Sync Gmail Contacts With Thunderbird Address Book

Spark is not available for Windows but there are plenty of alternatives that runs on Windows with similar functionality. The most popular Windows alternative is Thunderbird, which is both free and Open Source. If that doesn't suit you, our users have ranked more than 50 alternatives to Spark and many of them are available for Windows so. Mar 09, 2021 Thunderbird has had 6 updates within the past 6 months. Address Book, Calendar, Installer fixes. Calendars, and contacts and sync with Gmail,, or any other service.

Communication protocol
OSI layerApplication
Port(s)80, 443
RFC(s)RFC 6352

vCard Extensions to WebDAV (CardDAV) is an address book client/server protocol designed to allow users to access and share contact data on a server.

The CardDAV protocol was developed by the IETF and was published as RFC 6352 in August 2011.[1] CardDAV is based on WebDAV, which is based on HTTP, and it uses vCard for contact data.[2]


CardDAV was proposed as an open standard for contact management in August 2011. It became known as a synchronization protocol in iOS 7, among other things, and is now also supported by Gmail, where it replaces the no longer supported ActiveSync standard.

In October 2013, the standard received an update that made it possible to capture higher-resolution contact images and achieve lower data consumption.[3]


The specification has been proposed as a standard by IETF as the RFC 6352 in August 2011 by C. Daboo from Apple Inc.



The following products implement the server-side portion of the CardDAV protocol:

  • AppleContacts Server.[4][5]
  • Baikal it is a lightweight CardDAV server.[6]
  • CommuniGate Pro supports CardDav protocol.[7]
  • DAViCal supports CardDAV from version[8]
  • fruux, a synchronization service, supporting CardDAV
  • GMail and Google Contacts allow access to user's address book via CardDAV.[9]
  • Group-Office, an open-source groupware and CRM application
  • Horde Groupware, a complete web-based groupware solution with CalDAV and CardDAV support.[10]
  • Mailfence Supports CardDAV protocol[11]
  • Meishi, a standalone, Ruby on Rails based CardDAV server[12]
  • Nextcloud supports CardDAV protocol since the first version.
  • ownCloud supports CardDAV protocol since version 2.0.
  • Radicale[13]
  • SabreDAV, a WebDAV framework for PHP, supports CardDAV since version 1.5.[14]
  • SOGo supports CardDAV access to its address books.[15]
  • Zimbra 6 allows access to its address book via CardDAV.[16]
  • SYNOLOGY DSM 6.0 supports CardDAV.[17]
  • Xandikos is a lightweight CalDAV/CardDAV server.[18]


The following products implement the client-side portion of the CardDAV protocol:

