MBOX File Format

Category Database Files
MIME Type text/x-mailbox
File Signature Hex Signature: 00 0D BB A0

What is MBOX?

MBOX stands for the mailbox. It is a file extension for a text file which is used to organize and store email messages. MBOX is a most common format for storing messages on a hard drive. It contains the email as 7-bit ASCII text and MBOX saves all the messages in a concatenated format. The beginning of each message is represented by “From” and end is indicated by blank line appended at the end. It was originally used by Unix hosts but now it supported by many email application such as Apple Mail and Mozilla Thunderbird.

MBOX Family

It contain four popular variant

  • mboxo: It’s an original MBOX format which uses the constant string "???@???" in place of sender’s email address.
  • mboxrd: It is a variation of mboxo.
  • mboxcl: It is used by Unix “System V” mailboxes..
  • mboxcl2: mboxcl and mboxcl2 both are used by Unix “System V”. It is similar to mboxcl.

Application Supported

The MBOX file supported by many email client such as: Mozilla Thunderbird, Entourage, AppleMail, Eudora, Seamonkey, Pocomail, Mozillamail, OperaMail, Netscape, Evolution, Sylpheed, ClawsMail, Cone, Mutt, Gnu Mail, Spicebird, etc.

Default Location of MBOX File
  • “/User/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/ directory”
  • Mozilla Thunderbird: C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\
  • Apple Mail: /User/Library/Mail/[account]/INBOX.mbox/Messages/
  • Entourage 2008: C/Users/user_name/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2008 Identities/Main Identity
  • Thebat: C:\Users\\App Data\Roaming\The Bat\Mail\profile folder
  • SeaMonkey: C:\Documents and settings\Administrator\ApplicationData\Mozilla\SeaMonkey\Profiles\nz8lvw59.default\Mail.
  • Opera Mail: C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Application Data\Opera\Opera\mail\store\account1
  • PocoMail: C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\PocoMail\Mail.

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