How to Sync Google Calendar With Thunderbird

Don't like Thunderbird Lightning? Use Google's calendar instead

Image of a calendar.

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Do you depend on Google Calendar, but don’t always want to leave your Thunderbird email client to view it? You’re in luck, because with the help of two add-ons for Thunderbird, Google Calendar can sync to the email client, with both read and write access.

These instructions were created using version 60.7.1, running on Pop! OS, but this process should work with any version of Thunderbird (newer than 52.0), running on any platform.

Install Thunderbird Google Calendar Add-ons 

The first you have to do is install two add-ons that help Thunderbird sync with Google Calendar:

The steps for installing each plugin are the same. Let’s demonstrate by installing Provider for Google.

  1. Open your web browser and go to the Provider for Google Calendar page.

  2. Click Download Now.

    Screenshot of the Download Now button.
  3. Save the file to your Downloads directory.

  4. Open Thunderbird and click the Menu button > Addons > Addons.

  5. Click Extensions.

  6. Click the gear icon drop-down, then click Install Add-on From File.

    Screenshot of the Install Add-on From File button.
  7. Navigate to the Downloads directory and select the newly-downloaded file.

  8. When prompted, click Install Now.

    Screenshot of the Install Now button.
  9. When the installation completes, click Restart Now.

    Screenshot of the Restart now button.
  10. Wait for Thunderbird to restart. That finalizes the installation of the Provider for Google Calendar.

  11. Repeat the same steps above, only with the Lightning Calendar add-on. Once you have both add-ons installed, you’re ready to setup your Google Calendar to sync with Thunderbird.

How to Add Your Google Calendar

  1. Click the Calendar icon in the top right corner of Thunderbird, right-click a blank spot in the left navigation, then click New Calendar.

    Screenshot of the New Calendar button.
  2. Click On the Network, then click Next.

    Screenshot of the On the Network button.
  3. Select Google Calendar, then click Next.

    Screenshot of the Google Calendar button.
  4. In the resulting window, type your Gmail address and click Next.

    Screenshot of the Gmail address text area.
  5. If prompted, retype your Gmail address, type your Google account password, and click Next.

    Screenshot of the password entry window.
  6. When prompted, click Allow to give the Lightning the necessary permissions to access your Google Calendar.

  7. In the resulting window, select the specific calendars you want to sync and click Next.

    Screenshot of the calendar selection window.
  8. Click Finish and your Google Calendar should begin syncing with the Thunderbird Lightning add-on.

Depending on how much information you have in your Google Calendar, this can take some time to initially sync, as it will sync all data, from the first Google Calendar appointment you created to the latest.