Then I went into the Application Support / Address Book folder and removed the two files in there, but that didn't work even though the Address Book recreated them.
Try deleting the files/folders:~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.AddressBook.plist~/Library/Caches/com.apple.AddressBook/
Is the next step to reinstall? If so, how do I do that considering that Lion did not come on a DVD?
Boot into recovery (Hold ⌘R on boot)
Select Reinstall OS X Lion
An app not opening a file or itself is rarely a problem with the app itself. It's a problem with the support or data files.
First, try deleting the com.apple.addressbook.plist from your user/Library/Preferences folder.
If that doesn't work, try opening it in another user account.
Do you have any Address Book plugins? If so, move those out of the plug-ins folder (user/Library/Address Book Plug-ins/). If it works, then add them back, one-by-one until you find the offender.
Thanks Tony T1,
In the past five years or so I haven't encountered any crash, but today I suddenly wasn't able to open Contacts in OS 10.8.1 without crashing and slurping up over 6GB of memory, effectively taking my entire Mac hostage.
(As seen in Activity Monitor.)
Running Repair Permissions and numerous reboots didn't do anything, but throwing everyting named 'Address Book' out of the ~/Library/Preferences
~/Library/Caches solved my problem instantly.
So, thanks Tony.
I'm struggling to find the plist files - they don't seem to be where you indicated they would be.
My Address Book crashed this morning and now the search function within the application is not working. Nor can I edit within the main window. I can open contacts in standalone windows and can edit, but not in the normal manner.