How to Convert Thunderbird Contacts to VCF

By Andrew Tennyson

You can import VCF contacts directly into Thunderbird using the program’s Import tool. Exporting contacts is a little more complicated. In order to get contacts from your Thunderbird address book and into the VCF format, export them as a CSV file and then convert them using a free CSV to VCard conversion program.

Importing VCF Contacts

Step 1

Click “Tools” on the main menu in Thunderbird and select “Import.”

Step 2

Select the “Address Book” radio button and click “Next.”

Step 3

Select “VCard File (.vcf)” on the list of available formats and click “Next.”

Step 4

Browse to the VCF file you want to import, select it and click the “Open” button.

Step 5

Click “Finish” to import the contacts into your Thunderbird address book. [refs 1, 2]

Exporting Contacts to the VCF Format

Step 1

Open the Address Book in Thunderbird, click “Tools” and select “Export.”

Step 2

Enter a name for your exported contacts file in the Save As field. All contacts are saved into one combined file.

Step 3

Click the “Format” drop-down menu and select “Comma Separated.”

Step 4

Browse to the location on your computer where you want to save the exported contacts and click “Save” to export your address book. Contacts are saved together in a Comma-Separated Values, or CSV, file. Remember where you saved this file as you will need to access it again.

Step 5

Download and install the free CSV to VCard application (link in Resources). Versions are available for both Windows and Mac OS X.

Step 6

Open CSV to VCard software.

Step 7

Click the “Browse” button next to the CSV File field and select the CSV file you exported from Thunderbird.

Step 8

Select either the “VCard File” or “VCard Folder” radio button, depending on whether you want to save your contacts as one VCF file or as individual VCF files together in a folder.

Step 9

Verify that the values in the CSV Field and VCard Property columns match up. The First Name field in one column should be located next to the First Name field in the other column, for example. Rearrange the rows so that they match, if necessary.

Step 10

Click “Convert” to convert your Thunderbird contacts to the VCF format.

Tips & Warnings

  • VCard files make it easy to share contacts between devices. Attach the VCF file to an email and the recipient can click it and automatically import it into her address book.
  • You can also download extensions for Thunderbird that enable you to sync contacts with devices that use the VCF format. Thundersync and MoreFunctionsForAddressBook are two such extensions (links in Resources).