May 18, 2008

Synchronizing Google contacts and Thunderbird address books

I've developed a new extension for Thunderbird named Google Contacts. This extension accesses to Google contacts and synchronize them with Thunderbird address books.

After you installed the extension, it detects all the Gmail accounts which have already set up on Thunderbird and accesses to the contacts for them. Then, it creates address books named Google-accountname for each of them. It is OK to rename them.

When you update cards in the address books, the changes are immediately applied to the contacts in Google; if you delete a card, the contact will be remove from Google; if you add a new card to the address book, a contact is added to Google. This is similar to the way IMAP updates messages.

If you delete the address book, the contacts for the account are no more synchronized. If you want to sync them again, open Config Editor and change the value of gmcont.accountname.sync to true.

The extension retrieve Goolge contacts automatically when Thunderbird launches. If you don't want to synchronize at startup add gmcont.auth_at_startup and set its value false. Please note that you should sync Thunderbird and Google by clicking the Reload button in either the main or the address book window before you modify address book cards if you use the configuration.

There are the following limitations:
  • Only items shared by Google and Thunderbird are synchronized,
  • You have to input an email address or display name for a card. This is specification of Google,
  • All the changes while you did on offline will be discarded when you go online,
  • Only accounts which already set up are synchronized.
This is initial version and may involve serious bugs. So, please don't forget to backup Google contacts before you use the extension.

If you find any problems or have requests, please let me know.

Update1
There is one more limitation which I forgot to write. It cannot sync Thunderbird's lists and Gmail's groups. This is because Google does not provide API for retrieving and modifying groups. Therefore, it is difficult to realize the functionality so far.

Update2
The latest version has an option dialog. So, you can set up preferences easily by the dialog, not by the Config Editor.

Update3
Gmail's contact groups are supported by Google Contacts v0.2.10. TB specific properties are also stored in Google contacts by the version. See this post for details. Try it!

Update4

Offline changes can be synchronized when you click the Reload button. It has been supported by v0.3 or later.

200 comments:

EC said...

I just was looking for something like this!! Thanks.
I can't try it now. I'll create a new Portabe Thunderbird folder and try it over there with one acount, I hope it works!

good luck!

h.ogi said...

Thanks!

Please let me hear your comments for the extension.

the said...

Very easy and works nice. It would be great if it could add contacts to gmail via Thunderbird. I hope you can engineer this in the near future otherwise its usage for me is limited.
Great Job

h.ogi said...

Add a card to the address book which the extension created. A contact will be added to Gmail automatically.

Stefano said...

The Thunderbird -> GMail sync doesn't work for me.
I'm using the last version of your extension.

Let me know if you need more information.

h.ogi said...

The extension can modify the items that exsit both Thunderbird and Google. What items do you try to modify?

Stefano Tortarolo said...

A contact list has been created as Google-username@gmail.com, but if I try to create a new contact nothing appear when I open gmail with my browser.

h.ogi said...

Can you see a message "Google contact was added" in the status bar of Address Book? If so, adding a contact was successfully done.

If you cannot find the contact in Gmail inspite of the message, this may be a problem of Google. Please logout the Gmail session then login again.

Stefano said...

I can't see that message, but I get a 'Cannot connect' error.
I thought it was another extension...

Anyway, the connection with gmail is working.
Version: 0.1.30

h.ogi said...

This error is from my extension. It means that your request to Google was not sent; there are problems in a connection between your PC and Google. Do you use a firewall or anti-virus software?

It seems that retrieving contacts is OK. How about other operation, such as delete a contact and modify a contact?

MCG said...

Why are my contacts disappearing from Thunderbird. I thought the purpose of synchronization is to have them in 2 places.

h.ogi said...

Do you mention card you added while TB didn't connect to Google? These will be disacarded when TB connects to Google. This is because it cannot be judged whether a card in Thunderbird and not in Google is a result of deletion at Google or one of addition at Thunderbird.

Glider said...

one of the biggest problem with the current google contacts is that it
has only one contacts (ie. folder/address book), but the other "big" mailers (outlook, outlook express, thunderbird) has more not to mention
sub folders in outlook. the biggest problem is that many people use this
feature:-(
so it'd have to be some way to do the same think in gmail.
imho (since it's google) they will choose labels for contacts so one can
add multiple labels for a given contact. and later contacts api will follow this. but this is just my assumption:-)
afais it takes years for google to made a public api for contacts. probably they will first add mailing lists and may be then more address books or labels.
but still what we can do (those who has more address books)?
imho one good solution (until google add this feature) to use something like finchsync do (same problem since Pocket Outlook also has only one adddress book). it maps the address book name to category. more detail here http://www.finchsync.com/docu_syncguide.html
the calendar port is not so important for us (until someone like to synchronize more google calendar with a pda).
so you plan anything like this?
thanks in advance.
yours.

Anonymous said...

There is another great extension that lets you sync your TB contacts with Gmail called Zindus . It has a sync engine built into it this allows for handling offline changes.

h.ogi said...

To: glider
This would be realized by using the Note field of a TB's card. But, since Google API does not provide a method to handle groups, this information does not make sense. A user have to maintain a consistency between Thunderbird's list and Google's group. So, I don't to plan to impliment the functionality.

I would love to implement lists and groups synchronization if Google provied the API.

h.ogi said...

To: anonymous
I know the extension. It is great extension. To synchronize changes while they were not connected each other is very difficult. There are cases that cannot be synchronized, even if you use Zindus.

For example, assume you modified a primary email address on TB then add memo on Gmail while they were not connected each other. And now you synchronize them. TB and Google can remember the updated time for a contact but cannot remember which item is updated. Of course you know TB's primary email and Google's memo are the latest, but there is no way to know the fact for Thunderbird.

I know this will happen even though they are connected if you use Thunderbird and Gmail at the same time but I think such situations are not so many.

Anyway, offline support should be the one of important topics for the future release. However, I'm not plan to implement it in the near future due to the difficulity. It should be considered and discussed more.

Anonymous said...

h.ogi,

You are quite right w.r.t to the example you have provided. However I would like to add that this is by definition not possible because you have created a conflict. I'm no expert in the field of synchronization but this is my understanding and I am willing to be educated on the subject.

Thanks for a great extension.

h.ogi said...

v0.2.10 is released. It fixes some bugs and supports Gmail's contact groups. The problems in synchronizing that reported above may be fixed. Please try it.

Offline has not been supported yet, sorry.

Anonymous said...

As far as I can tell, it manages only to create an address book in tbird (as it should)....and then, nothing whatsoever else. There does appear a status bar message in tbird at startup time, declaring that authorization has succeeded. But no creating or deleting of contacts in either tbird or gmail (followed by restarts of tbord) has any effect whatsoever on the collection of contacts within the other program. And there seems to be no way to find out what is (or, more appropriately, what isn't happening.

Other than being totally useless, though, it's a great add-on.

motoracer said...

Hi h.ogi. I like the add on a lot, but it only seems to sync with my "Most Contacted" part of my Google contacts. Is there a way to get it to sync all my contacts?

Thanks.

h.ogi said...

To: anonymous
I have recieved a report of the same problem from another user but I have not be able to fix it yet.

