How to Export Contacts in Mozilla Thunderbird

Use your Thunderbird contacts in another email program

Mozilla Thunderbird is a secure, private, and full-featured email application used by individuals and businesses. The Thunderbird Address Book holds all your Thunderbird contacts, which you can separate and categorize into separate contact lists.

If you're moving to another computer or changing email clients, Thunderbird makes it easy to export your Thunderbird Address Book contacts.

These instructions work with the Thunderbird email client on a Windows, Mac, or Linux computer.

Thunderbird logo

How to Export Thunderbird Contacts

Thunderbird's dedicated import and export tool helps you transfer your Address Book contacts easily. Here's how:

  1. Select the Address Book button at the top of the Thunderbird screen.

    The Address Book option in Thunderbird
  2. From the left pane, select the address book you want to export.

  3. Select Tools on the main menu and then choose Export.

    The Export command
  4. The Export Address Book dialog box appears. In the Save As box, enter an identifying name for the Address Book you want to export.

    The Save As field in the Export Address Book window
  5. Next to Format, choose a format for your exported Address book, such as CSV, TXT, VCF, or LDIF.

    The file type you choose depends on what you want to do with it. LDIF is the easiest format if you're transferring your Thunderbird Address Book to Thunderbird on another computer. CSV format works well for importing into another email program, such as Outlook.

    The Format options in Thunderbird
  6. Select Save to export your address book.

What to Do With Your Exported File

If you plan to use your exported Thunderbird Address Book with Thunderbird on a new computer, copy the exported file using a USB drive or another portable media device. You can also email the file to your new computer as an attachment.

If you want to import your contacts to Gmail or another email client, follow that email client's instructions for importing contacts.

Consider backing up your entire Thunderbird profile to create an archive of all your Thunderbird data.