Open The Thunderbird Address Book Separately

Martin Brinkmann
Sep 12, 2011
Updated • Jul 24, 2014
Email, Thunderbird

Thunderbird, like any other email program, comes with an address book that contains email addresses and often other information about contacts.

The program adds all outgoing email contacts automatically to the address book by default and provides you with options to add custom addresses manually as well.

The address book may contain more than just the email address and name of the contact. Information may include photos, addresses, work related information and custom notes.

There are even extensions that synchronize data with social networking sites. We have reviewed Thunderbird Contacts in the past which can be used for that purpose.

Most users open the Thunderbird address book from within the email client. That's great as long as the program is already open. But what if you want to open the address book when Thunderbird is not running on the system?

You could of course start Thunderbird on the computer before opening the address book via Tools > Address Book or with the keyboard shortcut Ctrl-Shift-B.

Or, you could create a new shortcut on your computer that opens the Thunderbird address book directly and without starting the email client itself.

Navigate to the Mozilla Thunderbird folder on your computer. The default installation folder under Windows is C:\Program Files\Mozilla Thunderbird\

Right-click the thunderbird.exe file and select Create Shortcut. Save it in that directory or alternatively on the desktop if restrictions prevent the saving to the same directory.

Right-click the shortcut afterwards and select Properties from the context menu. Locate the Target path in the Shortcut tab and add -addressbook at the end of it (there is a blank between the closing " and the -addressbook, the end should read thunderbird.exe -addressbook).

thunderbird address book

Select Apply and OK afterwards. Double-click the shortcut. If things went right, you should now see the address book open up immediately. If something went wrong, retrace the steps to correct the error.

The most common error is that the target field has not been filled out correctly.

Open The Thunderbird Address Book Separately
Article Name
Open The Thunderbird Address Book Separately
The guide walks you through the steps of creating a shortcut on your system to open the Thunderbird address book separately from the email client itself.

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  1. KC said on January 31, 2021 at 5:48 pm

    I followed the instructions and it works. This definitly will save time, but it opened the address book (without the saved address information), from the existing file…… any suggestions?? Thank you…..

  2. Shmuel said on July 7, 2014 at 8:41 am

    Thanks. This is exactly what I was looking for.

  3. Witsell said on October 20, 2013 at 8:54 pm

    Thanks, easy to do.

  4. Yancey said on August 18, 2012 at 2:10 am

    Thank you for the info how to open addrbook separately. I have searched for that info for some time. I often need to open my addrbook without downloading my email and this works great. Thank you!

  5. jugendrasoni said on September 21, 2011 at 8:28 am


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