How to Import Outlook Contacts to Thunderbird? Verified Ways

Written By Kumar Raj
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On October 9th, 2023
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular email clients used for personal and business use. For most Outlook users, contacts are essential components in a mailbox. Suppose the organization is syncing Outlook contacts with Mozilla Thunderbird, then there is no need to worry as the contacts can be transferred. This is due to vCard as both email clients support this file format. Hence, it is suggested to import Outlook contacts to Thunderbird for hassle-free usage.

Hence, in this article, we will be sharing all the possible methods along with a step-by-step guide to perform this process. First, let us know the reasons behind this task.

Why Migrate Outlook Contacts to Thunderbird Address Book?

Thunderbird is a desktop-based email application which can be accessed on all operating systems. It supports .mbox format which can be read in other email clients such as Apple Mail, Windows Live Mail, The Bat, etc. Outlook provides multiple functionalities but it is a paid service. Thunderbird provides advanced functionalities and is free of cost too. The users prefer this email client due to its easy-to-use interface and customized features.

Basically, start-ups or individual users prefer using Thunderbird to perform their work. Thunderbird helps to work in an organized manner and also performs search functions quickly, hence emails can be recollected within seconds. MS Outlook works efficiently when it is connected to an Exchange Server. But if it is connected to IMAP or POP3 then it is unable to sync data. Thus there arises a huge demand to migrate Outlook PST contacts to Thunderbird

Note: Refer to this if you want to Import PST to Thunderbird

Manual Method to Import Outlook Contacts to Thunderbird

In order to transfer contacts from Outlook to Thunderbird, you need to follow two stages, that are:

  • Export all the required Contacts from MS Outlook.
  • Import PST Contacts to Thunderbird.

Follow the below step-by-step guide to use the manual method of this file conversion.

#1 Export all Contacts from MS Outlook

  •  Open MS Outlook.
  • Click on File  >> Open & Export >> Import/Export Wizard.
  • After that, select Export to a file >> CSV format. Click Next.
  • Now, select the contacts folder from the list, and continue.
  • Last browse location & click save to export MS Outlook Contacts.

#2 Direct Import Outlook Contacts to Thunderbird

  • Run Thunderbird.
  • Navigate to the ribbon bar & select  Tools >> Import option.
  • Select the Address Books option from the list, and click on Next.
  • Now, select the file type as CSV & click Next.
  • At last, browse file & click open to import Outlook Contacts to Android.

Expert Way to Import Contacts from Outlook to Thunderbird

You can perform the manual approach by following the above-mentioned steps. It is quite normal that the converted files may not be appropriate compared to the original data. That means the manual method does not maintain the integrity and format of the file. If the process fails, it may even corrupt the Outlook PST file.

Apart from that, data loss is a major drawback which you will not like to afford. It is also known that non-technical users find this approach difficult. Taking all these factors into consideration, you should use vCard Export Software. This software is quite useful and comes with various optimized features making it stand apart.

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Key Features of this Advanced Tool

There are numerous features that you get with this tool, such as-

  • Provides multiple export options in which the Outlook data can be exported as vCard/single vCard/Google CSV/Yahoo CSV.
  • Moreover, you can even go for the selective file/folder option and auto locate them from your PC.
  • Performs quick scans in which the tool even provides an instant preview of the file.
  • Furthermore, the tool retains data integrity and metadata intact after exporting contacts.
  • Allows you to import Outlook contacts to Thunderbird even with a corrupted PST file or password protected.
  • Also, this tool is helpful as it compresses vCards with bulk contacts which can be exclusively used on Android devices.
  • Likewise, this application provides you an Auto-sorting option which rearranges the contacts list effectively.
  • Copy of Outlook contacts is created to Windows Address Book(WAB).


This article features the various aspects of Thunderbird and its functionality which makes the users migrate from other email clients like Outlook. Also, one can easily migrate Outlook contacts to Thunderbird Address Book. Apart from that, this article describes the manual approach for transferring Outlook PST contacts to Thunderbird which proves to be fatal if the user has the least technical knowledge. In order to import Outlook contacts to Thunderbird, the automated software by SysTools can be used.