So, I made a package to debug this problem. Can you test it?

The test is easy. Firstly, download and install the package at the following URL: http://hogi.a.orn.jp/xpi/gmcont0220_debug.xpi
Then retrieve Google contacts; this will be started automatically if you use default settings. While retrieving the contacts, some messages appear in the status bar one after another. Please tell me the message which is shown at the last. And tell me error messages in the Console editor if there are errors.

Thanks.

h.ogi said...

To: motoracer

By default, not all contacts are retrieved if you have more than 25 contacts; it is Google's spec.

Open the Google Contacts' option dialog and specify the maximum number of the contacts to be retrieved.

motoracer said...

h.ogi,

I changed my maximum number of contacts to 500 and it downloaded all 196 contacts without trouble. Thanks. Do you want me to run the debug anyway? or is that no longer needed.

motoracer

nidzo said...

i have been waiting this extension for a long time....! thanks.
i have a problem: it has created the new addressbook, and imported the contacts, together with the lists. but only a very few of them..... i mean, is there any reason why it can import (sync) some of them and not the others?

nidzo

h.ogi said...

To: anonymous

I've found bugs in retrieving contacts and fixed them in v0.2.30.
Your problem may be solved by the new version.

h.ogi said...

To: motoracer

The extension seems to work correctly with your Thunderbird. So, you don't need to debug it. Anyway, if you find any problems, please let me know.

Thanks for your kindness!

h.ogi said...

To: nidzo

It seems that your problem is the same as the one reported by motoracer. Specify the maximum number of contacts by the extension's option.

മണിലാല്‍ : Manilal K M said...

I have tried this extension and it's really useful for thunderbird and gmail users. I have posted a detailed comment in my blog : http://libregeek.blogspot.com/2008/06/sychronize-gmail-contacts-and.html

h.ogi said...

Great review! Thanks!

Xavy said...

I have tried your extension, and if I have done it right, I'm afraid that it does not allows to syncronize google apps accounts. It would be very useful for me to use it with the domain of the company I work for. Do you plan to do so in a future release?

h.ogi said...

I don't test Google Apps because I don't use the service. But it should work on Google Apps.

Xavy said...

I have in my TB just the googleapps account (by IMAP), and the extension must not recognize the account, as the configuration box appears blank.

If you want, I can tell you an email account so we can see this

h.ogi said...

I don't know much about Google Apps. So, let me confirm.

My recognition is the imap server is imap.gmail.com or imap.googlemail.com and a user name for the server is your email address.
Is it correct?

Xavy said...

It might be the problem. Due to some network restrictions, I have had to do a tunnel with putty, and the address configured in TB for the IMAP and SMTP is 127.0.0.1
Perhaps in a future, it could be possible to manually add the accounts you want to be syncronized ?

h.ogi said...

That's the problem. I'll add the functionality to add accounts manually.

h.ogi said...

I've implemented it in v0.2.80.
Can you try it?

Anonymous said...

When I add a new card to the address book in TB the new contact is not added to Gmail. Neither does it work the other way around.
When I reload the status bar says [Retrieve] 200: OK
I'm using 0.2.90

h.ogi said...

Please confirm the primary email is unique in the Gmail contacts. Google does not allow duplicated contacts.

Anonymous said...

Name and email are unique. The extension does not seem to try to connect to my gmail account, when I add a new card in TB.
When I create a new addressbook to sync with your extension, it will only import 24 out of 70 contacts from gmail.

h.ogi said...

If you uncheck the "Load contacts at startup" in the option dialog, you have to reload contacts manually before you add a card to an address book.

Specify "Maxmum number of contacts" in the option dialog in order to retrieve all contacts. You should input the number more than 70 since Google's default is about 25 contacts.

Henk (NLD) said...

H.Ogi,

I use your extension (version 0.2.90) now and i think the concept is great. Had it working yesterday on my first machine.

When i installed it to my second machine yesterday (same gmail account obviously so i can make use of the same contact list on more machines) it synchronised from TB to Gmail.

Strange thing is that when i opened up my 1st machine this morning, the newly uploaded cotacts from my snd machine (which should be newer) did not synch with my initial machine.

Any idea?

Henk (NLD) said...

h.ogi,

Then something totally different.

Groups (mailing lists) are supported in v 0.2.90.

Once created in Gmail they actually synchroinze to TB (this is the good news)

But, (theres always a catch isnt there....) once its synchronized in TB i cannot see (or edit) the members of such a list in TB.

Is this not a featured functionality?

kind regards,

Henk

Henk (NLD) said...

h.ogi

since i have a background as a software test engineer i tried to do some option checking.

What i found was: No matter what number i entered for contacts to be synchronised (through the pluginin or through the configurationpanel) TB still says retrieving 200 [OK]

manually adding a gmail account works. shame the original account found by the plugin cannot be deleted.

I played with the tue false options, changed contacts in gmail as well as added new ones in TB but cant get it to synchronize any more.

I tried ZINDUS as an alternative to check connectivity and ZINDUS seems to work. (doesnt support groups though)

Maybe we should get in touch?

regards,

Henk

h.ogi said...

The message "retrieving 200 [OK]" is not shown when you succeed retrieving. "Google contacts for aaa@gmail.com was reloaded" is shown finally.
So, it failed in parsing a response from Google. Are there any error messages in the error console?

Anonymous said...

For some reason all my group contacts in Gmail have disappeared after syncing with this add-on, which I otherwise like a lot. --Davo

h.ogi said...

Thanks.
But I cannot find the reason and fix it without more information. Please let me know if you find error messages or operations to reporduce the problem.

E.Z said...

this extension creates and sync a folder for the contacts from gmail. however it does not sync the contacts that already exist in thunderbird from emai accounts other than gmail.
is there a way to fix this?

h.ogi said...

Copy the cards to the address book that Google Contacts created. The cards will be added to Gmail contacts and synchronized.

MarkBM said...

I'm not sure what you mean with extension created? I still have the problem that I can't add a new card by using Thunderbird.

You also mention the reload button. I can't find a reload button in TB?!

h.ogi said...

To: MarkBM

Open the addon's option form and confirm your Gmail address is shown and checked in the Accounts section. If not, add your account by clicking the add button.

After you restart Thunderbird, it creates an address book whose name is your Gmail account, such as youraccount@gmail.com.

The reload button is not added to the toolbar by default setting. Right-click on the toolbar in the address book window and choose Customize. You'll find Reload button.

Tommy said...

It doesn't work, the Google-account addressbook doesn't appear...

I have found this error in the Thunderbird Error console:
Error: uriParts[1] has no properties
Source File: chrome://gmcont/content/gmcont_manager.js
Line: 321

I tried with various settings... Can you help me?

Thanks
Tommy

connorse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
connorse said...

This seriously FUBARed my life. It deleted all but one of my Google contacts and then my Blackberry Google Sync did the honors and deleted everything on my device, instead of it refilling my Google contacts back up from the BB. Now I have one contact on the Blackberry, and what you would many people would call "screwed".

h.ogi said...

To Tommy:

Please try v0.5b6.

