, which is also created as a mail file in MBOX format and with .msf file extension. Therefore, there is a MBOX file in Thunderbird but it is appear is some other file extension.

The most convenient and possible way is to use Google Gmail Loader utility, which is available for free of cost and can easily be accessed by universal set of users.

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Ah... Really amazing software without cost, I have used this software to read my Mozilla Thunderbird emails. I’m fully satisfied with this software, it is easy to use and effective utility.

- Thomas Johan, USA