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I can not find a way to export my Thunderbird address book/contacts. Surely there is a way to do that?

  • 14 replies
  • 1 has this problem
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  • Last reply by JD

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All I want is a way to export my Thunderbird contacts to a CSV file so that I can import those contacts into Outlook. I've looked in the menu system, I've looked in my profile, basically everywhere I could think of to try to find the contacts file. Any help would be appreciated.

Chosen solution

Open Address Book and select an address book in the left pane. If the pane is hidden, View/Layout and enable Directory Pane. If the Menu Bar with View is hidden, press Alt. Don't select All Address Books. Then, Tools/Export..., which defaults to csv format.

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Chosen Solution

Open Address Book and select an address book in the left pane. If the pane is hidden, View/Layout and enable Directory Pane. If the Menu Bar with View is hidden, press Alt. Don't select All Address Books. Then, Tools/Export..., which defaults to csv format.

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Thanks a million!! My menu bar was hidden, duh. Often the answer is right in front of a person like looking for your glasses when they are right on your nose.

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I should mention that the export CSV file is not importing into Outlook properly. i've done the process 5-6 times. It imports the names okay but that's it. No email address, phone #s, address, etc. I've opened the file in excel and all of the data is there. Outlook is just not importing the data properly. I've even knocked off everything but the name and email address fields and saved it as a different file but Outlook still treats it the same.

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There are many sites that explain how to import a csv into Outlook, and most of the problems depend on mapping the input fields to the structure defined in Outlook. I don't have Outlook and can't do a test. But it's also possible to import a vCard (.vcf) file to Outlook, so that may work better. When you export an address book from TB, select Save as type: vCard in the Tools/Export dialog.

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I saw the "mapping" the fields dialogue box and was trying to stay away from having to do that. Might have to do that if I want to use Outlook though. I tried a Vcard yesterday since it was an option in both programs, imported it and only one contact showed up, the first one starting with an A. I really appreciate you taking the time to respond.

Modified by Buckwheat

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One way to make the mapping process easier might be to export a csv file from Outlook and open it in a spreadsheet to see the column layout, and then copy the data, excluding the top row, from a TB csv into the corresponding columns. That way, the 'Outlookified' TB csv should import to Outlook with minimal mapping required.

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Thanks, I will try that.

This may sound weird but I am going to export TB to csv, then import that into my google address book, export that address book to a file then import it into Outlook. I tried it last night but didn't realize the file was still building. I looked at what had been imported to that point and I think that may work. I checked a few and there were email address and phone numbers showing on the contacts for what had been imported so far. What I meant by the file still building was that I went through my gmail address book after importing it from TB. There were a lot of duplicates so I went through them and merged all of them. I didn't realize the merging was still going on when I exported the file from gmail. I haven't had time to try it now that all of the contacts have merged.

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sfhowes said

Open Address Book and select an address book in the left pane. If the pane is hidden, View/Layout and enable Directory Pane. If the Menu Bar with View is hidden, press Alt. Don't select All Address Books. Then, Tools/Export..., which defaults to csv format.

My Directory pane is working. when I click on address book, nothing appears to make selections for individual books, and no export choices appear. It does not work like the tutorials show. Is there something else to turn on? Thanks for any help. JD

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JD said

My Directory pane is working. when I click on address book, nothing appears to make selections for individual books, and no export choices appear. It does not work like the tutorials show. Is there something else to turn on? Thanks for any help. JD

Select All Address Books, then press Enter to expand the list and show all address books.

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Thank you for your quick response. Appreciated! When I click on address book, I get a list of all contacts on the same page. clicking enter does nothing, and there are no choices for selecting individual books. Just a mass list. Hitting tools does not bring up any choices for exporting. It's like a major component is missing in the program. so, I have no way to copy addresses. JD

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Can you post a picture of Address Book when it's opened? See the example in the attached picture.

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Hello- Here's the screen that pops up when I hit address book button. Just one long sheet with all addresses from all books. JD

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If you compare your picture with mine, note that the Directory Pane is hidden in your Address Book. Follow the instructions above to unhide it.

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Oh my gosh I finally got it! You were so kind and patient to stick with me and get this fixed- Wish I could buy you a beer or something! You saved the day! A thousand thank yous!!!!! Greatly appreciated- JD