It may be not able to detect your gmail account automatically. Please add your account by option dialog if in the case.

Tommy said...

to h.ogi:

it worked! Thanks
Tommy

h.ogi said...

To connorse:

If you uses v0.4 or later, it has a simple backup functionality for such case. You may recover your contacts from backup files. Please refer to the following: http://hogiblog.blogspot.com/2008/09/rollbacking-thunderbird-address-book.html

And I recommend you to enable a notification option in the addon's option dialog.

connorse said...

Thank you. I thought I was screwed. I started a facebook event to get all my numbers back and everything.

Socrates said...

When I assign a contact to a certain group in Gmail, the action is synchronized to TB. (so far good).

But when I assign a contact to a certain group(list) in TB, Gmail cannot realize that. After the sync point, the contact goes again out of the list.

According to the above situation, you cannot assign contacts to lists/groups in TB. At first, it looks that is fine, but after the sync, all contact-group assignments are lost.

Are you aware of this situation? Is there any work around?

thanks

h.ogi said...

To Socrates

I found a problem in synchronizing groups and fixed it in the v0.5 beta.
Please download v0.5b9 and try it.

DavidA2 said...

I just installed the plugin and ran my first sync. The first time I ran it, Thunderbird terminated with an error message. I restarted Thunderbird and it did not terminate, but I got a couple error messages from the sync process - something about "entering a display name" (or something). When the sync was done, my Google account had the correct number of contacts in it (a little over 500), but about 90% of them were duplicates of about ten contacts (each had 30-40+) copies of the same person.

Socrates said...

Thanks for your reply.
Another question:
Google groups allow you to include contacts that do not have "email address".
TB, on the other hand, does not allow contacts without email addresses to be added to
Lists, so if a Group in GMail contains one, a sync will produce inconsistency. Specifically, incomplete entries will be added in the TB lists and they will be "silently" removed - and will propagate the same action into google.
So at the end, all the contacts in google contact-groups that do not have email address will be removed!

Any help on this? thanks.

GriffinKCB said...

One,

maximum number of contacts value should be set to what?

Two, concerning blogger

www.griffinkcb.net - my blog doesn't have visitors able to post comments to my entries,can you help with this?

GriffinKCB said...

I feel dumb cause I just found my answer in previous posts. Sorry about wasting the bandwidth and time of the post

Yudis said...

Thanks for a such great plugin.

I have tried once and now I can't open the "option" window. :-s

I keep getting this error message:
"No chrome package registered for chrome://gmcont/content/settings.xul ."

I have tried to use the newest version 0.5.11, but it is still :-s

could you give me a way out?

Thanks

h.ogi said...

To: GriffinKCB

> Two, concerning blogger
It seems you simply forget to add a comment component. Confirm settings of the blog posts gadget.

h.ogi said...

To Yudis:

Your package may be broken. Please download the package and install it again.

Christian said...

Hello!

Thx for the add-on! It certainly takes me closer to the goal to have a fully synced calendar an contact list between Iphone 3G and Thunderbird (I'm using GMail just for linking both - the sync with Iphone is done via nuevasync). Now my problem is that nuevasync only syncs contacts that are assinged to a group (ANY in fact but it leaves out NON-Group contacts). Now when I create a new Contact in TB it will not be synced into a group in Google but ends up in "all contacts" (no matter where I create it in TB). Is it the same problem socrates reportet on Dec 18th? Is there any solution? I´m usind 0.5.12

Thx alot!

h.ogi said...

To Christian:

Add a card to a "My Contacts" mail list. "My Contacts" varies depending on your locale.

v0.5.12 has a problem in group sync. Please add a card to an address book then add the card to the group. The problem will be fixed in v0.5.50.

Christian said...

Thx for your answer! It seems to work more or less with 5.50b5 (not b6). I´m looking forward to 5.50 release version!

Anonymous said...

Hi, just installed the add-on, smooth as a Cashmir Codpiece, added up to 2000 contacts (I have about 1460 today)
Status line said it has Synchronized 200, Batch sync OK, all 1460 are fully synced.
Impressive. Been waiting for this capability for quite a while, will keep kicking it and see if I get any valuable feedback for you.Many Thanks, nick

David Tan said...

It is a nice add-on..
I have something in doing with contact messenger, such are MSN,G_talk, YAHOO, SKYPE, etc..

Can you tell me how to fix this problem.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't seem to work for contacts w/o an email address. What is a "display name". Having a value in name/display or name/nickname in the tbird contact doesn't make it work.

Pieter-Jan said...

Thanks, very handy tool.
I was wondering if it was possible to synchronize the contacts using https.
I checked your sources and I saw in the content/gmcont.js you can change the http calls to https.
Is it possible to maybe make this configurable?

h.ogi said...

Google Contacts uses Google Contacts Data API to retrieve and modify contacts. The APIs use http except for authentication.

Alexis said...

I works with mails very often and consequently had problems with it too.Couple months ago my mails were damaged and I used-undelete outlook express address book.Tool solved problem quite good.In addition program can also helps to rescue Address Book files by carefully restoring contact entries one by one and exporting them into a set of files in vcf format.

Michael said...

Hi
I got problems with syncing my lists. Sometimes the half of the list is uploaded sometimes nothing. In both cases after a reboot of thunderbird the lists are lost.
I use Thunderbird 2.0.0.23 and the Google Contacts 0.5.56 plugin. I'm on a Ubuntu environment.
Has anyone the same problem?

L said...

Michael,

I have the same problem as you. When I add cards to my google contacts in TB's address book, the status line says "X cards copied", but when I go to those lists, sometimes the contacts are there, sometimes they are not, and sometimes a subset of them are. And sometimes that behavior differs from what's actually stored in my google contacts account.

I think this extension looks great, wondering if there are any settings that will make it behave a bit more predictably for me?

thanks!
Lee

Geoff said...

It started working great but now its creating a new folder every time I open Tbird and when I try to delete the extra folders it crashes Tbird. Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

sweet! works like a charm! thanks man!

Agnès Lesage said...

Two problems... I cant find much documentation:
1> beside goind to add ons and "options", I dont see how to access the add on menu and activate the sync
2> at initisl startup, it asked me to limit the number of contacts to sync. My gmail account has none (I am tryong to upload newly mu thunderbird contacts through this sync). After I activated the add on, I have a new gmail-remlated address book in Thb, but t keeps empty !
Dont know what to do next...!?

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Your add-on is very helpfull in the contacts managing.

I'm using TB3 and I've got a problem. When I click over "Option" I have an error:

"Interpretion error XML: non well-formed
Indirizzo: chrome://gmcont/content/settings.xul
Linea numero 126, colonna 5: <checkbox id="GCAddrConvDelimiterBROpt" label="&gmcont_set.af_delim_br;" checked="false"
--------------------------------^"

There's any method to fix?

Thank you so mutch,
Kekko

momowell said...

hello
cool add-on

only for me don't work "work fax"

Toby said...

Great extension. Thank you for your hard work.

I find my contacts photos are not being synchronised.

Is this an issue that can be solved?

Regards

Toby

Michael said...

