Thunderbird to Outlook: Move Contacts Quickly

By  //  July 13, 2020

Vulnerabilities or changes of corporate standards prompt users to abandon their mail systems. Outlook is a likely destination as its capabilities are tailored to professional correspondence. Contact export is a common issue with more than one solution.

Users have a choice between manual and automated methods. Discover the quickest and most painless way to export contacts from Thunderbird to Outlook here, and have the job done in a couple of clicks.

Third-party software solutions are clearly superior, although it is tempting to bypass them. 

Data Integrity at Risk

Managing the transition manually means you are entirely responsible for failure. Sadly, errors are fairly likely. Many users report issues that hamper the import of CSV data. Eventually, they need to edit this file, which is a challenge. 

The Short Path: Applying Automation

Export is easier via the VCF or vCard format. Every such file contains data for a contact. The obstacle is the need to move elements separately unless a converter is installed. Here is what to do.

1. Pack contacts into a standalone VCF file via “Address Book”. Just specify the rage of data to export, or select all. 

2. Find ‘Export’ in ‘Menu Tools’. A new window opens.

3. Assign ‘vCard’ as the desired output type. 

4. Name the new file and finish with ‘Save’. 

Direct import of multiple contacts is not possible. For this, you need to generate a PST file via a dedicated converter.

This method applies to different editions of the Windows mail client (2010, 2013, 2016). The utility gets the job done in a flash:

1. Specify the source location,

2. Initiate scanning for VCF data,

3. Set PST as output type,

4. Import the data as Outlook Data File via the ‘File’ menu. 

Direct import of multiple contacts is not possible. For this, you need to generate a PST file via a dedicated converter.

The Long Path: Non-Automated

1. Run the source program and head to the menu for its address book. Use the eponymous button on the toolbar, or via Tools.

2. Specify which books are to be moved. 

3. From ‘Tools’, access the export menu.

4. Assign CSV as an output format and give the file a name.

5. Once you click ‘Save’, the task is completed.

This part is the easiest. Where you go from here depends on your version of Outlook. For example, here is the import sequence for versions 2013 and 2016. Once the mail client is opened, follow these steps:

1. Go to ‘File’ — ‘Export/Import item’. A window pops up.

2. Assign another folder or file as a source for import.

3. Select the Windows version of the necessary format (CSV) and proceed further. 

4. Specify where the target file is located.

5. Decide what to do about duplicates and go further. 

6. Pick the desired folder within the Outlook profile and click ‘Next’. 

These steps only take you halfway. Now, you need to individually remap CSV fields as these are named differently in the systems.

Use the corresponding button and drag each title to its corresponding field. At long last, you can launch the import. However, do not expect lightning speed.