13 Replies Latest reply: Feb 16, 2014 12:12 PM by Rich Rydalch
Neil Kaplan1 Level 1 (25 points)

I'm moving from a computer running Tiger to one running Mt. Lion.  I have been able to export, and then import, my contacts list... however, It did not bring over the groups, I have 1500 names with none of them assigned! Ouch . . . is there a way to get my existing groups into the new version of Contact?  Thanks!

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.1)
  • Kivanc Muslu Level 2 (160 points)

    Have you tried using the built-in export functionality of Contacts?


    Go to Contacts > File > Export > Contacts Archieve...


    This will save all your contacts information into a file with extension .abbu. Then, on your new computer close Contacts and double click on this .abbu file. It will show up your old contacts information (hopefully including your groups) and ask you to whether you want to replace your current Contacts information with the one on the file or not. Say yes and then use Contacts as usual.

  • Neil Kaplan1 Level 1 (25 points)

    well, I just tried that (although in the version 4 the functioln is under the 'file' menu), and it deleted all my imported contact cards and replaced them with... NOTHING . . . Address Book is now  is completely empty . . . I tried importing the data via the application, nothing . . .  Not only that, when I did import just the cards, it  brought all the contact info, but none of the NOTES . . .there is very important business info in those notes covering YEARS of work . . . ARGH!!

  • Kivanc Muslu Level 2 (160 points)

    Just to make sure that I understood correctly.


    You have created the .abbu file (i.e., contacts archieve) in Tiger (Computer 1) and then copied this file to Computer 2 (Mountain Lion) and double clicked and it did not show any contacts. Is that correct?

  • Neil Kaplan1 Level 1 (25 points)

    Yes that is correct . . . I first had the ABBU file on an external disc, so thought maybe that was the problem, so I copied to the new computer before attempting to open it . . . same problem, contact list is empty

  • Kivanc Muslu Level 2 (160 points)

    That is interesting. I would say that this is due to the fact that you are trying to export from Tiger and import to Mountain Lion, however of course this does not answer your question.


    Could you please tell me the version number of both Contacts applications (on Tiger and Mountain Lion): on mountain lion, you can see the version number through Contacts > About Contacts


    such as:

    Screen Shot 2012-08-23 at 10.42.20 PM.png

  • Neil Kaplan1 Level 1 (25 points)

    I'm sorry, I thought I included that info . . .  old version 4.0.6, new version is exactly as shown in your pic, 7.0

  • Kivanc Muslu Level 2 (160 points)

    Sorry I missed version 4 information from your earlier post. I guess the huge version difference between the apps cause the problem. Probably the internal format that Contacts used has changed in the meanwhile. Still does not solve your problem, however for now I am out of ideas. Will let you know if I can come up with something else.

  • Kivanc Muslu Level 2 (160 points)

    Okay, here is a crazier (a little harder idea). Do you have an iPhone or iPad that has iCloud (i.e., iOS 5)? If this is the case, sync your iPhone, iPad contacts with your Tiger computer. Then, enable iCloud on your iDevice and sync contacts with iCloud. Then on Mountain Lion computer enable iCloud and let it download your contacts.


    I know long and crazy but might work, you never know...

  • Neil Kaplan1 Level 1 (25 points)

    After 4 calls to Apple Tech support, and HOURS of trial and error, it was determined by Apple that there's no way to do what I wanted, that is, to export/import my contacts including the notes... I just happened to be looking around in the preferences for Contacts v 4, and what do you know, there's an option to check 'export vcards with notes.'       WHY THE HECK DIDN'T ANYONE AT APPLE KNOW THIS?!?!  I literallhy spent ALL DAY setting up my contacts file and entering data manually, then re-importing the contacts that had notes in them... what a waste of time... thannks for trying to help, Kivanc, seems that the answer was simpler than anyone realized

  • Kivanc Muslu Level 2 (160 points)

    No worries Neil, the important thing is that your problem is resolved and we learned a new thing. Way to go!

  • joekewe Level 1 (0 points)

    This just solved several hours of trying to get notes to import from Address Book on Tiger to Contact on Mountain Lion.  Thank you so much for posting about the "Include Notes in vCards" checkbox!

  • mesha7 Level 1 (0 points)

    THANK YOU!!  The is the quickest simplest answer I've seen yet after spending the last 3 days trying to get my address groups transferred from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion and searching all over the net for an easy fix.  I didn't have to install any additional app to do this.  I can't tell you how WONDERFUL this is!!!

  • Rich Rydalch Level 2 (300 points)

    Not sure if I should resurrect this discussion. But I might have a solution to the Group thing.

    I just tried it and it seemed to work.

    If you export each group to a .vcf file, then import each group into iCloud Contacts it gives you the option to create a new group. You would then name that group the same as in your old Address Book. Then sync your new Contacts to iCloud.

    Not real quick way but it works in the long run.