How to Import a WAB File to Thunderbird

By David Gutierrez

Windows XP comes with a program called Windows Address Book, or WAB. If you have previously entered contact information into Windows Address Book but now use Mozilla Thunderbird as your mail client, you may want to transfer your contacts from WAB to Thunderbird.If you have Microsoft Outlook Express installed on your computer, transferring these contacts is simple. If you do not have Outlook Express installed, the process takes a few extra steps but does not require any exceptional computer savvy.

Thunderbird Import Wizard

Step 1

Check to see if you have Outlook Express installed. If so, open Thunderbird. If this is the first time you are using the program, the "Import Wizard" will open automatically. If you have already opened Thunderbird or if the "Import Wizard" does not open, click on the "Tools" menu and select "Import."

Step 2

Select "Address Books" and click "Next."

Step 3

Select "Outlook Express" and click "Next." The contacts will appear as a new address book in Thunderbird. To view them, just click on the "Address Book" button in Thunderbird.

Export file from WAB

Step 1

Open Windows Address Book if you do not have Outlook Express installed. Before you can transfer your contacts, you will need to convert your address book into a file type that Thunderbird can recognize.

Step 2

Click on the "File" menu in Windows Address Book. Select "Export," then select "Other Address Book."

Step 3

Select "Text File," then click "Export." Type in the name you want to save the file under, then click "Browse." Select where you want to save your address book, then click "Save." Click "Next."

Step 4

Use the check boxes that appear to select the kinds of information you would like to export, then click "Finish."

Step 5

Open Thunderbird. Click on the "Tools" menu and select "Import." Select "Address Books" and click "Next."

Step 6

Select "Text File," then click "Next." In the window that opens, make sure that the drop-down menu next to "Files of type" reads either "Comma Separated" or "All Files."

Step 7

Find and select your saved file from Windows Address Book, then click "Open." Use the check boxes that appear to select the kinds of information you would like to import, then click "OK." The contacts will appear as a new address book in Thunderbird. To view them, just click on the "Address Book" button in Thunderbird.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you transfer contacts directly from Windows Address Book, you may lose some formatting in the transfer.