What is MBOX File

The MBOX file is general file format that collecting electronic mail messages on a computer hard disk. All items for every mailbox are gathered as a single, lengthy, text file in a string of concatenated e-mail messages, initializing with the “From”(title of the mail) and the sender's email address. The closing of every message is specified by with a blank line connected at the end.MBOX files were used primarily on UNIX. This popular file format is utilized by several Email clients including Microsoft Entourage, OperaMail, Mozilla Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, Sylpheed, Netscape, Qualcomm Eudora, Postbox, Spicebird Cone, AppleMail, ClawsMail, Mulberry, Pocomail, Evolution, Mutt, Gnu Mail etc. for storing and managing their mails.

Popular Version of MBOX Files

The Popular Version of MBOX Files are: mboxrd, mboxo, mboxcl2 and mboxcl

The four forms all expand on the basic MBOX structure and are separated basically by changes to the "From" line and the utilization of the "message body Length:" field in the message header in deciding the start of another message inside the combined document. Besides, the variants and apparatus sets for one form are not compulsory well-suited with another version.

What is MBOX File

MBOX documents additionally incorporate the attachments with mails, assuming any, in their unique MIME format.


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  • mboxo: It is a variety of the first MBOX file in which the consistent string ".....@....." is utilized instead of sender's email address.

Eudora is one of the prominent email customers utilizing mboxo format. For this situation the messages are not stored in place as they were gotten as the attachments in the messages are isolated and kept in an folder independently as individual documents.

  • Mboxrd: This format is different from mboxo mailbox format. The beginning of a message is showed by a "From" string toward the start of a line in either the header or the body of a message.

    Thunderbird, Netscape and Mozilla, Mozilla group of MUAs and Gmail are well known email clients which is utilizing mboxrd format.

  • mboxcl: mboxcl and mboxcl2 file format were utilized by Unix 'System V' mail profile.

    At the point when another mail should be added to the "mboxcl" mailbox document, it is changed before annexing to the record. The mail message has a solitary ">" character pre attached to any line of the message, in either the header or the body, that starts with the five characters 'F', 'r', 'o', 'm'.

    For finding the start of the message From_ line examining is not utilized, rather than it the mboxcl utilizes a Content-Length: header. It signifies the size of the message body, after change, in octets. That aides in finding the start and end of a message.


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  • mboxcl2:"mboxcl2" format is like mboxcl. It doesn't utilize any "From citing", it additionally utilizes Content-Length: header for meaning he begin and end of a message. If there should be an occurrence of mboxcl2 no change is done before a message is being annexed to a mboxcl2 format.

Location of MBOX File:

The MBOX files can be located at the default location:

“/User/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/directory”

In any case, this position may vary from one email client to another email client.

Open .mbox file in Windows Platform :

  1. Evolution Mail
  2. Free MBOX Viewer
  3. Mozilla Thunderbird
  4. Mozilla SeaMonkey
  5. Netscape
  6. Netscape
  7. Opera Mail
  8. PocoMail
  9. Qualcomm Eudora
  10. Spicebird

Related Article: What is PST File

View MBOX files in MAC OSX :

  1. Apple Mail
  2. Mozilla Thunderbird
  3. Mozilla SeaMonkey
  4. Microsoft Entourage
  5. Netscape
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