Thank you for this really useful extension! I would like to request an added feature. If the TB record does not include "First Name" and "Last Name" but the "Display Name" obtained from the GC "Name" field has two parts, please parse it into First Name and Last Name. I request this because otherwise the TB records do not sort and display properly when looking at the TB Address Book.

Mike P.

Alex said...

Today I was working with OE but something must have happened and all my contacts were lost. For luck I entered in the Internet and observed there - wab address book recovery. It resolved my problem for a minute and absolutely free as far as I kept in mind. Besides the program helped my friend too and they bought me a bottle of beer))

Javier said...

It's possible to sync photos?
Thanks

JJ Palacios said...

Ok, so exciting, but no sync all field.
I missed birthday and others fields.

JJ

Cyril C. said...

it works great! it should be added to thunderbird with default!

Have you planned to increase the maximum profile to sync?

Continue your good work!

Davin said...

Great add on, but still has a major bug. When entering a new contact from thunderbird, it is always added to "All Contacts" in gmail, but when assigning groups from thunderbird the group assignments do not always sync to gmail. Because of this, during the next contact sync the group assignment is lost in thunderbird. It works fine if I edit all contact info and groupings in my gmail account, but would like to be able to do it all from thunderbird. By the way, I'm using Mac OSX 10.5, thunderbird 3.0.4 and GC 0.6.20, and am also planning on setting this up on a Windows 7 Pro box.

Excubitoris said...

Question - currently it leaves trace in C:/_ThunderbirdPortable/..etc.. but I am using it from portablöe harddrive. Is it possible to make it fully portable?

Daniel said...

Hi,
I'm using this app and it's great. The only problem I'm having is with groups. In Google I have 6 groups but only 3 of them show up in the TB address book. The Group is set to disabled.

I don't have a clue about this. Perhaps you can help?

Thank you

Reapur said...

Is there any way to do a one way sync? I just want to pull the contacts from google to tb3. I've never seen an auto two way sync that works and I'm very leary of using them.
Regards

Anonymous said...

Worked like a champ...thank you so much!

Now if I could just figure out a way to archive my entire gmail inbox to local storage...

"I want out of the cloud"

David said...

I installed and when I sync, I see the following messages:

- Authorization for email@gmail.com was succeeded.

- [Retrieve Groups] 403: Forbidden

Then it stops. I'm not seeing any of my contacts.

Ideas?

Al said...

Hi,

Works a treat on one of my PC's. However on the other laptop I get sync from Thunderbird>Google only. It does not pull down any contacts or changes from Google. No obvious errors.

Both are google apps accounts.

Any suggestions where to look for log errors etc?

Anonymous said...

Hello H. ogi. Excuse my bad english, I'm french ... This is a very great add-on, which works perfectly. Thanks ! You could eventually minimize the size of the "option box", because the buttons are hidden by the "windows bar" at the bottom of the screen.
Thanks again for this very usefull add-on.

Guilherme said...

I'm having problems when I add a contact to the Thunderbird Address Book. It works perfectly when I change or delete a contact in TB. After a few moments the change or delete is reflected in the google contact book. But when I add a contact to the TB address book, it isn't added to the google contacts book. Can someone help me?
Thanks

JazeCompanies said...

I've installed the add-on, TB imported all my Google Contacts, when up add or update contact information from TB it tells me that the Google contact was not updated and my changes will be discarded when I reload contacts. Updates to contacts from my Andriod phone will sync, just not when done in TB. Can you help?

h.ogi said...

To JazeCompanies,

The message is shown when Google server returns error code. Your modification is not allowed by Google. What changes did you try to do?

Anonymous said...

Is there any chance of adding (read only) support for the Global Address List available in the premium versiong of Google Apps?

Amit Green said...

Hi,

Thanks for this addon - it's great.
One little question - when I create a new contact in TB and sync, it creates it in Gmail in the 'Other Contacts' group. Why not in the 'My Contacts' group?

This is a problem as exchange does not sync/push 'Other Contacts' group but only the ones in 'My Contacts'.

Anonymous said...

I agree with what amit said. Great tool, however it should by default add contacts to the My Contacts.

In google, the "other contacts" is used by gmail as a convenience as such: When you send or receive an email to/from someone not already in your contacts, it stores that email address in other contacts.

Later, you can add these "other contacts" to the my contacts group and also add other stuff like phone number, company, etc. You can also merge duplicates in "other contacts" and "My contacts" in case one of your contacts has emailed you from additional accounts.

For example, if john smith is in your contacts, as john.smith@xyz.com, and he emails you from his jsmith@gmail.com address, then John's gmail address and name will automatically show up in "Other Contacts". You can later merge his info, or delete it as you please.

Hope this helps. Hope you can fix this in an upcoming version.

Wat I have to do to save contacts in Thunderbird and ensure they get sent to my iphone is to log in to gmail, and select the "other contacts" and move them to the "My contacts" group.

Hope this helps.
reserved for recipients whose email addresses have not yet been added to your Contacts.

Bob said...

It works EXCEPT...that it tries to delete one contact each time that Thunderbird starts up. I am running Google Contacts 0.6.33

matt said...

I don't know where the support section is, so I post here.
It took me quite a while to figure out how to access the option (tools=>add-ons=>google contact=>option), on there, I have around 10 contact group, but under advance=>group mapping, it only show 3 groups. When I create a new group in there, it does not sync back to my google contact, and pull every single contact back from Google to my address book. Other than that, great add-on. Good job!!

Anonymous said...

Installed Google Contacts 0.6.33 and it only synced my groups and not my contacts. Running TB 3.1.6. Any ideas?

CatPoker said...

Ive just installed it but i can only see 31 contacts in thunderbird. In gmail i have 1580 My Contacts. Ive pressed the refresh button but its always the same. Thought with these extension i could "clean" my gmail adress book easyly.
Suggestions?
Regards,

h.ogi said...

To CatPoker

Open option dialog of Google Contacts and specify maximum number of contacts. Don't use 0.

ondrej.ficek said...

I noticed your extension doesn't list contacts in groups that have no e-mail address. Could you list all contacts?

I am aware of the "complemental" e-mail option, but am not exactly sure what it does.

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I just tried it, looks good!
Just the phone numbers from my google adress book are not synced with Thunderbird. Can you give me a hint?

Simone said...

Hello! I don't know if you saw my message here
http://hogiblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/debugging-google-contacts.html (SimoneMacc).
At moment i have the add-on disabled, but it is very useful and i'd like to reinstall it. Do you know where is the problem? Maybe is not in the add-on but something else. Thanks

Anonymous said...

thanks for this tips

h.ogi said...

To Simone:

If you have a lot of contacts, the message will appear many times. Please wait until the process is done.

You already has many duplicates. So, before trying, uninstalling Google Contacts and remove address books it created.

Paul J said...

I can't get my Gmail contacts to sync with your add-on.

After installing the add-on and hitting "reload", I get this error:
"Error in parsing XML."

Any ideas on how to fix it? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi to all I have also the problem with the error message "Error in parsing xml". The xml arrived correct with all contacts but something in the parsing went wrong. Maybe google changed something in defintion of the XML which causes now problems during parsing.

Androidnaut said...

