Synchronize Google Mail, Calendar and Address Book with Thunderbird


This is a summary of the steps you need to take in order to make use of Google’s services from your local client. Here is a list of software you need to download and install:

  • Mozilla Thunderbird: This is a free e-mail client. Calendar and task functionality will be added by some add-ons (see next bullets)
  • Lightning: This is an add-on for Thunderbird. Download it, start Thunderbird and from the menu bar select “Extras” -> “Add-Ons” and press the “Install” button. Choose the download, wait until installation has finished and restart Thunderbird
  • Provider for Google Calendar: Another add-on for Thunderbird. This one enables bidirectional communication with Google calendar. Just install it
  • Google Contacts 0.5.51: Another add-on for Thunderbird. This one is used to synchronize the address books of Thunderbird and Google
  • Gmail IMAP Account Setup: A wizard for setting up a google IMAP in Thunderbird. Google’s IMAP account uses lables (tags) which is not so straight-foreward to cope with. This wizard not only sets up your account easily, but it also performs some optimizations. Use it rather than setting up your account manually

Set-up Google Mail

  • In Thunderbird, choose “Extras” -> “Accounts” from the menu bar and press “New Account”
  • Choose “Google Mail IMAP”
  • Just enter your login name. The wizard will do the rest for you.

Add a Google Calendar

First, you need to get the URL of your calendar

  • Go to the Google Calendar site using your internet browser
  • Choose “Preferences” (top right)
  • Choose “Calendar” from the tab that appears
  • Click on the calendar name
  • Scroll down
  • Click on the “XML” button, preferably the one of your private adress
  • Right click on the link and choose “Copy Link”

Now add the link within you clipboard to Thunderbird’s calendar:

  • In Thunderbird, choose “Calendar” from the tab at the left bottom
  • From the menu bar, choose “Calendar” -> “New Calendar”
  • Choose “From Network” and continue
  • Choose “Google Calendar” and paste the URL you just copied into the text field
  • Finally, choose a name, a colour and you’re done
  • Setup the “Contacts” add-on. It is pretty easy, you’ll find your way

Celebrate …


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