How to import e-mail addresses to Thunderbird from a simple name-and-address txt file

Asked by Julianloui on 2013-10-17

I would like to know how to import to Thunderbird e-mail addfresses from a simple txt file that lists only the name and address of each addressee per line. Thanks very much in advance.


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Ubuntu thunderbird Edit question
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David Pires (slickymaster) said : #1

If the list is stored in a text file, you should be able to import these addresses easily into a Thunderbird address book through Thunderbird import utility, which accepts only commas (",") as separators for csv, not semicolons (";").

To import them, go to Tools > Import > Address Book, selected Text File, then selected the file to import as "Tab Delimited (*.tab. *.txt)", uncheck all address fields except Primary Email, and hit the OK button.

Julianloui (julianloui) said : #2


Thanks very much for your clear instructions, all of which I've executed without any trouble. For some strange reason, the resultant address book contains nothing. My simple .txt source file contains only a name and its e-mail address per line.


David Pires (slickymaster) said : #3

A new address book with the same name as your original text file, containing all the imported addresses is normally created this way.

Did you move up the Primary Email row so it matched the first record?

Julianloui (julianloui) said : #4


Yes, the new address book bears the same name as my original text file. I also chose Primary Email as the only record field as you suggested. As a matter of fact, Thunderbird did not output any error messages.


David Pires (slickymaster) said : #5

In what format do you have each record in the text file? If possible try to have them in this format:

John Doe <email address hidden>

Julianloui (julianloui) said : #6


My format is exactly the same as the one you are suggesting, except for the absence of the '<' and '>' symbols. Nothing changes
after I modify each address to adopt your suggested format. The newly created address book is still empty. Thanks again.


Julianloui (julianloui) said : #7


Out of curiosity tonight, I duplicated my Thunderbird address-importing experiment on my other Lubuntu 12.04 computer and obtained identical negative results. The interesting thing is that Thunderbird seems to have done everything right including showing my data in the right fields, namely Display Name and Primary Mail, before continuing to the final step. It also fails to store my data in the newly created address book on my other machine.

I wonder if you're using Thunderbird in Linux. If you do, can you duplicate my test by trying to import to Thunderbird an address-book text file consisting of just a few entries?

Thanks very much again.


David Pires (slickymaster) said : #8

That's strange as I, also, wasn't unable to import it. What's more stranger is that I've done this with success in Xubuntu a couple of years ago, but today I had no success doing it. Everything went OK during the import process without any apparent errors but in the end I was left with a empty address book.

Instead of dealing with a txt file, have you thought of saving the file in CSV format and then import it into a new address book in Thunderbird?

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