Synchronize Thunderbird Address Book with Gmail Contacts

Siddharth Rawat Siddharth Rawat Updated On - 23 Sep 2019

Many people are nowadays using multiple IMAP/webmail clients due to several reasons. However, it difficult to keep track of each account. Most of the users then realize the need for a primary email client where they can easily store all their emails, calendar, and address book. Like many users, if you are also using Thunderbird to access your Gmail account, then it is understandable to export your Gmail contacts to address book of Mozilla’s Thunderbird.

So, we will be discussing techniques using which you can import your contacts from Gmail to Thunderbird.

It might also interest the user to know the benefits of Thunderbird over other email clients. The benefits are listed below with brief explanations:

  • Unread Folders: If you have many emails, then you may not want to browse from the whole folder list looking for unread emails. In Thunderbird, the user can open the Unread Folder to view all the unread emails.
  • Open Source Add-ons: It has a rich community of developers for add-ons. Moreover, one can always develop their Add-ons.
  • Junk Mail Filtering: By flagging spam messages in Thunderbird, the user is training Thunderbird to recognize what you consider spam.
  • Sort By: The user can choose from a variety of sorting options to make finding messages in your folders much easier. One can quickly sort by date, order received, priority, status, sender, read, tags, attachments, junk status, ascending, descending, etc.

Now we will discuss the top three ways using which one can sync Thunderbird contacts with Gmail.

Manual Method #1

To export Gmail contacts to Thunderbird, one must first save it to a .csv file. The simplified steps are mentioned below:

  1. Open Gmail and click on the Google apps icon and hit Contacts.
    Open Gmail and click on Google app
  2. The Contacts will now open in a new browser window. Now check all the Contacts that you would like to export.Check contacts to import
  3. Next, click on More actions icon and click Export.
    Click on More action icon
  4. Export as Outlook CSV. The .csv file will be auto-downloaded to your downloads folder.Download CSV file
  5. Now open Thunderbird and click on the Menu tab > Tools > Import.Open Thunderbird
  6. Check on the Address Books option and hit Next.Click Address book option
  7. From the list, choose Text File option and hit Next.Choose Text File option
  8. Select the address book that you downloaded earlier and hit Next.Select address book
  9. Select the appropriate options for each contact and click Next. Once done, click, OK.Select option for each contacts
  10. To check whether you have successfully imported the contact, go to the Address book tab.Check contacts imported successfully or not

Congratulations, you have successfully imported your Gmail contacts into Thunderbird.

Manual Method #2

Now the user can also sync Thunderbird contacts with Gmail using a handy extension. This add-on is available on the Add-ons manager and is known as gContactSync. The steps to install this Add-on are outlined below:

  1. In Thunderbird Menu bar and look for Add-ons > click on Add-ons.In Thunderbird click on add-ons
  2. This will open the Add-on Manager tab. Now search for Browse all add-ons tab (can be found in the right pane). Next, Search for gContactSync and add it to Thunderbird.Search for gContactSync and add it to Thunderbird
  3. Now install the add-on.
    install the add-on
  4. Next, you will be prompted to restart Thunderbird.Restart thunderbird
  5. Enter your email address and hit Next.Enter email address
  6. Click Next.

    Click next

  7. Enter your Gmail password and hit Next.Enter Gmail password and click next
  8. Click on Allow to proceed.Click on Allow to proceed
  9. Click Finish.Click Finish
  10. Next, you will get a notification message, so click OK.Notification message
  11. To check if you have successfully imported all the contacts, go to the Address book.Check contacts

Congratulations, you have successfully imported all your Gmail contacts to Thunderbird.

Limitations of the Manual Methods

sync Thunderbird contacts with Gmail, using manual methods is a quite lengthy and cumbersome process. Moreover, to sync calendar, contacts, and emails, the user must follow a separate procedure for each item. Therefore, it is always easier to use professional third-party software which can sync all the Google service items.

Automated Method

Although many users still prefer to use Thunderbird over any other desktop client, the reality is most of users and corporations prefer MS Outlook these days. It is much easier to work with Outlook PST files in comparison to Thunderbird’s MBOX file format. If you are thinking of migrating from MBOX to PST file format, then we recommend Kernel for MBOX to PST converter. It is a highly advanced tool for Thunderbird to PST conversion. After installing the program, the welcome window displays a message that the tool can convert MBOX emails of 20 emails clients to Outlook.
MBOX to PST converter tool home screen


In Conclusion, we have discussed three ways to sync Thunderbird contacts with Gmail. Additionally, we have looked at the tool process and features of Kernel for MBOX to PST converter tool. It can be said that manual migration is a lengthy and cumbersome process. Moreover, to sync calendar, contacts, and emails, the user must follow a separate procedure for each item. Hence, we recommend Kernel for MBOX to PST converter tool to migrate from MBOX to PST.

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