  • Apple Contacts starting from Mac OS X Snow Leopard and higher.[19]
  • Apple iOS, starting from iOS 4.[20]
  • Blackberry devices running QNX - Blackberry 10+ phones, Playbook OS 2.0+ tablets
  • DAVx⁵ (previously called DAVdroid) is an open-source CalDAV/CardDAV sync app for Android (supporting VCard 4) [21]
  • eM Client
  • Evolution has built-in support for CalDAV/CardDAV. [22]
  • KDE Software Compilation 4.5 will feature CardDAV client support, due in August 2010. It will be available for use by Kaddressbook, which is part of KontactPIM suite. It will be provided by Akonadi: a PIM server which will also make the data available to other applications.[23]
  • Kerio Connect[4][24]
  • Outlook CalDav Synchronizer[25]
  • Sailfish OS, the OS of the Jolla phones and tablet (since 2015)
  • Thunderbird, via the SOGo Connector[26] or the CardBook add-on [27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^'CardDAVResources'. CalConnect. Archived from the original on 2010-04-02. Retrieved April 10, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  2. ^'CardDAV: Related Standards'. CalConnect. Archived from the original on 2010-04-02. Retrieved April 11, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  3. ^'Google updates CardDAV API'. TheNextWeb. Retrieved October 22, 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  4. ^ ab'Implementations: CardDAV Servers'. CalConnect. Archived from the original on 2010-04-06. Retrieved April 10, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  5. ^'Mac OS X Server: Address Book Server'. Apple. Retrieved April 10, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  6. ^'Install instructions of Baikal'. Baikal. Retrieved April 20, 2020.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  7. ^'CommuniGate Pro support of CardDav'. Retrieved April 21, 2011.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  8. ^'DAViCal release'. Freshmeat. Retrieved September 24, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  9. ^Ellingson, Jeff (September 27, 2012). 'A new way to sync Google Contacts'. Google. Retrieved September 27, 2012.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^Horde Groupware
  11. ^'Documentation of Mailfence for CardDAV'. Mailfence. Retrieved April 20, 2020.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  12. ^'Meishi'. GitHub. Retrieved March 30, 2012.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  13. ^Radicale
  14. ^'SabreDAV 1.5 released with CardDAV support'. dmfs. Archived from the original on September 26, 2011. Retrieved September 11, 2011.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  15. ^'SOGo: Features'. Inverse Inc. Archived from the original on 2013-03-05.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  16. ^Yoon Lee, Jong (September 25, 2009). 'Zimbra Server: CardDAV server'. Zimbra/VMWare Inc. Retrieved April 24, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  17. ^AEM (September 2014). 'Synology DSM: CardDAV server'. SYNOLOGY.
  18. ^'Xandikos: DAV Compliance'.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^'Implementations: CardDAV Clients'. CalConnect. Archived from the original on 2011-07-30. Retrieved April 10, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  20. ^Eran Dilger, Daniel (June 25, 2010). 'iPhone 4 and iOS vs. Android: desktop and cloud services'. AppleInsider. Archived from the original on July 30, 2010. Retrieved July 24, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  21. ^'CalDAV/CardDAV for Android'. Retrieved August 5, 2017.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  22. ^'Using a CalDAV calendar'. Retrieved 2019-02-28.
  23. ^Koenig, Tobias (February 4, 2010). 'CalDAV/CardDAV/GroupDAV Support for Akonadi'. Blogspot. Retrieved April 24, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  24. ^'Kerio Connect'. Kerio Technologies. Retrieved April 10, 2010.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  25. ^'Outlook CalDav Synchronizer'. Retrieved April 18, 2017.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  26. ^'SOGo: Frontends'. Inverse Inc. April 17, 2013. Archived from the original on October 5, 2013. Retrieved October 4, 2013.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  27. ^'CardBook :: Add-ons for Thunderbird'. Retrieved June 30, 2016.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)

External links[edit]

Retrieved from ''

Many people are nowadays using multiple IMAP/webmail clients due to several reasons. However, it difficult to keep track of each account. Most of the users then realize the need for a primary email client where they can easily store all their emails, calendar, and address book. Like many users, if you are also using Thunderbird to access your Gmail account, then it is understandable to export your Gmail contacts to address book of Mozilla’s Thunderbird.

So, we will be discussing techniques using which you can import your contacts from Gmail to Thunderbird.

It might also interest the user to know the benefits of Thunderbird over other email clients. The benefits are listed below with brief explanations:

  • Unread Folders: If you have many emails, then you may not want to browse from the whole folder list looking for unread emails. In Thunderbird, the user can open the Unread Folder to view all the unread emails.
  • Open Source Add-ons: It has a rich community of developers for add-ons. Moreover, one can always develop their Add-ons.
  • Junk Mail Filtering: By flagging spam messages in Thunderbird, the user is training Thunderbird to recognize what you consider spam.
  • Sort By: The user can choose from a variety of sorting options to make finding messages in your folders much easier. One can quickly sort by date, order received, priority, status, sender, read, tags, attachments, junk status, ascending, descending, etc.

Instant Solution

Kernel for MBOX to PST Converter an automated tool to migrate Thunderbird MBOX file to Gmail without any error.

Read Also:Step-by-Step Procedure to Import MBOX to Gmail Account

How to Sync Thunderbird Contacts with Gmail?