I am seeing the same issue as ondrej.ficek on 1/14/2011. All of my contacts show up OK when I click on the top level folder. Also all of my GMail groups are displayed OK as sub-folders. But when I click on one of those sub-folders, only some of the contacts that belong to that GMail group show up (it seems that the ones with empty email address do not show up).

Androidnaut said...

I love your TB Extension an wrote about it in my blog. I am seeing the same issue as ondrej.ficek on 1/14/2011. All of my contacts show up OK when I click on the top level folder. Also all of my GMail groups are displayed OK as sub-folders. But when I click on one of those sub-folders, only some of the contacts that belong to that GMail group show up (it seems that the ones with empty email address do not show up).

h.ogi said...

To Paul J,

Open option dialog and see Experimental tab. You will see "Ignore invalid contacts" option. By checking it, Google Contacts ignore the XML error.

After reloading, some contacts will not be reloaded. These contacts have problems. Confirm and fix them at Gmail.

The XML error happens when your contacts data contain invalid characters.

h.ogi said...

To Androidnaut,

Thunderbird's mail lists do not allow cards without mail addresses. So, these contacts are not included into mail lists.

In order to add them to mail lists, enable "Add a pseudo email address to a contact without an email address" option. Please note it adds fake addresses to them, so the mail lists do not use for recipients of a message.

Robert said...

Hi, I am having troubles syncing the contact list. If I insert a new contact in the thunderbird list then it does update the google list. What settings should I check? Other than that, the addon is great!! Thanks a lot

h.ogi said...

???
What's the problem?

Alex said...

Hi h.ogi
Since installing the google contacts extension, I keep on receiving the following message.
A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete.

Script: file:///C:/Program%20Files%20(x86)/Mozilla%20Thunderbird/modules/gloda/log4moz.js:382

In parallel, Thunderbird becomes dysfunctional (Not Responding) after the initial synchronization. When allowing the script to continue or when stopping it. The message keeps on popping up every 10 to 20 seconds.

I'm running Win 7, SP1 installed, Firefox 4, TB 3.1.9, and Google contacts 0.6.34 - all the latest versions to my knowledge.

Thanks a lot in advance for your help

ALDER said...

Hi h.ogi, I think your extension is great but I have a problem...

If I add a new contact to the address book, it doesn't appear in my Google contacts.

After the operation, I close and re-open Thunderbird; The synchronisation starts but the contact I've added before doesn't exist because it was deleted.

TIA
Alder

Rochrunner said...

It is just what I was looking for and seems to be working mostly OK except that I notice in TB that the cards do not have the telephone numbers for many of my contacts. They are there in Google, but don't seem to transfer to TB. Some are there, but most are not. Makes me afraid to update cards in TB in case it loses the numbers (I need them on my Android phone).

MUIDWAY COMMUNICATIONS said...

i am sending mail to groups through Thunderbird but problem is when mail recived in reply email my group id appears. is there any solution plz mail me at midwaymail55@gmail.com

thanks to all

vpapanik said...

Thanks a lot for your EXCELLENT add-on. It works flawlessly, unless it creates four lists by default (coworkers,family,friends,my contacts) even if they are deleted from the Google account.

h.ogi said...

The four groups are system ones and cannot be deleted. How did you delete them?

Lectura compartida said...

I found copies and copies of each of my contacts (duplicated cards) in my address book, TB was almost unusable. I disabled the extension and it works better. Now I just have to delete the more of 10.000 duplicates of my contacts!!

h.ogi said...

Sorry for the inconvenience.
Gmail can rollback contacts data. And it can also merge duplicated contacts. See the "More actions" menu.

I've heard the same reports many times but I've not find a way to reproduce it. If you can find the method, please let me know.

Brian said...

Google Contacts works well for my Primary Thunderbird Addressbook. However, it is not synchornizing my other Thunderbird Addressbooks to Google. How can I get it to snychronize the other AddressBooks?

Rochrunner said...

This seems to be working well except that I modified a contact's email address in TB but it is not updating at Google. New contacts and other changes are working.

Koen Verweij said...

Hey h.ogi
Can you make a new version that works with Thunderbird 5 beta?
Thanks. Your add-on always worked great btw.

h.ogi said...

v0.6.36b4 can be installed TB5. But it is not tested at all. Please use carefully and let me know if you find problems.

Anonymous said...

Hi h.ogi,

Great add-on.
I was wondering if it was possible to sync the custom field in gmail contact with a custom field in TB contact?
I am using TB 3.1.11 (win) and add-on 0.6.35.

Thanks, Tony.

h.ogi said...

Google Contacts can sync custom fields but their name should be fixed: Custom1, Custom2, Custom3, Custom4.

Anonymous said...

I seem to be having a problem I saw earlier in your blog - new contacts entered into Thunderbird do not upload to google. I think it worked once. FYI I am running google contacts addon 0.6.36 and Thunderbird 3.1.11. When deleting contact in Google the deletion is made in the thunderbird address book. Not the other way around. Thanks in advance for your advice/help.

Anonymous said...

FWH Here:
New contacts added in thunderbird do not appear in google. Have set max contacts well above my existing number. Status bar indicates that google contacts have been updated when I add the new entry in Thunderbird. Sorry to repeat if this has been answered before.

Anonymous said...

FWH Here again -
Think I figured it out. New Contacts were being added to "Other Contacts" in Google. Have check box to Automatically add new contacts to "My Contacts" - assume this refers to the Google contact folder.

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry to ask this question because it looks like this add-on works well, but how to synchronize my gmail contacts with thunderbird 5? I installed this add-on but nothing appears in my adress book (just a folder like that google-username@gmail.com); Thanks :)

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to configure it for one-way sync only (from Google). If not then please take this as a functionality request :-)

h.ogi said...

Use read-only mode.

aswinrulez said...

Is there a way to get rid of the default groups(coworkers,friends etc).Even if i delete it in thunderbird it comes back up

h.ogi said...

You cannot remove the mail lists.

Mauricio said...

I discovered that second address fields (both work and home addresses) are lost when doing a refresh. Is this intentionally? Could you fix it? Thanks

Mauricio said...

Please, consider to let the user choose any addressbook to sync contacts with. Program could check if a user is trying to sync same addressbook with two accounts and block that situation. We are specially interested to sync "Personal Address Book" with one Google Account in 2 computers, and with other addressbook in a 3th computer that is not the principal addressbook in it. Thanks in advance to consider this functionality.

Anonymous said...

Hi:

I need to sync one addressbook in Thunderbird with two Gmail accounts. I use one Gmail account for work and another for personal but would like to have all three addressbooks (Thunderbird, Gmail - work, and Gmail - personal) synchronized. Can this be done?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

When synchronizing Thunderbird contacts with Gmail, I lose Address 2 field. Is this a known issue?

Thanks.

Robert said...

This was a disaster for me. I ended up with on the order of 25,000 contacts imported into Gmail from Thunderbird. Then these went back into Thunderbird from Google.

My "Other contacts" on Google now have about 25,000 entries, and I have the same in the imported google contacts in the Tbird address book.

