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How to add a Google Calendar to Thunderbird

If you're a Thunderbird and Google Calendar user, you'll be happy to know the process of adding those cloud-based calendars has been greatly simplified in Mozilla's email client.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
calendar icon concept
Radoslav Zilinsky/Getty Images

I've been using both Thunderbird and Google Calendar for over 15 years. Although most often those two apps are used separately, sometimes I like to be able to use them together in a single location. For that, I turn to Thunderbird. 

When Mozilla first introduced the ability to add Google Calendars, it was a rather cumbersome process. With the latest releases of the email client, adding those calendars has been greatly simplified. In fact, it's become so easy that the most challenging part is typing your Gmail address and then giving Thunderbird permission by clicking a couple of buttons. You no longer have to locate a hidden address within Google Calendar or jump through other hoops.

Also: Google Calendar just added bookable appointment scheduling, and it's pretty sweet

It really is that easy.

Let me show you.

How to add a Google Calendar to Thunderbird

What you'll need: To do this, you'll need two things -- a valid Google account and the Thunderbird email client installed on your desktop or laptop. That's it. Let's get to work. I will demonstrate this on the most recent release of Thunderbird, which I would highly suggest you upgrade to immediately (as it offers a much cleaner interface).

1. Open Thunderbird Calendar

The first thing to do is open the Thunderbird email client and then click the Calendar icon near the top right of the app window.

The Thunderbird sidebar.

The fastest way to access Thunderbird's Calendar feature is from the top left corner of the app.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

2. Create a new calendar

At the bottom left corner of Thunderbird, you'll see New Calendar. Click that to create the calendar.

The New Calendar button in Thunderbird.

Adding a new Calendar happens from the bottom left corner of the Thunderbird Calendar window.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

3. Select a networked calendar

In the resulting window, select On the Network and click Next.

The first page in the add calendar wizard.

You can create either local or remote calendars in Thunderbird.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

Also: How to quickly search Google Calendar for past or future events

4. Add your Gmail address

In the next window, type your Gmail address as the Username. Thunderbird will autofill the Location. Once you've done that, click Find Calendars.

The username configuration screen for Thunderbird calendar.

Use your Gmail address as your username.

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

5. Sign into Google

A new window will appear, allowing you to sign into the Gmail account you intend to use. In that window, type your Gmail address and click Next. Finish going through the Google sign-in wizard and, when prompted, click Allow to give Thunderbird the necessary permissions.

The Thunderbird Google sign-in window.

Make sure to select the correct Gmail address (if you have multiple accounts).

Jack Wallen/ZDNET

6. Select your calendar

In the final window of the calendar add wizard, select only the calendar(s) you want to add to Thunderbird and then click Subscribe. Thunderbird will then begin to sync your Google Calendar. Depending on how many entries you have in your calendar, this can take some time, so be patient as it syncs.

Also: How to create multiple Google Calendars (and why you should)

And that's all there is to adding your Google Calendar to Thunderbird. If you prefer to manage your email and calendar in one place, this could be just what you've been looking for.

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