How to Backup Your Mozilla Thunderbird Address Books


There are two ways to backup your contacts from your Mozilla Thunderbird address books. Either export the address books from within Thunderbird or copy the address book files manually from their default storage locations.

Exporting Address Books

To export an address book from Mozilla Thunderbird, launch Thunderbird then press Ctrl+Shift+B to open up the Address Book window.


Address book icon

Alternatively, you can click on the Address Book button located centrally on Thunderbird’s menu bar.

In the Address Book window, select on one of the address books listed in the left pane by clicking on it.

Most often there are at least two address books listed: Personal Address Book and Collected Addresses.

Next, go to Tools > Export and Save the address book as a file.


Export Address Book

You can select from three different formats in the Save as type box:

  • LDIF (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol Data Interchange Format),
  • CSV (Comma-Separated Values), and
  • tab delimited plain-text TXT file.

Importing Address Books

To import an address book into Mozilla Thunderbird, open up the Address Book window using Ctrl+Shift+B.

Go to Tools > Import.

The import process consists of three steps.

First, you tell Thunderbird that you only wish to import only address books.


Import — Select type of material

Click Next, then select the type of file that you want to import.


Import — Select file type

Click Next. And, finally, select the address book file you wish to add to your address books.


Import — Select address book file

Click Open and your address book is imported.

Copying Address Book Files Manually

To copy your address books manually, simply locate the files where the address books are stored by Mozilla Thunderbird.

In case you have Thunderbird installed — i.e. it is a non-portable version, then your personal address book is located at:

And your collected addresses are located at:

In case you use the portable version of Mozilla Thunderbird, your and history.mab address book files are located at:

Important Notes

Instead of UserName use your actual username’s folder.
8.default is a shorthand for a folder name that has eight characters and ends with .default.
And instead of Portable use the folder path where you keep your portable software.

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