11 Replies Latest reply: Sep 3, 2007 6:48 PM by Anna Kuperberg
awinchester0515 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Can anyone tell me how to take the contacts from my iPhone and store them in my address book. I never typed my contacts in my address book, and instead of syncing Address Book to iPhone.....I want to do the reverse!

Also, is my contacts already stored on my computer under the backup of my iPhone? If I was to purchase another iPhone, would I just load my contacts that way.....from the backup??

Thanks!

Mac Book, Mac OS X (10.4.3)
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    Can anyone tell me how to take the contacts from my iPhone and store them in my address book. I never typed my contacts in my address book, and instead of syncing Address Book to iPhone.....I want to do the reverse!


    The sync process for Address Book contacts is bidirectional and the same with calendar events.

    Connect your iPhone and under the Info tab for your iPhone iTunes sync preferences, select "Sync Address Book Contacts" and below select "All Contacts". All contacts manually entered on the iPhone will be added to the Address Book application on your Mac automatically.

    Also, is my contacts already stored on my computer under the backup of my iPhone?


    No - synced and stored with the Address Book application on your Mac after you complete the sync process for this.

    If I was to purchase another iPhone, would I just load my contacts that way.....from the backup??


    No - from the sync process with the Address Book application on your Mac.
  • Damon M. Level 4 Level 4 (3,695 points)
    before you sync the contacts from the iphone to your address book, make sure there is at least one contact in your address book. It can be a real contact or a test contact. If the address book is blank and you go and try to move your contacts, itunes does not know to merge the data and might wipe out the iphone.

    This goes for ical also. Make sure there is at least one test event or contact in address book or ical before trying to sync from the iphone to the computer.

    Hope this helps.
  • Anna Kuperberg Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Damon, this just happened to me. My address book, which once had lots of contacts in it, somehow crashed. When I restarted the computer (PowerBook G4 12"), the address book was totally empty. So I synced from the iPhone, but now all the contacts from the iPhone are GONE. So now both the computer and the iPhone are completely empty of contacts. Can you please help??? Is there any backup anywhere?
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    No but you should maintain a backup of your Address Book database which is a very easy/quick process along with all other data that is important to you. Problems like this can occur and it isn't a matter of if but when your hard drive has a partial or complete failure since none last forever - especially with a portable computer such as a PowerBook which is moved and transported around.

    For future reference, at the Address Book menu bar go to File and select Back up Address Book. The default name for the backup file is Address Book - (and the date).

    Do you have a .Mac account?
  • Anna Kuperberg Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Allan, here's the irony-- I DID backup and I do backup regularly. I backup the entire laptop HD to an external HD ( I don't use .mac). The problem is that I backed up today AFTER the address book crash and I did not realize that my address book was empty until after today's backup.

    So, my backup address book file is also empty of contacts. The backup is a LaCie Porche firewire drive. I am thinking of taking it to a data recovery place to get my previous backup back. Do you have any recommendations for this?

    For that mater, since the iPhone has a hard drive, couldn't it theoretically have erased data recovered as well?
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    The iPhone does not have a hard drive - it has Flash memory which is different.

    A data recovery place will be VERY expensive but you can try Data Rescue II or FileSalvage on your hard drive and backup drive first but the more you use either one, the less likely your chances.

    I have two backups - one saved to my iDisk on .Mac and another saved to an external drive used for backup purposes only.
  • Anna Kuperberg Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    OK, just one more quick question, thanks for all your help. I downloaded Data Rescue II and ran it on the LaCie external drive. I see a lot of files but I'm not sure which one I'm looking for, or how to restore the address book once I have it. Can you point me to the info on how to do this?

    And yes, I knew I would get a lot of after the fact advice on backups but I did think of the iPhone as a backup too. I had the data in three places, it just never occurred to me that all three would be wiped out at once. (I also believe that flash memory can be restored, as I have done it on my camera's CF cards.)
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    The iPhone is not a backup and should never be considered as such. The flash drive or something else can fail on the iPhone just as with your computer and data can be lost. Sure Flash memory can be restored - on the iPhone by restoring the iPhone completely and/or by performing another sync but I believe you are referring to recovering data. Sure this is possible if the area on the drive where the data you want to recover has not been overwritten by other data but regardless, there is no such option available for the iPhone.

    The Address Book data file is located at Home > Library > Application Support > AddressBook > AddressBook.data. You really want the entire AddressBook folder which contains the AddressBook.data file.

    If you recover this folder and/or the data file, report back for instructions.
  • Anna Kuperberg Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Well, it looks like Data Rescue II just shows me all the files that I can see on the drive anyway. I did find this folder inside the address book folder called "pre-sync backup" however, I don't see how to do a restore, because the options are greyed out when I open Address Book and select revert to backup.

    Here is what the file structure looks like on my backup drive:

    http://kuperberg.com/dwf/addressbook.png

    Can one of these files be used to restore the data from before the last backup? (btw I am using super duper to backup).

    Why do the the contacts get erased from the iPhone if the computer's address book is empty? Is this a feature or a bug? Seems like a bug.
  • Allan Sampson Level 10 Level 10 (123,370 points)
    The Revert to Address Book Backup feature opens a backup file created by the Address Book backup feature only.

    I'm not sure if any of these files can be used to restore the data but I've got something for you to try.

    Why do the the contacts get erased from the iPhone if the computer's address book is empty? Is this a feature or a bug? Seems like a bug.


    I don't believe this is a bug - kind of like which was last changed prior to the sync process - in this case if was your Address Book database on your Mac. If there had been at least one contact available on the Address Book on your Mac, I don't believe this would have occurred but since it was empty and the last changed all contacts were lost on the iPhone.

    With the Address Book application quit on your Mac, move the recovered AddressBook.data.previous file from the backup drive to the Desktop. Change the name of this file to AddressBook.data or remove .previous from the file name.

    Using the Finder, go to Home > Library > Application Support > AddressBook. Move the AddressBook.data file from the Desktop within the AddressBook folder. This will replace the existing AddressBook.data file which is empty.

    Cross your finger and then launch the Address Book application to see if most or all of your Address Book contacts were restored.
  • Anna Kuperberg Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Hi Allan, thanks for all your help, but that only restored one contact (me). Oh well.

    Anna