It's really painful to deal with this on Gmail. On TBIRD, I was able to kill all the new contacts with a single command. On Gmail, though, it looks impossible to clean up this mess other than one screen at a time.

h.ogi said...

I need to sync one addressbook in Thunderbird with two Gmail accounts. I use one Gmail account for work and another for personal but would like to have all three addressbooks (Thunderbird, Gmail - work, and Gmail - personal) synchronized. Can this be done?

It is not possible and I have no plan to implement it.

h.ogi said...

When synchronizing Thunderbird contacts with Gmail, I lose Address 2 field. Is this a known issue?

Yes. But it is not a bug. If you want to use the 2nd Address field, you need to select either P.O. Box or Neighborhood in the option.

Anonymous said...

I also have the problem of multiplying contacts. From 600 I now have 17000. It seems to duplicate them each time it synchronizes?

h.ogi said...

If cards duplicate only in Thunderbird v0.6.39 may remove them.

Robert said...

Unfortunately, the contacts duplicate on the Google side, too. I have about 200 copies of each of my Tbird contacts. This is very bad since Google does not provide a nice interface for removing on the order of 20,000 contacts!

I would say that this add-on is too dangerous to use in its present form.

h.ogi said...

How about trying More -> Find & merge duplicates or More -> Restore contacts in Gmail?

Robert said...

merging contacts causes a timeout failure (#101) on the server.

As for restore, I didn't really know about this. Is there some way to determine when the offending sync was done, so that I can tell the point to which I need to back up?

h.ogi said...

I have no idea to find the rollback point. Maybe, updating Thunderbird is a trigger; before 9/27 will be better.

Anonymous said...

Duplicates are getting created for me also (in the thousands...)

New install of TB 8.0 and GC 0.6.40

Merge Duplicates does not fix the Google contacts and unfortunately for me the Roll Back function is not successful either.

Needs some work! Add a detailed log file and I'll send you the data.

Thanks, Jeff

Anonymous said...

I am getting an "unresponsive script" error since the last TB update when I work with two windows (i.e. open the calendar in another window):
A script on this page may be busy, or it may have stopped responding. You can stop the script now, or you can continue to see if the script will complete.

Script: chrome://gmcont/content/gmcont_manager.js:836

Malc said...

I really like this add-on and it seems to sync contacts correctly except for their phone numbers. Many are missing from TB although they exist in Google contacts.

Some phone numbers appear in TB and some don't and I cannot find any pattern.

Can you help?

Anonymous said...

This doesn't seem to work with my google account that I only use for android market and android phone contacts -- I do not have a gmail associated with the account. Is there a work-around for this?

Raman said...

Just a Malc suggested in thier post 2 posts before mine, the contacts addresses, phone numbers, mobile numbers, fax numbers go missing for a lot of contacts. In fact I use this addon on a few different machines and if I add the mobile number for a contact on one pc, then reload the contacts on the same pc to verify that the number I just added is still there, its gone.

But it also removes the number from google's website.

Some help here please. Thanks.

ivanmacx said...

This is a great add-on, very useful, I couldn't live without it. Thanks!

One small irritation is that the email address that you enter in Thunderbird is stored as "Other email" in Gmail. Any chance of having an option in preferences to set it as Work Email or Home email by default.

I use a CRM system which also syncs with Gmail but only recognises Work email, so I have to go through and manually change them.

Anonymous said...

Hi, it does not work anymore for me. In the log I get this error: [Exception... "Component returned failure code: 0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND) [nsILocalFile.create]" nsresult: "0x80520012 (NS_ERROR_FILE_NOT_FOUND)" location: "JS frame :: chrome://gmcont/content/gmcont_entry.js :: :: line 77" data: no]

Any idea on how to solve?
Bob

kasia said...

I've recently added a second google account (google apps) and I get the following error when it tries to load its contacts:

[Retrieve Groups] 403: Cannot request contacts belonging to another user

Any ideas?

Unknown said...

Loosing Contacts

I believe your sync program is great after going through a few major hoops; however I still have one major difficulty: Contacts disappear daily or even more frequently.

1) Using TB 11, 12, or 13, Google Mail-Contacts in Firefox on Win7,64bit, plus Phone Samsung Note GT-N7000.

2) All contacts are included in My Contacts plus one or more of 13 other groups (formerly lists in TB). I primarily use Google to make changes, but also frequently use TB to add a contact. In the future that may change to usage of the phone.

3) Contact disappearance generally is not seen in My Contacts of which there are 317 at the moment. They disappear from one of the other groups of which all contacts are also a member of at least one other group such as Friends, Acquaintances, Medical etc. There are 13 groups in total and the discrepancy almost always occurs in the same 5 of them. As a side issue and perhaps related; on occasion many contacts, as many as 17 appear in the phone as "not assigned," and these come from the same 5 lists. And the 3rd occurrence is that sometimes a contact is duplicated. There are at least 2 of these that will appear multitudes of times, as many as 20 times, in a few lists of which they were not members. Am working on that by having deleted their cards and will re-enter them as a new card perhaps one in Google and the other in TB.

Example: Today there are 317 contacts in My Contacts. Scouring that list I see 36 have lost association with other groups. The usual solution is to open a contact, click on a group (to add the check mark), then click "add, then after the added group appears in the contact window, close that contact and the added group is seen in the list of groups for that contact on the right side of the screen. If doing this from the phone I've recently added the step to edit, but that hasn't changed anything. And these 36 missing contacts are not seen in the lists in the phone or TB, however they are seen in My Contacts. And tonight or tomorrow new errors are seen, some the same, some not.

Hopefully you will know of a quick repair without need of replacing every card! My basic problem is I have zero understanding of how syncing works. I originally thought Google was the base and the other 2 units synced with it -- perhaps after updating from changes in the phone or TB, but am rapidly believing that not to be the case.
Miles

Unknown said...

My Samsung GT-N7000 which is synced with Thunderbird & Gmail contacts yesterday experienced the addition of over 23,000 Not Assigned contacts.

Why is this? And can it easily be done away with? (Bearing in mind that some of these may not be listed or may be partial entries in the usual contacts, hence would need to check every single entry.)

Checking each entry, or at least one of duplicate entries would take hours and hours because each would entail opening the Not Assigned group which takes a long time to open, then go back to perhaps My Contacts to determine if the listing remains.

Of interest is that the Not Assigned group is not seen in GMail and in TB it isn't either, however, there the total quantity of contacts appearing in the Google account has increased proportionately. Presumabl this is a bug in Google Mail?

Anonymous said...

Sent 2 msgs a few days ago and no reply has been received -- don't know how long it usually takes!

However, have received 2spam msgs and am curious as to how they got my address when my identity is "anonymous."

Therefore I've changed to not receive replies and hopefully somehow you will remove my email address from your files. Please let me know if this cannot be done.

FYI, I've given up on attempting to sync with Google; it simply doesn't yet work -- guess it's a work in progress! So I've disabled you addon to Thunderbird and disabled sync in the mobile phone. Can't locate a method to prevent Google from syncing.
Miles

Anonymous said...

I had read that Google Contacts demand an email address. About 50 of my 350 contacts don't have an email address so I added to each xxx@ooo.com.

