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How to Import Outlook to Thunderbird? Emails & Address Books

Published By Jamie Kaler 
Rollins Duke
Approved By Rollins Duke
Published On July 18th, 2024
Reading Time 7 Min Read

The article explains the simple process of how to import Outlook to Thunderbird with emails & contacts. Don’t worry, here you will get all the information. Thunderbird is very popular desktop-based email client, which free and open source. And can easily manage emails, contacts and address book details.

Because of multiple advantages many of you wants to migrate data from Outlook to Thunderbird with preserved details. To accomplish this task, here we are going to mentioned the complete steps with all information.

Outlook to Thunderbird migration is a daunting task, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t import your data. Here in this write-up, we will explain all the possible methods for emails and address books separately.

Outlook and Thunderbird both are desktop-based email clients, that allow users to manage emails, contacts, calendars, notes, journals, tasks, etc for personal and professional work.

But for Outlook, users have to pay for a subscription, while Thunderbird is free and open source for all. This makes Thunderbird, the first choice of users and compels users to import Outlook to Thunderbird.

Let’s come and understand the other reasons and benefits of moving from Outlook to Thunderbird account.

Benefits of Outlook to Thunderbird Migration

There are several benefits to import Outlook to Thunderbird account, some of which are given below in detail:

  • Freeware: Of course, Thunderbird is free, which makes it the first choice of users. while Outlook requires to paid subscription, which is not pocket-friendly for everyone.
  • Add-ons and Extensions: Also, Thunderbird provides a wide range of add-ons and extensions. So that users can easily customize their email experience more freely.
  • Supports All Platforms: One of the best advantages of Thunderbird is that users can install it into any platform including Windows, macOS, and Linux, for work across different operating systems.
  • Flexible Saving Types: Also, Thunderbird allows users to save their profile data into MBOX and EML formats. Both saving formats are compatible with multiple email clients and services.
  • Privacy Focused: Thunderbird provides a strong focus on user privacy and security, and offers advanced features such as built-in phishing protection, remote content blocking, and support for encryption through add-ons.

How to Import Outlook Emails to Thunderbird Account Manually?

Here we will explain about the manual steps to migrate your emails from Outlook to Thunderbird account. Here you will get two ways to accomplish your task and both are given below in detail:

#1: Connect Outlook to Thunderbird (built-in)

Firstly, make your Outlook the default email client by going to Default Programs >> Set your default program on your system to import Outlook to Thunderbird. After that, create a new folder in Outlook and move your all emails, that you want to import into Thunderbird in advance.

  1. Open your Thunderbird account.
  2. Select the Tools and then the Import option.

    Tools or Menu

  3. Choose Import from Outlook from the list.

    Import from Outlook

  4. After that, select the needed data i.e., mail and address book.

    Mail Messages

  5. Lastly, click on the Finish button.

After connecting accounts, right-click on the previously created folder choose the Move To option, and select the Thunderbird account.

This process will take some time to import your data from Outlook to your Thunderbird account, depending on the size of your data. Also, both Outlook and Thunderbird email clients must be installed on your system properly.

#2: Import Outlook to Thunderbird using Webmail (Gmail)

Here we are going to Gmail as a mediator between Outlook and Thunderbird. Because it can easily connect to Outlook and Thunderbird accounts. This method is divided into 3 steps, follow all the details:


  • Create a new empty folder in your Gmail account in advance.
  • Also, enable IMAP and app password in your Gmail account, you can follow the given steps below:

Step 1: Connect Gmail to Outlook

  1. Open your Outlook account.
  2. Go to the File tab and choose “Add Account”.

    Add Account

  3. Provide the email address and password of your Gmail.

    email address and password

  4. Enter the server details i.e., host name and number.

    server details

  5. Lastly, click on the Finish

    import outlook to thunderbird

After a successful connection, move your emails from your Outlook profile to the previously created folder by drag and drop process. You can drag the whole folder also.

