Sync Google contacts with Thunderbird using CardDav
The big news of the day, December 12, 2012, was that another batch of Google services that was getting axed by the company. Among the services that time was Google Sync which Google disabled for the majority of users on January 30, 2013.
Google suggested at the time to use CardDav and CalDav as alternatives along with Imap to sync data between devices; I thought it would be great to demonstrate how you can make use of those options to synchronize data with the Thunderbird email client.
I'm going to demonstrate how to sync your Google contacts with Thunderbird using CardDav. Note that some add-ons for Thunderbird make a similar feature set available for users of the email client. Provider for Google Calendar for instance syncs data between Google Calendar and Lighting or Sunbird, gContactSync Google contacts data, and Google Contacts offers to sync contact date between Google and Thunderbird address books but is no longer maintained.
Syncing Google Contacts with Thunderbird
To use CardDav to sync Google contacts with Thunderbird you need the following:
- A Google account
- A recent version of the Thunderbird email client
- The SOGo Connector Thunderbird extension
First thing you need to do is install the extension in Thunderbird. Download it to your local system first. Open Thunderbird and select Tools > Add-ons from the menubar. Click on the small settings icon next to search under Extensions, and select the Install add-on from file option. Pick the downloaded extension and proceed with the installation.
Open the address book via Tools > Address Book or the Ctrl-Shift-B shortcut. Select File > New > Remote Address Book from the options and add the following values to the form that opens up:
- Name: A custom name identifying the new remote address book, e.g. Google Contacts.
- URL: https://google.com/m8/carddav/principals/__uids__/[email protected]/lists/default/
You can make this read only if you like by checking the box here. A click on OK saves the information. Right-click the newly created address book now and select synchronize from the context menu. You will be asked for your Google username and password which you need to enter here. Please note you need to create an application specific password if you are using two-factor authentication for your Gmail account.
And that's it. Note that some data won't be synchronized, this includes profile pictures for instance.Advertisement