This apparently caused many contact dupes, as many as 26 dupes for one contact. The contact dupes were not presented all at one time, but over a period of syncing.

Then I read that your TB extension adds a pseudo email address, so I deleted all of mine in TB, synced and in TB all carry your pseudo. However, they are not seen in Google, why is that?

Q-1: In order to sync the android will the same be necessary? Or will my dummy addresses suffice? I have fear of syncing with my dummy email addresses as that could change Gmail and cause losses or dupes. (For instance if I added my dummy email address in Google, would that change TB and I'd be back at square one? -- while doing this I would turn off your extension so both TB & Android wouldn't try to sync.

Q-2: Why do your pseudos work and mine do not? Is there a number of characters required by Google before or after the @ or decimal place or --- ?

Anonymous said...

My GMail contacts are made up of several groups. When I use your tool my contacts groups all appear, but some are empty in TB (though they are populated in GMail)...

Anonymous said...

Hi h.ogi, I have a few email address under the same business account now migrated over to google. I wish to share some emails with a staff member and decided it would work best if I put those addresses on her account (so that she does not have access to my personal email addresses). I can see these contacts when I log in in a browser to google but can't with this plug in - should I be able to? This would be a great feature if it isn't on their already. Thank you for an otherwise great add on. Rebecca

Graham Kay said...

I assume this Add on Should allow me to make changes on Google Contacts that are then reflected in Thunderbird.

I does not
I have set interactive and cannot find a way to force sync.
I have been waiting three days for it to sync changes made on google.

Graham Kay said...

Further to my last comment.
If I add or edit in TB then it is then synced to Google and consequently to me Asus Tablet and my Galaxy S3. Fantastic!!
But i cannot edit or change any contacts on Google or on my tablet or phone and expect them to end up in TB.
In fact, Google Contacts assumes that it is the master and deletes my edits on everything else.

Anonymous said...

Is there any way of forcing a refresh? Some how I have all my contacts listed under my Google account in the Address book but I can't get them to stick in "My Contacts" this means there get lost from my phone.

The problem is definitely with the TB side as I can see google contacts. Behaving properly.

Alternatively how do I remove the add on and reinstall so that it forgets previous data?

Anonymous said...

Is there any way of forcing a refresh? Some how I have all my contacts listed under my Google account in the Address book but I can't get them to stick in "My Contacts" this means there get lost from my phone.

The problem is definitely with the TB side as I can see google contacts. Behaving properly.

Alternatively how do I remove the add on and reinstall so that it forgets previous data?

Muhad BadutSulap said...

nice , good job

Anonymous said...

Attempted to leave a comment-question-but it was lost when I clicked on "google Account" below -- for some reason it opened the window in Thai which I cannot read! So will try again as best remembered:

Have about 325 contacts in 13 lists (groups or whatever) in Google Mail & the phone which is synced with Google.

From reading in your blog hit the reload button and all 13 lists came back empty -- in fact the 1st time I re-opened TB even the groups were gone except the major one entitled "google (user)@gmail.com" which contains all of the contacts. The 2nd time I restarted TB the groups returned but remained empty.

I guess I didn't read thoroughly -- I had thought that "reload" would in fact reload the groups and perhaps straighten up some of the errors such as duped contacts, but apparently reload doesn't reload, it deletes.

Is there a method to return the contacts to their correct groups or do I need to manually copy each one individually with drag and drop? Or perhaps there's a method to move several at a time such as Google(user)@gmail.com to My Contacts which should contain 100% of the contacts?

Anonymous said...

Since my prior msg TB contacts changed to the acct google(user)@ gmail.com has 801 contacts in lieu of 427 & the only other list shown is My Contacts with 0 contacts. The other 12 lists are missing. Turned off ext GoogleContacts and went into Google's list where it showed 801 in My Contacts. Deleted dupes plus a few it missed which brought it down to where it belonged at 375 and all lists are accurately depicted with correct qty of contacts.

The big question now is how to bring TB up to date to match Google? For fear of going back to square one, don't want to open the extension or import. Should the Google account be deleted? & if so how to accurately import it including the sub-lists?

Am going out for the day and hopefully there will be a reply within 8 hours upon my return.

Excelsior said...

The extension isn't working correctly !

If I copy a contact from another address book into the synchronized google contact book, the contact isn't added into google contact and when I restart TB, the contacts are deleted !!

It only works if I create the contact in Google or if I create the contact in the synchronized address book.

What is happening ?

Har said...

Is it safe to provide my gmail password to this AddOn when it tries to sync?

Is there any way to know if it's saving my password?

Also, is it using https or SSL to send my username and password?

Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hello,
since I started to use Windows 8, everytime when I try to use GoogleContacts, the following message appears:

Skript: chrome://gmcont/content/gmcont.js:791

script is not working.

What can I do about it?
Thanks a lot for your help

Anonymous said...

Hello again,
sometimes I get another error, it depends on the options I use with GoogleContacts:
Skript: chrome://gmcont/content/gmcont_entry.js:563
Thanks again for your help

David Taber said...

Hi H. OIgi,
I'm using your Google Contacts sync plug in on Thunderbird 17/windows 7.
I'm just doing a trial run, but changes I make in Thunrderbird's address book aren't getting pushed over to Google. For example, if I try to delete 1000 contacts in TB they all come back over from Google in the next sync. The sync mode is Interactive, and I have set the selecter so that when I delete a contact, it should delete from Google.
But it's not doing that. What is going wrong?

Michael Thomas said...

Ogi seems to have given up on the app?

David Taber said...

Hi Ogi,
Is a new version of this underway to support Thunderbird 24, which just came out?

David Taber said...

Hi Ogi,
Is a new version of this underway to support Thunderbird 24, which just came out?

David Taber said...

Hi Ogi,
Is a new version of this underway to support Thunderbird 24, which just came out?

Anonymous said...

Hi all
FYI this is a working solution.
Enjoy

==================================
Synchronize TB and Google Contacts
==================================
newlog@free.fr - March 2014

TB version tested: 24.3.0

DO NOT USE add-ons (remove them if present)
gContactSync
Zindus

USE add-on
Google Contact
Last version: 0.7.12
Options
Add a pseudo-e-mail address to a contact without e-mail address: UNCHECKED
Add new contact to My Contact group automatically: CHECKED
Confirm before deleting contacts: CHECKED
When I delete a contact: ASK ME

IMPORTANT REMINDERS
TB does NOT allow to create/rename a mailing list if ANY address book ALREADY has a mailing list with the new name
Only exception: when importing an address book from a file, duplicate mailing list names (from another address book) are accepted.

TB mailing list management is VERY BUGGY: do NOT hesitate to restart TB if changes do not appear as expected, before making any curative action.

Sync procedure
NEVER sync mailing lists: ALWAYS create Contact Groups from Google, NOT from TB's Google AB book as a mailing list. Beware that the following Contact Groups are built-in in Google Contacts, and are automatically localized: My Contacts, Favorites, Friends, Family, Coworkers. It is very dangerous to try to remove/rename them, especially by a sync procedure!

