Importing old e-mail history from SMTP

  • 14 November 2023
  • 2 replies

Hi everyone!

I’m just playing around with Front, as it has most of the features I am looking for.

However, I am quite puzzled about why there is no way to import history from custom SMTP -adresses.

I understand that it might be difficult to support this against all the different service providers out there. But shouldn’t it at least be possible to import a PST -file from Outlook?

Does anyone know if they plan to add it? Or any other smart way of importing a file like this?

Thanks in advance!


Best answer by PhoebeatFront 14 November 2023, 22:26

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Hi there, Phoebe from Front here! 

Importing messages from SMTP channels into Front can be done via our Import message endpoint available through our API. Documentation can be found here.

At the moment, there’s not a way to import PST files with a simple click-- this would be a great feature request to submit in our ideas portal: !

Thanks for the answer Phoebe! I’ll give a summary here for others wondering about the same thing.

There is websites like that can assist with the transfer to Front. However, they don’t support .PST files. They support CSV, but if you export CSV from Outlook it lacks a whole bunch of useful (often necessary) information.

My work around was a bit tedious, but at least somewhat successful:

  1. Export PST file from Outlook.
  2. Buy 29$ software to convert PST to CSV with more brackets with information.
  3. Use ChatGPT-4 to clean up the messy CSV.
  4. Hire PHP -developer to make a mass import script based on your API.

What sucks about importing mail history with CSV is formatting. All pictures, attachments and formatting of the body is removed. It is all imported as piles of text. You can use ChatGPT to remove much of the unnecessary bits - and it is at least searchable in the inbox.

I find it a bit odd that I am seemingly one of the only ones who has had this problem. One would think that there would be more people wanting to migrate from the worlds biggest desktop e-mail client. But I guess that most people have their domains registered at Google or Microsoft - where the migration to Front is hassle free.

I’ll mark all my imported e-mails with a tag so that I can delete them later on, if you develop a better way of importing e-mail history from the PST-files themselves. For those of us that carry our own domains through our own registrars - and is not affiliated to Google or Microsoft - it would be great.

Thanks again for your assistance Phoebe!