How To Synchronize Outlook.com Contacts With Thunderbird Addressbook

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I have been using Hotmail since 2000 and started using Gmail in 2004 when it was launched. Since then Gmail grew by leaps and bounds and crossed Hotmail in features and active users. That was the point when Microsoft turned the tables round and started investing time on its Hotmail service. First it was renamed to Windows Live and then the name was changed to Outlook.com.

Some time ago Microsoft started offering IMAP and POP service to its users which was available in Gmail for ages. I prefer to use an email client to check my emails. I normally use both Microsoft Outlook 2013 and Thunderbird for this purpose. It’s easy to setup my Outlook.com account in MS Outlook as it supports Exchange Active Sync which works similar to IMAP but its performance is better as compared to IMAP. In addition to emails, Outlook also synchronizes contacts and calendar entries.

When it comes to Thunderbird, its fairly easy to synchronize Google Calendar and Contacts with Thunderbird Address book which Microsoft makes it difficult to synchronize contacts with other email clients. I was in search for a way to cross synchronize Thunderbird Address book contacts with my Outlook.com account and have found one plugin which works perfect for my scenario. It will synchronize the contacts both ways from Thunderbird to Outlook.com and from Outlook.com to Thunderbird.

TZPush is a wonderful Thunderbird Add-on which syncs Thunderbird address book with many services including Outlook.com/Hotmail, Zentyal, Zarafa, Horde etc. The tricky part is to make TZPush work with Outlook.com. Please follow the steps below in order to make synchronization between Thunderbird and Outlook.com/Hotmail work.

  1. Go to Thunderbird Add-ons page and search for TZPush. Otherwise, you can also TZPush directly here. Install it in Thunderbird.
  2. Now go to Tools –> TZ-Push –> TZ-Settings
    TZ-Push Settings Menu
  3. In the AddressBook options, you will see the addressbooks created in Thunderbird. By default, there is only one addressbook called “Personal Address Book”. If you have created multiple addressbooks, select the one in which you want to synchronize Outlook.com contacts.
    Outlook Addresses AddressBook selected
  4. In the Setting Dialog tab, enter the following settings:
    Server: s.outlook.com
    Use https://: Checked
    User Name: complete outlook.com email address (e.g., itechtics@outlook.com)
    Password: Your outlook.com account password
    Device Id: Leave default
    Use “,” as separator: Checked
    TZ Settings
  5. Now Click the OK button and Open TZ-Settings again. Enter the password in the password field if it’s empty and click on “Sync Addressbook” button.

These settings will enable you to synchronize any Thunderbird Addressbook with Outlook.com. Any additions or removals done in Thunderbird will be reflected in Outlook.com and vice versa. One thing to note is that TZ-Push plugin does not synchronize with email. You will need to specify in the settings after how many minutes you want to synchronize the contacts automatically.

Which email client do you use for your emails? And how do you synchronize your mails, contacts and calendars across the mail clients? Don’t forget to leave a comment below 🙂

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21 Comments

  1. Works perfectly for me, I’m very happy to have all my outlook contacts !
    I got one more choice than showed , in top of setting dialog window, before version: Activesync version, choice between 2,5 and 14.0. I kept the default, 2.5.
    REMARK for those who have troubles to have it working, as I selected logon in two steps in outlook security parameters, I had to use a special generated application password (same as used for thunderbird)

  2. I TRIED TO SETUP TBIRD ONTO NEW ASUS F552L LAPTOP… CA NNOT GET IT RUNNING,,,
    PROBLEM IS IT WONT RECOGNISE PW. AND IT HAS CHANGED FROM POP, TO IMAP..
    NEED BASIC INSTUCTIONS … MY DESKTOP TBIRD OK. any HELP PLEASE¿

  3. Thanks very much. Followed your instructions, works great. Makes Thunderbird usable without having to re-enter hundreds of addresses.

  4. It didn’t work for me (Thunderbird 45.6.0). Everything looks fine, the addon synchronizes (status bar notification) but the Address Book is empty.

    • I had a similar problem but after making sure that I had the details above correct and then closing and reopening thunderbirds I saw in the bottom right corner that it was syncing. Oh, and check your password is still represented by a number of dot ….. If not re-enter it.

      Good luck

  5. I am receiving this error when I attempt to confirm my subscription to your page.

    Fatal error : Allowed memory size of 134217728 bytes exhausted (tried to allocate 1048576 bytes) in /home/itechtic/public_html/wp-includes/post.php on line 440

  6. I was finally able to sync my outlook address to Thunderbird using this add-on. I have set Thunderbird on two systems. Thank you… Is there a setting to also download/sync the address book folders in the original outlook address book? Where is the setting to setup the schedule for syncing of the address book? Thanks for the help!

  7. The procedure is neat but it does not work as far as synchronizing the Outlook contact list and the Thunderbird list. I have worked with a friend and neither of us were successful.

    • Did you check that your password still exists as it has a habit of disappearing. You may need to restart the program a few times too.

      Good luck.

  8. works like a charm!
    thanx. I needed a good email, contact and calendar prog for Win 10 (default MS mail prog in win 10 sucks bigtime!) and Thunderbird can deliver what I need.
    Though configuring synching with Exchange was not clear.
    Your instructions are and the contacts are now synched 🙂
    Now I need same for calendar …..

  9. Robert Ballantyne on

    I have tried these options, and also using dub-s@hotmail.com as suggested by an other contributor.
    Neither of these worked. Originally it imported gibberish addresses, which I deleted, and now it refuses to import anything despite telling me there are 152 contacts – which I cannot access.
    In the mail options there is no outlook folder, but does have an ancient Outlook Express one containing about 10 people from the past.
    Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated before I consider formatting with a large hammer?

  10. Looks like this is a winner!! I am migrating away from Outlook 2013 because of its instability with IMAP. I keep my contacts on Outlook.com so I have it on my Windows phone too. This now sychs that with Thunderbird. Thanks so much for making this work.

  11. Thanks for that.
    The s.outlook.com is a new one to me. And it works. Much better than the xxx-m.hotmail.com method.
    Mark (tzpush developer)

    • iTechtics Editorial Team on

      Thanks a lot for the comment Mark. And thumbs up for your wonderful add-on. It has saved my life and will definitely save many others from frustration.

  12. Windows10Geek on

    Definitely worth a try. Thunderbird isn’t a good email client if it doesn’t sync contacts by default. I think Contacts are an integral part of email which should be synchronized directly through IMAP or POP.

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