Importing Email Backups into your Mail Client

We receive from time to time, customers contacting our support team requesting a backup of all emails currently on their server. Our team can assist you by providing this backup file, but the problem often remains on how to review the file. Our system admin team provides an email backup that is saved as a “.tar” file. The following steps can assist you to extract the files from the “.tar” and adding them to your email client.

Extracting the emails from the “.tar” file

To open the “.tar” file on your system, you will need a program that can decompress the file. You can use any program you wish to decompress the file, but we recommend the program 7-Zip. 7-Zip works on all Computers running a Windows operating system. Computers running on an Apple operating system will unpack “.tar” file automatically when you double-clicked the icon. Please remember that sometimes it may be necessary on Mac computers to unpack the files twice.

Importing your emails to your Mail Client

Once you have decompressed your emails from the “.tar” file, you will see a folder that contains all of your emails. These email files are in the format “.eml” format and can be opened inside a standard text editor or directly imported into your e-mail client if the email client supports the “.eml” file format.

Outlook 2007 Customers Only: We are sorry, but Outlook 2007 does not support “.eml” files. If you are using Outlook 2007, you will need to use a different email client (Mac Mail, Thunderbird, etc.) or upgrade your Outlook to Outlook 2010 or higher.

Opening your email backup in Thunderbird

  • With the uncompressed file full of your emails, it is now time to import them into Thunderbird. After opening Thunderbird, on the right of your Thunderbird screen, you will see three stacked lines. Click on these lines to open the Thunderbird menu.


  • In the options menu, hover over “File” from the menu. With File selected you will have the choice “Open Saved Messages” to import your backup of emails. After “Open Saved Messages” is selected, Thunderbird will ask you to browse your system for the location of your saved file(s). Once you have selected your email backup file, your saved emails will be added to Thunderbird.


Opening your email backup in Mac Mail

  • If you are using Mac Mail as your mail client, you can see instructions to importing your mail below. First you will want to open Mac Mail. After opening Mac Mail, open the “File” menu and select “Import Mailboxes“.


  • Inside the Import data menu and select “Apple Mail” and “Continue“.


  • Mac Mail will ask you to browse your system for the location of your saved email files. Once the email is selected, will begin to be imported by Mac Mail.


  • Mac Mail will display all of the email that it is attempting to import to you on screen and will ask you to verify if you would like them all imported into your account.


  • After you have selected the files, Mac Mail will deliver all of the files into the “Import” folder. Click on “Done” to close the import menu and return to your mail accounts.


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