How to Import Outlook Olm into Apple Mail

Outlook 2011 and Apple Mail are two great email programs for Mac that have let users productively manage their emailing needs. However, in spite of both being in Mac environment, their data files (Olm for Outlook, and Mbox for Apple Mail) don’t get along. This causes a lot of friction during the email switch from Mac Outlook to Apple Mail. Users find it hard to transfer the data among the two programs without facing a lot of complications.

So, how do you import Outlook Olm into Apple Mail easily? There are few ways to deal with this.

1.) You could choose to drag and drop the email folders from Outlook into your Mac desktop. What this does is automatically convert the data inside that folder into Mbox files. Then you could import those Mbox files in Apple Mail.

2.) You could use an intermediary IMAP account (for instance, Gmail) and sync your email folders from Outlook to the servers of that account. Then, sync the data back from servers to the Apple Mail.

3.) Use a third party software to convert Olm files to Mbox.

Does it seem that these solutions have their own benefits and negative points? You are right. All of these three road that you can take to migrate your emails have their own blocks and assistants along the road.

First method (Drag and Drop) – This is seemingly the most elementary method that requires no internet connection and no need to install a third party software. Simply drag a folder and drop it your Mac desktop to convert to Mbox files.

It makes complete sense to go down this road if you have one or two particular email folders to transfer. Any more than that, you will be in a pickle, specially if you have a lot of emails and folders to import to Apple Mail.

  • It needs manual drag and drop using mouse or track-pad. Imagine doing it for 100 folders.
  • In addition, it also takes time to convert data in folders to Mbox files when you drag/drop them.
  • Incomplete migration – this is one of the most inaccurate email migration methods. It doesn’t preserve images, email headers, non-English characters, meta-data, and other properties of your database. You could find a lot of content irregularities in Mbox files, few of the most common ones are unreadable text, empty folders, broken images, etc.
  • Doesn’t apply for contacts and calendar

Second method (IMAP account) – This is relatively better way than drag/drop method. You sync the data from outlook to IMAP enabled server, and then sync from server to Apple Mail. It sounds simple enough to perform, and it is relatively simpler than most tedious methods floating around on internet these days. Simply use Gmail as your intermediary IMAP account and go from there. It’s a straightforward solution.

However, yet again, it can be highly frustrating and painful for users with big databases.

  • It requires internet connection, and a high bandwidth usage to sync data from client to server and server to client. Make sure to check the total size of the database and the allowed data usage by your internet provider.
  • Depending on your internet connection, it could be painfully slow. Furthermore, the IMAP connection runs on a background of most servers, which delivers even lesser speed.
  • Inaccurate Migration – This method may also compromise the integrity of your data and you may find the same issue as with the first method. Although, this one is relatively more accurate than the drag/drop and is less likely to give you extreme form of data corruption or fidelity loss.
  • Easy but not effective – It’s easy to create an account and sync data through client to server However, it is not too much effective. To make it effective, you have to do a lot of other things like check the settings and such, to make the conversion results acceptable.

Third Method (third party software) – You pay for a third party software which converts your Olm files to Mbox. These Olm to Mbox converter are many in the market that would give you the acceptable means of email migration. However, there are very few that are simply most powerful, easy to use, and effective third party utilities, which everyone should use.

One that is mostly frequently comes up on internet is “Olm Extractor Pro” by USL Software. It is recommended by some of the top industry experts for its accuracy, ease of use, and most importantly, for its technical support.

how to Import Outlook Olm into Apple Mail

All the arguments against drag/drop and IMAP syncing given above simply do not exist with a professional file converter. The only argument that apparently seems to be against using a software, as opposed to manual ways, is that the software are not free.

Which makes sense at first. But with ordinary tools and manual methods, if you noticed how much time you wasted, and how you lost many of your images, attachments, and other details, and how much mental effort you had to put in – you’ll realize that, in the end, Olm Extractor Pro was more economical.


Tracy Sanchez

This is Tracy Sanchez, Writer and Editor at SerialKey.Co

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