Import contacts from Thunderbird's Address Book to Gmail Contacts

Google Apps Education / How to Guides / Import contacts from Thunderbird's Address Book to Gmail Contacts
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How to Export Thunderbird Address Book contacts or lists and import into Google Contacts.

  1. Open up Thunderbird and click on the Address Book option/button in the top portion of the program.
  2. On the left hand side of the screen, select the address book or list you wish to export from Thunderbird. This could be the Personal Address Book section on the left or a specific list of email addresses.
    See the important tips regarding lists in Thunderbird.

    Note: E-mail addresses or names should not have quotation marks around them. Please delete or edit these entries prior to exporting into Google Contacts.
  3. Go to the Tools menu and select Export.
  4. Name the file. Examples might be: AddressBook-Thunderbird or ListName-Thunderbird and choose to save it to your Desktop
  5. Change the format to: Comma Separated
  6. Click the Save button.
  7. Log into and navigate to Contacts.
  8. Click on Import Contacts from the left hand side of the Contacts page.
  9. Click the Choose File/Browse button, navigate to your Desktop and select the AddressBook-Thunderbird.csv (or similar) file, click Open and then click the Import button.
  10. The import will name the group as follows: Imported mm/dd/yyyy (# of contacts). For example it might look like this, Imported 7/18/14 (13)
  11. To rename a group, click on the group name, click the more button at the top and select rename group.

Important tips regarding lists in Thunderbird
If you use lists in Thunderbird, you'll want to select each list as opposed to the entire personal address book. Each list should be exported from Thunderbird separately and imported into Google Contacts one at time to help keep the emails grouped together. Rename the group after each import. This is so you can keep track of which lists you imported and/or what you have left.

If you export the entire address book of contacts from the Personal Address Book, the lists do not carry over into Google Contacts.