I want to migrate/import ALL information of my contacts to Thunderbird.

On my Windows 7 system I carefully managed my contacts including birthday, gender, spouses and children. But I'm having trouble to successfully export/import to Thunderbird.

After some research I found out that some information is not even in the .contact (xml) file thus cannot be exported to another format: children are not saved in the xml.

There are a couple of options I am aware of, which each has it's drawbacks. And none of them transfer all the data. See my answer.

Which method is the one with the least loss of information?

Windows 7 SP1, Thunderbird 45.7.1 for Mac, OS X 10.10

  • Next try for me: Try to compare TB export and Win export files and convert accordingly. – sir_brickalot Nov 10 '15 at 10:56

These are the options I'm aware of:

Migrating via VCF file format and its problems

  • In Contacts export to vCards.

  • Import via an TB Add-on.

  • You need an add-on for Thunderbird for this to work: morefunctionsforaddressbook
  • Some fields will not be imported correctly. In my case the address field got filled with the whole address, not just the street, while the city, code and country get filled correctly.

Migrating via CSV file format and its problems

  • In Contacts export to comma-seperated CSV file.

  • Import directly in TB address book.

  • Windows Contacts have to be free of quotation marks ("), otherwise you get a lot of errors and contacts get merged.
  • If you aren't using Windows with the american regional settings, you have to change the field delimiter to the comma, because Thunderbird only imports comma-seperated csv's. (See here)
  • All fields from the Family-tab are missing.
  • Only Standard Email address will be exported.

Migrating via LDIF/CSV file format using vcfconvert tool and its problems

  • In Contacts export to vCards.

  • Merge vCards with CMD to one: copy *.vcf all.vcf

  • Use vcfconvert to convert VCF file to LDIF.

  • Import LDIF with TB address book.

  • Using vcf files which contain all information, you have to be merged single contact vcf's to one to be able to use the tool.
  • The converted files are missing the birthday field or better the field with the bday dates will be displayed as Custom Field 1 and only the year of birth is filled out correctly. Family relevant information is lost.
  • UTF-8 characters might get scrambled.

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