I would like to see a solution to this too. As much as i like to have all my contacts in the cloud, it seems all too easy to lose ALL my contacts should the sync go bad. I would prefer to have a way to download all my contacts in some sort of standard format for my own backup needs.
I haven't seen any options to download contacts from icloud.com to this date.
I've done a bit of experimenting and I don't have a definitive answer yet, but I do have some possible leads. They ain't pretty, though.
First of all, (and I would love to be wrong on this) there is no way currently to export contacts from iCloud.com directly.
Secondly, if you have Lion (from what I understand), it is possible to export contacts from Address Book. I'm not certain, but this can apparently be done from the File menu.
Now, assuming you DON'T have Lion, but do have an iOS5 device and a pre-Lion OSX computer (Snow Leopard, for example), you can perform the following steps to get any iCloud contacts into your local Address Book.
- On your iOS5 device, go to the Settings app and turn iCloud syncing of contacts off.
- Connect this iOS5 device to your pre-Lion OSX computer. Allow it to sync completely.
- On the pre-Lion OSX computer, go to iTunes, select the iOS5 device, and click on the Info tab.
- Check the "Sync Address Book Contacts" option.
- Sync the iOS5 device again. This should take contacts from the iOS5 device and put them into your local pre-Lion computer's Address Book.
- Uncheck the "Sync Address Book Contacts" option.
- On your iOS5 device, go to the settings and turn iCloud syncing back on.
- On your pre-Lion computer, go to Address Book. From the File menu, click on the Export, and follow the instructions to export your entire contacts list.
Problems I encountered:
- I had to reconcile differences when syncing in iTunes and perform step 5 multiple times to get this to work right.
- For contacts which had been changed on iCloud, It didn't really sync the data with Address Book, but created a duplicate contact in the local Address Book with the new data.
Possible refinement I have yet to try:
- Backup and remove all contacts from the pre-Lion computer, THEN sync. This should eliminate the duplication problem, which would create a local Address Book which can be exported. Theoretically the data is the same, as both iCloud and Address Book use vCard data for their records.
I have tried your refinement but unfortunately it does not seem to work, it seems that we are left without the ability to sync contacts between mac (pre Lion) and iPhone with ios5. I have not upgraded to Lion yet because they took out frontrow (I was one of the few to probably use it) and isync that i use to sync my old palm pilot
Now I have contacts on icloud ios device but not on the mac really unpleasant situation
Anyway hope either someone comes with a solution or Apple itself fixes this.
Need contacts all synched and do not need duplicates
While I didn't find a solution to sync both iCloud with an older version of Address Book on Snow Leopard, I did discover that you can export your contacts from iCloud to another Address Book. It's not a perfect solution, but at least gives you the ability to move your contacts.
From Address Book on a Mac with Lion on iCloud:
- Go to the "All Contacts" page
- Highlight all of your contacts using Shift
- Click File
- Click Export
- Go to Export vCard
- Save As
- You'll see a file on your Desktop (or location you selected) that now says vCards
- Export vCards to another Address Book on Snow Leopard or earlier (should work for Outlook as well)
Hope that helps!
There is a solution to your problem on the iCloud website. What you need to do is go to the website log in and click on the contacts icon. Click on your first contact and press ⌘A on your mac (Ctrl-A on pc) to select all your contacts. On the right side you will see pictures of your contacts and a total number of contacts selected. Once you have selected all your contacts. Click the little cog at the bottom left corner and then click export vcard. It will download and now you have a backup of your contacts! If ever you need to import from that file click the cog again, click import vcard and then target the file we downloaded and backed up.
It's easy to get all your contacts from iCloud onto Snow Leopard. You can't sync them, though.
- log into www.icloud.com using your Apple ID and password.
- Click on 'Contacts'
- Click the little settings cog at the bottom left of the contacts list.
- Select All
- Click it again and select 'Export vCard'; your browser will download a file with extension .vcf and store it in downloads
- Open up Address Book in Snow Leopard and go File>Import>
- Select the file you just downloaded
- Click OK, and you're done