How to Export Contacts in Mozilla Thunderbird

Mozilla Thunderbird is a secure, private, and full-featured email application used by individuals and businesses alike. Thunderbird's 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 Address Book contacts.

These instructions work with the Thunderbird email client on a Mac, Windows PC, 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.

    Select the Address Book button at the top of Thunderbird.
  2. From the left-hand column, select the address book you want to export.

    Select the Address Book you want to export
  3. Select Tools on the main menu and then select Export.

    From the Tools menu, select Export
  4. The Export Address Book dialog box appears.

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

  6. Next to Format, choose a format for your exported Address book, such as CSV, TXT, VCF, or LDIF.

    Select the right format for your Mozilla Address Book export

    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.

  7. Select Save to export your address book.

    Select Save to export your Mozilla address book

What to Do With Your Exported File

If you're planning 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.