Import and export the address book of Thunderbird automatically

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 4, 2007
Updated • Mar 16, 2014
Email, Thunderbird

Data synchronization may be one of the most important features of software if you are using more than one computer or device.

If a software program does not provide ways to synchronize data between computers, users normally find a way and use applications that synchronize folders, files  and data for them.

The email address book in Thunderbird is one of those sets of data that can't be synchronized using Thunderbird directly.

That is, until I found the extension SyncMab which synchronizes the address book on every start-up and shutdown of Thunderbird by saving it as a file on the local system, or even remotely on a server using http, ftp or https protocols.

Up to four address books can be synchronized at a time. To work with SyncMab you first export the address book and save it on a network drive or on an Internet server and point the extension then to that file so that it pulls the address book from that location during startup and saves it again after closing down Thunderbird.

Update: Please note that SyncMab is not compatible with newer versions of the Thunderbird email client anymore.

Addressbooks Synchronizer is a free alternative for the Thunderbird email client that works with all recent versions of the program.

It supports synchronizing address books locally, remotely, or using IMAP.

The first thing that you need to do after installation is to select the address books that you want to synchronize. To do so, select Tools > Add-ons and click on the options button next to the Addressbooks Synchronizer extension.

Here you see the list of all address books, and you can select the ones that you want to sync here. You select the syncing method right next to that in the preferences.

Besides that, you can also enable auto download on startup or upload on exit, or download or upload files manually whenever the need arises.

The import and export tab provides you with options to save an address book that you select, or upload one instead.

The settings tab finally offers access to synchronization and upload polices which you can use for a number of things, for instance to define how files are up- or downloaded.

If you want to sync your Thunderbird address books with other instances of Thunderbird, this is one of the programs that you can use for that job.

The extension works automatic once you have set everything up.


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