Mozilla Sunbird: Import Your Outlook Calendar Appointments

If you have decided to start using Sunbird instead of your Outlook calendar, you are going to want to have any appointments in Outlook to be on your new calendar. Instead of retyping the appointments, follow these steps:

First, export your appointments from Outlook:

1. Open Outlook.

2. Go to your Calendar.

3. Click File and select Import and Export.

4. Select Export to a file and click Next.

5. Select Comma Separated Values (Windows) and click Next.

6. Make sure that Calendar is the selected folder to export from. Click Next.

7. Browse to the location that you wish to export the file to and give the file an easy to remember name, such as outlookcalendar. Click OK.

8. click Next.

9. Click Finish.

To import the exported file into Sunbird:

1. Open Sunbird.

2. Click File and select Import.

3. Browse to the folder which contains the exported outlook calendar. You will need to select to select Outlook Comma Separated Values (*.csv) from the dropdown for the file to show in the window. Once the file is selected, click Open.

Your appointments from Outlook are now in your Sunbird calendar.


About Rob Rogers

Once a prolific author here on Tech-Recipes, Rob has moved on to greener pastures.
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The Conversation

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  • Fred

    Cool. Thank you!

  • Matt

    The final step does nothing – it just closes the import window without importing anything.

  • Don

    Same as Matts, nothing happens, fedup of attempting to do it, back to outlook.

  • fsfs

    Silent failure – come on Mozilla – do better and slam microsoft into the ground

  • Phil

    Worked great for me. Thanks!

  • Anonymous

    Sunbird has definite ideas about how dates are formatted. So does Outlook. The oft-quoted simple procedure for importing Outlook calendars into Sunbird assumes they are both reading from the same page. WTAFSIH (well there’s a flying snowball in hell)

    Perhaps it works with date settings “out of the box”. I use an ISO format: 09-06-20 14:30:00. Both Sunbird and Outlook give me these formats in lists of appointments. But the import/export rules seem to be a different story.

    An Outlook export shows ..,”2009-6-20″,”14:30:00″,.. Looks like my fav but with a four digit year–fair enough.

    A Sunbird export shows ..,”06/20/09″,”02:30:00 PM”,.. Where did that come from? But wait, there’s more… When this file is re-imported into Sunbird the event doesn’t show up in the calendar. But if you force a display of “All Events” there they are. Click on one and the calendar will show it but the heading on the calendar will be “June 8 – July 5, 9”. That 9 seems to refer to the year 9 A.D. Does Sunbird import assume a four digit year no matter what?

    I solved this by importing the Outlook .csv file into a spreadsheet (O-O Calc, of course) and messing with formats (including adding the double quotes). Saving as a .csv gave me a usable file. But while writing this up an easier method occurred to me.

    Go into your Control panel Regional Settings and change your date/time formats. If you’re not in a “US” region you’ll have to use customize. You need date format as MM/dd/yyyy and time as hh:mm:ss tt. Outlook export will then put out ..,”06/20/2009″,”02:30:00 PM”,.. and Sunbird import will work.

    Parting shot: At first it seemed that “Sunbird did nothing” as noted by others. Not true. It read the file, found an invalid date format and then did nothing. Like put out as simple message, “Invalid date format” maybe? Shoddy. Oops, sorry, I shouldn’t be snarking like that, I should get involved in the project.

    • surreywoman

      Thanks for writing up such a detailed guide – your second method worked perfectly for me.

    • Anonymous

      Sorry, no success what so ever, the import-function just does not work regardless of the time format. Four hours of b-s is enough for me, let the nerds go down with their calendars.

      • olasava

        Completely agree. have tried all of this, editing in XLS file and chanhing Control Panel options. None of this works.

        • mute the horse

          If you got as far as editing in XLS file then you may have to ensure the field format is correct. It should look like this and the quotes are important:

          “Subject”,”Start Date”,”Start Time”,”End Date”,”End Time”,”All day event”,”Reminder on/off”,”Reminder Date”,”Reminder Time”,”Meeting Organizer”,”Required Attendees”,”Optional Attendees”,”Meeting Resources”,”Billing Information”,”Categories”,”Description”,”Location”,”Mileage”,”Priority”,”Private”,”Sensitivity”,”Show time as”
          “Go on Holidays”,”01/31/2010″,”10:00:00 AM”,”02/06/1999″,”8:00:00 PM”,”FALSE”,”FALSE”,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,”FALSE”,””,””
          “My Birthday Party”,”08/17/210″,”11:00:00 AM”,”08/17/2010″,”02:00:00 PM”,”FALSE”,”FALSE”,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,””,”FALSE”,””,””

          • Anonymous

            Are You serious?

          • Kinda problem is when exporting the callendar form a non-English Outlook (Czech version in my case) and then trying to import it to the Lightning.

            Because the exported CSV file has Czech headers which the English Thunderbird cannot cope with.

            Will try to translate the headers to English and will see what will happen.

    • Catalina

      11 months later, Stogey_B’s reply is still valid – if your Regional Settings are using a European date format, you have to change it to US. This actually makes Sunbird clunky enough to use to not be useful, because the whole point was to avoid having to install outlook on my netbook. I don’t want to have to change my regional settings back and forth every day – it’s bad enough having to export and import every day to keep the two in synch. Never mind, it was a nice idea. It would be even nicer if it were fixed to work properly.

  • Nils

    The reason I downloaded sunbird, was that I didn’t want to upgrade my outlook (version 2000).
    Is it possible to get my appointments from outlook 2000 into sunbird?

  • radeq

    hey there

    i did the thing with changing time format
    i’ve imported the csv file to sunbird
    the only thing that happened – reminders started, but just a few when i dismissed them, the calendar stayed empty….nothing happened….could it be that i have to set up the same date formats on the other computer?