Restoring a backup from Thunderbird

gContactSync makes a backup before the first sync and every 7 days afterwards by default.  If possible you should use Gmail’s interface to restore contacts.  If this isn’t an option (something happened during the first sync, for example) you may follow the steps below to restore your address book in Thunderbird.

  1. First disable synchronization with the address book:
    1. gContactSync -> Accounts and select the address book.
    2. Check Show Advanced Settings
    3. Check Temporarily disable synchronization with this address book.
    4. Click Save Changes
  2. Close Thunderbird. Find your TB profile folder.  If you open the log the path you should see Log Location, for example: C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Thunderbird\Profiles\xxxxxxxx.default\gcontactsync\gcontactsync_log.txt
  3. Go to the specified directory (ignoring the filename at the end) and go into the address_book_backups folder
  4. Address books are of the form abook(-N).mab (except collected addresses, which is history.mab).  If you only have one unique address book name then move on to step 5, otherwise you’ll need to figure out which address book you are synchronizing with.
    1. Go to the menu -> Options -> Options… -> Advanced -> General -> Config Editor…
    2. Type the following: ldap_2.servers.*filename and look for the line with that has your address book’s name in it (certain characters are stripped).  The text under Value is the filename of your address book.
  5. Now that you know the name of you address book you should see one or two files in address_book_backups that include that filename.  <filename>.bak is the most recent backup and init_<filename>.bak is a backup from before the first time you synchronized that address book.  Copy the file you want.
  6. Go up two directories to your main TB profile folder.
  7. Rename the file with the name found in step 4 (make sure this backup filename is different than the filename in address_book_backups).
  8. Paste the file from step 5 and rename it to the original name of the file renamed in step 7.
  9. Open Thunderbird.  You can re-enable synchronization when ready, or setup a new address book to sync with.
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