What is MAB File Format

Learn How Details of Thunderbird Address Book Saved As In MAB Format

Mozilla Address Book

It has been commonly observed that many users get confused about Mozilla Thunderbird Address book file and find it difficult to handle such files. Thus, in the following segment we are going to discuss the basic information about file structure to make the users understand what is MAB file format, Full form of MAB and how is it used.

Introduction to Thunderbird MAB File

As it is known that the Thunderbird email applications maintain an Address Book to keep record of all the contacts. All the Address Book files are basically stored as Mozilla Thunderbird Address Book file (MAB) within the database. So, it can be said that Thunderbird MAB file are basically the data files that store address book information of email applications. So, whenever the contacts are accessed from any email application, they are retrieved from the Address book.

A number of email applications including Thunderbird, Mozilla SeaMonkey, older Netscape applications save the address book. Various specifications of the Mozilla Thunderbird contact file format can be described as:

what is MAB
File Type Personal Address Book or Collected Address
File Category Data File
MIME Type Application/octet-stream
Supported Applications Thunderbird, SeaMonkey, Netscape, Libre Office
Database Mork

Type of Thunderbird Address Book File

MAB files can be broadly categorized into the following three file types:

1. abook.mab: It is the default folder for saving the Personal Address Book contacts. So, whenever a user saves contacts in the Personal address book, the contact gets added to abook.mab file. By exporting abook.mab file, one can easily View abook.mab contacts from Personal Address Book.
2. history.mab: Since, Thunderbird and other applications maintain a record of contacts automatically to facilitate faster access and management. All these collected addresses get saved at history.mab file. It contains information about all the contacts that have been collected by the email application.
3. impab.mab: If you have imported Mozilla Address book to retain the embedded contacts, all the contacts get saved into impab.mab file. Thus, while accessing impab.mab file, user can get complete records of imported contacts.

Thunderbird MAB File Location

In case you wish to browse the actual location of MAB files for Thunderbird profile on your system, they can be located at:

  • For Windows Users: “C:\Users\admin\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles”
  • For Mac Users: “~/Library/Thunderbird/Profiles//”

However, SeaMonkey users can find location of MAB files in SeaMonkey profile at:

  • For Windows Users: “C:\Users\[Windows login user name]\AppData\Roaming\Mozilla\Profiles\********. Profile Name
  • For Mac Users: “~/Library/Application Support/SeaMonkey/Profiles/********. Profile name?

How to Access Mozilla Address Book File

Once the user locates Thunderbird Contacts file, the first thing that comes to mind of every user is to access MAB files. So, whenever a users opens the file by simply clicking it, the system does not allow to display Address Book details as such. An error is generated indicating that “Windows cannot recognize MAB files, thus Windows cannot display contacts information”. So, this repeated issue in accessing Thunderbird MAB file creates trouble for the users, who start looking for solution to access Mozilla Thunderbird Address Book file.

Another possible alternative is to see Thunderbird contacts in LibreOffice, which offers to accessibility of MAB files within its interface. To access MAB files in this application, follow these steps:

  1. Open LibreOffice application on your system.
  2. Click on File » Wizards
  3. Select Address Data Book Source from the listed options.
  4. Choose Other external data source option.
  5. Select the required type of file to be opened.

Limitation: The above discussed method can only be executed after installing the driver for accessing Thunderbird contacts. It is impossible to see MAB file data without installing driver for it. Therefore, the complete process becomes complex to handle.

Best Approach to See Thunderbird Contacts File: To read address book of Thunderbird details from Thunderbird contacts, users can choose Mozilla Address Book Viewer. It offers a quick solution to access all kinds of Mozilla Thunderbird contact file without putting any additional efforts.


In this informative page we have discussed what is MAB file format, and how Thunderbird MAB files play a significant role for every email client user. One can easily extract contacts from MAB file, which can further be imported into another email clients to access existing contacts. Thus, these Thunderbird contacts need to be carefully accessed so that none of the information gets manipulated.