Now, when we have discussed a bit about Thunderbird and Thunderbird contacts. We have also discussed the importance of syncing emails with Gmail. Let’s now discuss the process of doing so. So, follow the below-mentioned steps one by one to sync Thunderbird contacts with Gmail:

Method 1 – Export Gmail Contacts to Thunderbird Manually

To export Gmail contacts to Thunderbird, one must first save it to a .csv file. The simplified steps are mentioned below:

  1. Open Gmail and click on the Google apps icon and hit Contacts.
  2. The Contacts will now open in a new browser window. Now check all the Contacts that you would like to export.
  3. Next, click on More actions icon and click Export.
  4. Export as Outlook CSV. The .csv file will be auto-downloaded to your downloads folder.
  5. Now open Thunderbird and click on the Menu tab > Tools > Import.
  6. Check on the Address Books option and hit Next.
  7. From the list, choose Text File option and hit Next.
  8. Select the address book that you downloaded earlier and hit Next.
  9. Select the appropriate options for each contact and click Next. Once done, click, OK.
  10. To check whether you have successfully imported the contact, go to the Address book tab.
Sync gmail contacts with thunderbird address book free

Sync Gmail Contacts With Thunderbird Address Book Csv Import

Congratulations, you have successfully imported your Gmail contacts into Thunderbird.

Method 2 – Sync Thunderbird Contacts with Gmail Using a ‘gContactSync’ Extension

Now the user can also sync Thunderbird contacts with Gmail using a handy extension. This add-on is available on the Add-ons manager and is known as gContactSync. The steps to install this Add-on are outlined below:

  1. In Thunderbird Menu bar and look for Add-ons > click on Add-ons.
  2. This will open the Add-on Manager tab. Now search for Browse all add-ons tab (can be found in the right pane). Next, Search for gContactSync and add it to Thunderbird.
  3. Now install the add-on.
  4. Next, you will be prompted to restart Thunderbird.
  5. Enter your email address and hit Next.
  6. Click Next.
  7. Enter your Gmail password and hit Next.
  8. Click on Allow to proceed.
  9. Click Finish.
  10. Next, you will get a notification message, so click OK.
  11. To check if you have successfully imported all the contacts, go to the Address book.

Congratulations, you have successfully imported all your Gmail contacts to Thunderbird.

Method 3 – Sync Thunderbird Contacts with Gmail Using ‘Google Contacts’ Extension

Due to the growing popularity of Thunderbird browser and it’s unique features, developers are also keenly working on providing solutions to common problems faced by the users. As a result, we have found another extension that can be used to sync your Google contacts on Mozilla Thunderbird. It is named as ‘Google Contacts’. You can follow the same steps as described in Method 2 with just the difference of searching for ‘Google Contacts’ instead of ‘gContactSync’ to install the extension.

Once the extension is installed, restart your browser. It will ask details such as gmail account email id and request access for Google contacts. After that, it will create a new address book named as Google-accountname for each of the google accounts provided. You can later edit the name of the address book as per your choice. The extension will automatically retrieve and sync Google contacts everytime the Thunderbird is started. It is to be noted that if you delete the address book from the Thunderbird browser then the contacts will no longer be synchronized.

Limitations of the Manual Methods

sync Thunderbird contacts with Gmail, using manual methods is a quite lengthy and cumbersome process. Moreover, to sync calendar, contacts, and emails, the user must follow a separate procedure for each item. Therefore, it is always easier to use professional third-party software which can sync all the Google service items.

Automated Method – Kernel for MBOX to PST

Although many users still prefer to use Thunderbird over any other desktop client, the reality is most of users and corporations prefer MS Outlook these days. It is much easier to work with Outlook PST files in comparison to Thunderbird’s MBOX file format. If you are thinking of migrating from MBOX to PST file format, then we recommend Kernel for MBOX to PST converter. It is a highly advanced tool for Thunderbird to PST conversion. After installing the program, the welcome window displays a message that the tool can convert MBOX emails of 20 emails clients to Outlook.

Advantages of Kernel MBOX to PST Converter

  • It can convert MBOX file from all the supported email clients like Eudora, PowerMail, PocoMail, Apple Mail, Evolution, Opera, etc.
  • You can directly migrate the emails from MBOX to Office 365.
  • The user can add multiple MBOX files and convert them.
  • The software gives a clear preview of the selected items.
  • There are several adaptive filter options suitable for the conversion or migration.


This blog briefly explains how one can synchronize Thunderbird address book with Gmail Contacts. I really like the format the writer has followed, educating content and simple solutions are the reasons I would like to keep following blogs on this site. It was a great read. Thanks!

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