Thursday, January 03, 2008

Compacting Thunderbird Addressbook

Since I've been using Netscape mailer and then Thunderbird I've always noticed that the size of the address book, i.e., the file abook.mab, never decreases, in spite of removing addresses from it. Actually, it always increases. I've never found this documented, and I've never found a way to compact it from Thunderbird itself.

Since I'm synchronizing some files of thunderbird, including the address book, (with rsync) for using them on several machines, it gets quite slow upon synchronizing the address book that now reached 1Mb in size!

I usually apply this manual procedure for reducing its size (and this also compacts the address book of course). Here are the steps I follow:

  1. Open the addressbook and export it into LDIF format (let's assume I save this file with name exported.ldif)
  2. Close Thunderbird
  3. Delete the file abook.mab (or, for safety, move it somewhere else) from your thunderbird profile directory
  4. Open Thunderbird and the addressbook (which by now is empty)
  5. Import the above LDIF file
  6. Close Thunderbird
  7. In the directory of your thunderbird profile you should now have two .mab files, the new abook.mab and another .mab containing the imported addresses (in my system it is called impab.mab)
  8. Move this file into (in my case, and under Linux, 'mv impab.mab abook.mab')
  9. Open Thunderbird and check that the addressbook contains your contacts
With this procedure my abook.mab is now about 300K instead of 1Mb.

If you happen to know another procedure to compact thunderbird addressbook, please let me know!

1 comment:

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