Learn to Convert MBOX Emails to PDF – Generate Forensic Evidence for Court

MailXaminer | October 15th, 2020 | Forensics

Looking for a convenient way to convert MBOX emails to PDF for the purpose of generating forensic evidence for court? Here we are going to introduce a perfect method to save emails in PDF format.

Just like the advancement of today’s technology, the crimes are becoming more and more complex. Due to this reason, the digital forensic branch of investigation has thrived in recent times. The main task of the digital forensic investigators is to collect the digital evidence related to the crime and represent it in the court of law in a legally admissible format by exporting emails into the PDF format. Since the whole point of this investigation is to get justice in the court, admissibility of the evidence bears the utmost importance here.

Emails are not the only way of digital communication, but it is a significant source of evidence against criminal activities. The biggest challenge for the forensic investigators probably is to extract out the evidence that is admissible in court. The reason being only a few file formats like PDF is one of the legally acceptable formats carrying evidence. In the case of other file formats, they need to take the help of file conversion utilities.

Convert MBOX Emails to PDF

One of the most common requirements of forensic investigators during the examination process is the conversion of the MBOX file to PDF format. MBOX is a common file format used by various email applications. Since MBOX emails cannot be submitted directly as the evidence in court, users need to save emails as PDF. This post has been designed to address this issue and hence, we will describe the method and most recommended Email Forensics Tool MailXaminer to convert MBOX emails to PDF.

How to View MBOX Files on Computer?

If you are looking for MBOX files in a system, then you must remember that usually, the files with the extension of .mbox are not visible. To make it visible, you have to perform these steps:

  1. Open File Explorer and select the View tab
  2. When you click on “Options and Folder”, a window will pop-up
  3. Select the “View” tab again in that window and uncheck “Hide empty drives”
  4. Click on “Apply” and you will be able to find out the MBOX files at the destination location.

Generate Court Acceptable Evidence by Converting MBOX to PDF

After reading the above-mentioned sections, now you can easily distinguish MBOX files among all other file formats. Later, in order to generate the evidence report admissible in court, investigators should use Email Examiner Software. It is the proficient email forensic software that can be used for the conversion of MBOX files into PDF file format during the forensic investigation. This potent application offers a complete email application examination and analysis service that supports both desktop-based and web-based email applications. Apart from helping the investigators to inspect the emails stored in an MBOX file, the tool also allows users to convert/ export emails into PDF file format.

By following the below steps, forensic conversion of MBOX file into PDF can be done easily.

1) Launch MailXaminer software on the computer

2) Add the MBOX file into the software via the “Add Evidence” button of the tool. This allows you to select the appropriate email file format. Choose the “MBOX” format from the “Container Mail” section of the “Add File” window

Add Evidence

3) Before converting MBOX emails to PDF, the forensic tool allows to display the complete email data present within the MBOX file either recursively or folder wise according to the user preference. This helps the investigators to analyze the email data easily before the conversion

Preview

4) To export selective emails into PDF, first, select the desired email files. Now right click on the selected item & choose the “Export” option. Users can also convert a bulk set of emails into PDF file by exporting the emails in folder wise through the export button

Export

5) MailXaminer forensic tool allows exporting emails into various file formats. For this, select PDF format from the Output Format options of the “Export Option” window. Then, click on the “Export Settings” for additional PDF export settings options

Convert MBOX Emails to PDF File

6) From the “Export Settings” window, select the “PDF Settings” tab to change the PDF export options. It provides four options such as “Page Layout, Properties, Attachments, Bates Number”

Page Layout: Through the “Page Layout” option user can change the Margin size, Paper orientation, Page size, Headers & Footers, etc.

PDF Settings

Properties: Using the “Properties” option, users can save emails in PDF based on the properties in which they want to export. They can select and export properties such as “Transport Message Header, Sender email address, Subject, SHA1, etc”. This will help to avoid the exportation of unwanted content. This option allows the user to set the properties of Mail and Calendar data separately.

Page Layout

Bates Number: While exporting the emails into PDF, this option allows providing the Bates Number and Date Stamp for the PDF file. It helps to avoid the alteration of evidence after the generation of the evidence report.

Properties

Attachment: Through the attachment option of the PDF Settings, users can convert email files including attachments in three different forms such as “Attachment On Pin, Append attachment, Save attachment Native Format”.

Bates Number

#1. Attachment on Pin: In this form, the attachment of the email file is pinned within a PDF format file. A user can view the attachment through the attachment section of the PDF viewer.

Attachment on Pin

#2. Append Attachment: It will convert the attachment into the PDF file and append at the end of the PDF file.

Append Attachment

#3. Save Attachment Native Format: In this format, the attachments are saved in its original form in the same folder of PDF file.

Save Attachment Native Format

7) Now finally, choose the destination location to save the PDF file, and the software will convert and save MBOX emails to PDF to generate forensic evidence for court.

Conclusion

In order to generate the forensic evidence report admissible in court, examiners are required to convert MBOX emails to PDF. However, during the forensic investigation of email data, performing analysis of evidence, and generating court-admissible reports using different tools makes the process complex.

Use the recommended email forensic tool i.e., MailXaminer, and get all the required features and facilities which properly help investigators in forensic examination. Using this, digital investigators can not only extract potential evidence from MBOX files but also save them into PDF file format. It helps to generate and submit the legally admissible PDF files in court as evidence.