Previous 1 2 Next 16 Replies Latest reply: Nov 1, 2012 8:49 AM by Jorge Fernandes
AtzeP Level 1 (0 points)

I recently upgraded to Lion. (in meantime I did a complete fresh Lion installation twice)


The same problem occurs:

Before I installed Lion I exported all my address book data into vcard-Format.

Each vcard can be opened for example with "textedit" and everything is fine.

But when I try to import these vcards in the new Lion address book all data is imported

except the birthdays. I am still able to refresh the birthday data manually.


Moreover after installing Lion Server the birthday field is switched off. I am no even more able

to type in the birthday data manually.


Anyone an idea?

Mac OS X (10.7)
  • markusfromwiesbaden Level 1 (0 points)

    I have the same problem, plus when importing vcards 3.0 these do not get saved.

    No solution yet.

  • Henner Level 1 (0 points)

    Hallo, I have a similar problem here: I have my address-book data saved on an iMac running Lion Server. When accessing the address-book from another Computer (or from the same machine), birthdays do not show up - they are all deleted from the vcards!

  • Rolf Schneider Level 1 (15 points)

    It could possibly be a bug in Apple's address book application. If you edit one of your vcard files by hand and change the line containing the birthday looking line "BDAY:20101224" into "BDAY:2010-12-24" the import will work flawless afterwards.


    So Apple's address book does not cope dates of format "YYYYMMDD" even though this format is ISO 8601 compliant (see and

    Hopefully, Apple will fix this asap.


    Temporarily you could use a small script to change (fix) all the unhyphenated birthday date formats in your vcard files (BACKUP BEFORE USE):

    for i in *.vcf; do sed -i 's/^\(BDAY[:;].*\)\([0-9]\{4\}\)\([0-9]\{2\}\)\([0-9]\{2\}\)\s*$/\1\2-\3-\4/' $i; done

  • Henner Level 1 (0 points)

    Hallo Rolf,


    in my case the format of the birthday-entries in the vcards is OK. But the birthday-field does not sync via Lion Server; editing a birthday-entry on a vcard results in that same birthday-entry being deleted on the other machine, which is connected to the server! Changing birthday-entries on a connected iphone does not work at all - the change is not transmitted to the other machines, it is reset. Changing a birthday-entry on one machine leads to deleting that value on the other machine and vice versa. If I enter the same value on both machines at the same time, both machines keep that value at first. But a further change on one machine deletes the field on the other machine.


    My workaround: I copied all birthday-entries in a newly created date-field, labeled it "Geburtstag" - a lot of work with more than 200 birthday entries, but: everything works fine!


    Another problem is, that birthdays in addressbook without year (possible with Lion) result in the age of 407 and more in the birthday-calendar of iCal. What about that?



  • Rolf Schneider Level 1 (15 points)

    Hallo Henner!


    Maybe it's similar to my problem. I use the CalenderServer from running on a Linux Server. "The Address Book Server which shipped as part of Snow Leopard Server" ... "has been added to the existing Calendar Server Project".


    The CardDAV server converts, stores and outputs the birthdays in format YYYYMMDD. This leads to a behaviour of Lion's address book (6.0) similar to your description: if a add a birthday, address book sends this date to the server, the server stores the date in unhyphenated format, address book updates it's own data, could not handle the date format and does not display the birthday. But the birthday is still present on the server and the vCard will be synchronized with Snow Leopard's and iPhone's address book which are both capable to cope with the YYYYMMDD format.


    Currently I parse all vCards server-side by a small script (cronjob), create a birthday calender and subscribe to this calendar. This works good enough to wait for a bug fix of Apple's address book instead of hacking CalendarServer.



  • Rolf Schneider Level 1 (15 points)

    ... and you are right, of course. If I edit any one of the contact fields afterwards with Lion's address book, the  updated vCard will be sent again to the server and an existing birthday will be deleted.


    Conclusion: Lion Server's address book server (of course) behaves in the same manner than the vCard server from In all likelihood, it's a bug in Lion's address book client and we have to wait and hope.



  • AtzeP Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks to all for the discussion. And special thanks to Rolf for your hints...


    In the meantime I solved my problem with a fresh install of Lion server, activating the cardDAV service, importing the old vcard data as a csv file into mac:excel2011, exporting it to several file formats and importing to lion adressbook.

    Unfortunately I cannot remember the correct format...

  • AtzeP Level 1 (0 points)

    ...and of course a few days later I recognize the same problem as mentioned above. Some imported birthday data to the Lion server disappears on the Mac client addressbook while it still shows up on my iPad2.


    I hope for an update, too.

  • AtzeP Level 1 (0 points)

    Update 10.7.2 does not solve this issue.

  • Christoph Ewering1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Same problem here


    filled a bug report at Apple.




  • AtzeP Level 1 (0 points)

    Has somebody experienced this problem with 10.7.3, too?

  • Christoph Ewering1 Level 1 (10 points)



    Well, I did some testing with 10.7.3 and it seems to me that the bug with the birthdates is solved.




  • Rolf Schneider Level 1 (15 points)

    Yes, the problem seems to be solved. I didn't tested it with a CalDAV server (CalendarServer) but during vCard import at least the following date formats work:





    Thanks for reporting the bug!

  • berkshire Level 1 (0 points)

    Sorry, but Address Book 6.1.2 in Lion 10.7.4 does not save my imported vCard file (414 addresses). The app displays them perfectly well right after import, but if it's closed then reopened, the cards have vanished. It looks like the cards are not really "imported," but are merely displayed.

Previous 1 2 Next