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How to backup your address book?

It is good practice to bakcup your address book on a regular basis, in order to be able to restore it in case of a system crash. Moreover, if you backup it in a standard format such as “delimited text” or vCard, you will be able to move it from one e-mail program to another.

Most e-mail tools allow you to export the address book. The below instructions will show you how to do it with some e-mail programs.

E-mail programs

  • Evolution™ 2.xx

    Go to the “Contacts” window (keyboard shortcut: Ctrl + 2). Right click on the address book to backup then select “Save as vCard…” in the menu.

    To restore a previously backed-up address book, go to File > Import… (keyboard shortcut: Alt + F then M and Enter). The Import assistant opens. Click “Forward”. Select “Import a single file” then click “Forward”. Select The file containing the address book and make sure the file type is vCard. Click “Forward”. Choose the book in which the file should be imported and click “Forward”. Click “Import”.


  • Gmail™

    Click on “Gmail” under the Google logo and choose “Contacts”. Click “More“ and select “Export…”. Click “Export” and save the downloaded file on your computer.

    To restore a previously backed-up address book, click on “Gmail” under the Google logo and choose “Contacts”. Click “More“ and select “Import…”. Click “Browse…” and select the file to import. Click “Import”.

Data exchange

The following table shows which file formats can be used to move your address book from one program to another.

Compatibility matrix
ThunderbirdEvolutionOutlook 2007Outlook Express 6Zimbra
Evolution vCard1vCard2vCard
Outlook 2007 CSV, text
Outlook Express 6 CSV

Notes :

  • Thunderbird expects a vCard version 2 file.
  • If the file uses UTF-8 encoding, you should convert it to Windows CP1252 encoding.

“Evolution is a trademark of Novell, Inc.”
“Gmail is a trademark of Google Inc.”
Updated on 08/02/2013

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