BEFORE sync, browse the source AB and ensure that all contacts have an e-mail address (if no address, use eg. Firstname.Lastname@_), then make an export/re-import temporary copy of the source AB and REMOVE all Position/Company fields and mailing lists (else they will corrupt synchronization).

Sync WITHOUT holding the CTRL key by drag & dropping CONTACTS (by blocks of 10 to avoid sync jamming) form the temporary copy of the source AB to the ROOT of the Google AB, NOT to the "My Contact" mailing list (else each contact will be exported twice!). Since option "Add new contact to My Contact group automatically" is checked (see above), the add-on will finally move all contacts to the "My Contatcs" group. Since the CTRL key is not held, this is a MOVE process: it is theraby easy to inspect if each block of 10 has been correctly provessed. BEWARE: moving the entire AB is dangerous bacause of sync jamming side effects!

AFTER sync is complete, restore Position/Company fields FROM GOOGLE CONTACTS by inspecting the original source AB. Then, also FROM GOOGLE CONTACTS, populate the Contact Groups to mirror mailing lists in the source AB.

Turning the Google AB into the Personal Address Book
Export a copy of TB's Personal Address Book (LDIF format), and rename the LDIF file eg. to "Personal Addresses [OLD]"
Locate Google AB's name in TB's address books, by default "Google-username@gmail.com".
Exit TB.
Open Windows Explorer to the user's profile directory.
Make backup copies of *.mab and user.js files, and move these copies outside the user's profile directory.
Edit user.js and locate Google AB's filename by searchning for Google AB's name, eg. abook-2.mab in
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Google-username@gmail.com.description", "Google-username@gmail.com");
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Google-username@gmail.com.dirType", 2);
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Google-username@gmail.com.filename", "abook-2.mab");
In user.js delete the above 3 lines, and exit editing.
Rename PAB's filename: abook.mab -> abook-old.mab
Rename Google AB's filename to PAB's filename, eg. abook-2.mab -> abook.mab
Grep user's profile directory, including binary and archived files, and change all occurences of Google AB's filename to PAB's filename: abook-2.mab -> abook.mab
Restart TB: now Google AB has become the Personal AB.
Re-import the copy of former TB's Personal Address Book, which should the appear eg. as "Personal Addresses [OLD]"

DONE!

Anonymous said...

STEP 4 - COPY PERSONAL AB TO GOOGLE CONTATCS AB

4a/ Temporarily set addon's options:
Mode: BATCH

4b/ Select all contacts from
NEW Personal AB without groups
and copy them BY HOLDING THE CTRL KEY and dragging them to the ROOT (not to the "My Contacts" group) of Google Contacts AB.
Because of the corresponding above settings:
- the contacts will not be transferred until the "Reload" button is pressed
- the contacts will be eventually copied to the "My Contacts" group.

4c/ Hit the "Reload" button and check in Google Contacts that the "My Contacts" group is populated accordingly.
BEWARE. This is a slow process, which can take up to several minutes.

All contacts will have been entirely transferred when they appear identically in Google Contacts AB and in the "My Contacts" group.
If not all contacts have been transferred, start the copy process again, then remove duplicates from Google Contacts, then hit the "Reload" button in TB' AB Manager.

4d/ When all contacts have been entirely transferred, reset addon's option to:
Mode: INTERACTIVE

STEP 5 - TURN GOOGLE CONTATCS AB INTO THE PERSONAL AB

5a/ Exit TB.

5b/ Open Windows Explorer to the user's profile directory.
Make backup copies of *.mab and prefs.js files, and move these copies outside the user's profile directory.

5c/ Edit prefs.js and locate Google AB's filename by searchning for Google AB's name, eg. abook-2.mab in
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Google-username@gmail.com.description", "Google-username@gmail.com");
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Google-username@gmail.com.dirType", 2);
user_pref("ldap_2.servers.Google-username@gmail.com.filename", "abook-2.mab");
Delete the above 3 lines.
If needed, also delete lines involving non-existing AB filenames.
Save file and exit editing.

5d/ Delete Personal AB's file
abook.mab

5e/ Rename Google AB's filename to PAB's filename, eg.
abook-2.mab -> abook.mab

5f/ If possible, grep user's profile directory, including binary and archived files, and change all other occurences of Google AB's filename to PAB's filename, eg.
abook-2.mab -> abook.mab

5g/ Restart TB.
Now Google AB has become the Personal AB.

Make a final check in Google Contacts, then delete
NEW Personal AB without groups

5h/ Re-import the copy of former TB's Personal Address Book, which should appear as
OLD Personal AB with groups

STEP 6 - REASSIGN GROUPS

6a/ In Google Contacts assign contacts from the "My Contacts" group to other available groups.

6b/ In TB's AB Manager, hit the "Reload" button to sync the changes.

DONE!

From now on:
- editing a contact in TB automatically sync to Google Contacts
- editing a contact in Google Contatcs web page sync to TB after pressing the "Reload" buttons

Hints
- always edit firstname/lastname in TB, because it it not directly possible in Google Contacts
- always edit professional fields in Google Contacts because it does not sync properly from TB.
- always manage groups from Google Contacts.

Pierre said...

Hello
before, Google contacts worked OK but now it is dangerous !! I desactivated it everywhere after having lost some of my wife's adresses (she was angry). I know, I should have save them...

Anonymous said...

Hi! Unfortunately, it is not working anymore with Thunderbird. I guess it has to do with google's new API. Any ideas? Thanks a lot! Gerald

Anonymous said...

Hi! Same as last post -- I have Thunderbird installed on Mac-OSX-10.6 and on a couple of Linux boxes, including a clean install of Ubuntu-Gnome 15.04.

Here's the problem:
I am asked for my password > I enter my password > I am asked for my password again ...

Bless, Fraz

Jacques said...

I am having the same problem, being asked for my password over and over again. We need a solution, and quick as my contacts on Thunderbird and on Google are beginning to differ a lot. It started a few weeks ago for me.

My only solution is remove the add-on and to sync the contacts manually every few weeks via a csv file with the Google list being the master. Looking for an alternate addon. If other users have found a replacement, please post it here.

Nabil Shabka said...

Same problem - repeated requests for a password that doesn't get accepted - and was already stored.

Miguel Angel Pascual said...

Same problem.

Miguel Angel Pascual said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Michel Martinet said...

Same problem too, for about a week ago. Very strange.

Michel Martinet said...

I tried a new time after moving to the new Google Contacts presentation (https://contacts.google.com/preview/all), but same problem.

Gert Agerholm said...

Same problem here. Google has 20/5 2015 deactivated some of the old API's, one of them has to do with the authentification, i think this is the problem, the plugin is not using the new way to authentificate the user. When using first time a Google login must appear and from that you have to grant access to the contacts, that does not happen.

There exist a plugin gContactSync that is updated and OK.

Michel Martinet said...

Thank You Gert, I will try gContactSync some day.

George said...

May be supported by Thunderbird but Google no longer supports the login method. The last time this extension was upgrade was in 2013. It was a wonderful extension. Time to move on.

George

Petronio DTN said...

Same problem. And now Thunderbird says the plugin is not compatible with Thunderbird 38.1.0.
I love this plugin, but maybe I try this gContactSync.
Any word from the developers?

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