Step 2: Set Up a Similar Account in Thunderbird

  1. Start your Thunderbird.
  2. Go to Menu or Tools >> Account Settings.

    import outlook to thunderbird

  3. After that, choose Account Actions >> Add Mail Account.

    import outlook to thunderbird

  4. Enter the login details of the Gmail account.

    login details of the Gmail

  5. After that, Put the server details here.

    server details

  6. After all settings, click on the Finish button.

    outlook to thunderbird migration

Step 3: Import Outlook to Thunderbird with Move To

After connecting Gmail to Thunderbird, now we will perform the move process.

  1. Restart your Thunderbird account.
  2. Your connected account will show under the Thunderbird profile.
  3. Right-click on the newly created folder of your Gmail profile.
  4. Choose the “Move To” or “Copy To” option.
  5. Select your Thunderbird profile account.
  6. Your emails will be imported into the Thunderbird account.

So here we have explained the steps to import Outlook to Thunderbird with emails, and also there are some drawbacks. You should keep these drawbacks in mind:

Disadvantages of Manual Ways

  • In the first method, Outlook must be installed on your system with the subscribed account.
  • And also, you will face some errors, while connecting or importing accounts.
  • In the second way, you have to follow multiple steps, which makes it a lengthy and time-consuming process.
  • High risk of data loss, while moving your emails across multiple platforms.

Now let’s come to the address book or contacts from Outlook to Thunderbird account.

How to Import Address Book from Outlook to Thunderbird?

Outlook to Thunderbird migration with contacts process is possible manually. The only issue is it supports a limited number of fields allowed to be imported.

Another problem user faces while exporting Outlook contacts & address books to Thunderbird is keeping the original copy of contacts. Users need to keep the original details in a CSV file before the migration. It will help as a backup of your Outlook contacts in case of any mishandling.

Also, read all the drawbacks, before starting the process to import Outlook to Thunderbird:

Step 1: Export Outlook Contacts to CSV

  1. Go to File in Outlook account.

    import outlook to thunderbird

  2. Hit on the Open & Export >> Import/Export option.


  3. Choose the Export to a File option.

    Export to a File

  4. Select the Comma-Separated Value option.

    Comma-Separated Value

  5. Select the Outlook contacts folders.

    Outlook contacts

  6. Browse the path and hit the Finish button.

    Browse the path

Step 2: Import Address Book from Outlook to Thunderbird

  1. Open Address Book in Thunderbird.
  2. Choose the Import option from the top.
  3. Choose Comma or Tab Separated >> Continue.
  4. Browse the exported file from the device.
  5. Hit the Open button.

Why Manual Methods are Not Safe?

  • Users have to follow multiple steps to import Outlook to Thunderbird with emails and contacts, which makes the process lengthy and time-consuming.
  • Outlook must be installed with the subscribed account.
  • High risk of data loss, while moving data.
  • Also, you can’t import multiple CSV contacts files, because there is no bulk option.

Alternate Outlook to Thunderbird Migration with Emails & Contacts

Download this Outlook Migration Tool, which is designed with a highly technological algorithm and is been appreciated by most of the technical experts while they are using it for their purposes.

The Outlook to Thunderbird Converter also can handle large amounts of data without imposing any kind of restrictions or size limitations. And, it is easy to load different types of inaccessible files from all the versions of Outlook accounts.

It provides 30+ saving formats to import emails and contacts from Outlook to Thunderbird account without facing any errors and limitations.

How to Import Outlook to Thunderbird?

  • Step 1: Download and run the tool.
  • Step 2: Upload Outlook profile data.
  • Step 3: Enable the needed folder box.
  • Step 4: Select Thunderbird as the saving type.
  • Step 5: Browse the destination path and apply filters.
  • Step 6: Click on the Convert to add Outlook to Thunderbird.

Time to Say Goodbye

The above article is best for users who want to know how to import Outlook to Thunderbird with emails & contacts. We have discussed multiple methods to migrate your data with all limitations, which you should keep in your mind. Also, we have explained the alternate solution for Outlook to Thunderbird migration with emails and contacts. Select the method, which suits your requirements best. I have provided all information; hope you find the article beneficial for you.