Previous 1 2 Next 7 Replies Latest reply: Dec 14, 2012 7:16 AM by Janopus2
Janopus2 Level 1 (0 points)

I have subscribed to Birthdays in Cal and have entered many birthdays into my Contacts.  Some of these appear as expected in my Calendar, but others do not.  I have delete and re-entered them, but this exercise makes no difference. "Birthday" is no a default entry in Contacts, but I have checked my spelling in each case.   I am also confused about whether there should be separate entries for contacts "On my Mac" and on iCloud.  -jw

MacBook Pro, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,325 points)

    Unless there is a reason to maintain 2 Contacts books you should move all contacts into one or the other, if you use an iPhone that should be iCloud.

  • Janopus2 Level 1 (0 points)

    It was never my intention to maintain two contact books. I do not know how that happened; that is part of the puzzle.   How do I remove one or the other without losing some of the contacts?  -jw

  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,325 points)

    It's not uncommon for this to happen, but easy to fix:


    I'll assume that you want them in iCloud:


    In Contacts: export the entire On My Mac contacts file to a vcard file and put it on the desktop.

    In Contacts: switch to the iCloud contacts book and import the file previously exported


    Verify all is correct and delete the content of the On My Mac account, set iCloud as the default Contacts file, the On My Mac file will not be listed.

  • Janopus2 Level 1 (0 points)

    Hey C.


    I performed the operation of deleting the On My Mac file after I exported it to an archive (a .abbu file).

    I then imported the saved archive to my iCloud Contacts, where all the existing contacts were replaced.  But this operation also restored all the files to On My Mac.


    In any case, now ALL of my birthdays have now disappeared.


    Something about the sequence of events?  The exported contacts file was not a vcard file (seems to work only for individual cards), but the .abbu file; I presume that this is effectively the operation that you indicated.


    I am sharing my Calendar with family; does this have some effect on displaying birthdays?  Do I need to re-subscribe to Birthdays?   Thanks. -jw

  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,325 points)

    I said export to a vcard file i did not say to an abbu archive, and now you know why.


    Do you have any backups at all?

  • Janopus2 Level 1 (0 points)

    I did a Time Machine backup before I changed anything.

    It was not possible to save the contacts as a vcard file (I could export individual vcards, but I would have to do that one at a time).  The .abbu file restored everything.  I also exported the iCloud contacts to a .abbu file under a different name.


    Everything is working fine ... except Birthdays.  Not worth losing sleep over, I think, just frustrating.


    I just performed the following suggestion on the Apple Support page:

    Turn iCloud Calendars off and back on

    1. Quit Calendar (or iCal).
    2. Choose Apple () menu > System Preferences > iCloud.
    3. Remove the checkmark in the checkbox next to Calendars.
    4. Close System Preferences and wait about a minute.
    5. Open System Preferences and choose iCloud.
    6. Replace the checkmark next to Calendars.
    7. Close System Preferences.
    8. Open Calendar (or iCal) and test to see if the issue has been resolved.

    Still no effect.


    I have already followed the instructions for Birthdays ( except the "wait a day" part):

    If you include people’s birth dates in the information you have in iCloud Contacts, you can enable a special Birthdays calendar that displays them all.


    Note:   The Birthdays calendar must be enabled separately on each iCloud-enabled device where you want to use it.


    Show or hide the Birthdays calendar

    1. In iCloud Calendar, choose Preferences from the Action pop-up menu at the top of the window.
    2. In the General pane, select the “Show Birthdays calendar” checkbox, then click Save.


    The Birthdays calendar appears in the Calendars list below Subscriptions.

    Note:   You can’t modify birth dates within iCloud Calendar. To modify a birthdate, use iCloud Contacts; changes are reflected in iCloud Calendar within a day.



    So now I am waiting to see if any Birthdays wiil be restored, but I am thinking, considering the related issues that others have posted, that this is a either bug, or a conflict with sharing with multiple devices, or a conflict with a now deleted google caldav.  The only device I am using is my MacBook Pro; the other shared devices are iPhones belonging to family. 


    That all the news that fit to print.   Thanks for trying!  -jw

  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,325 points)

    FYI, when you export a vCard file you have to select which cards to export, 1, some, or all.

  • Janopus2 Level 1 (0 points)

    I tried that.  But I can repeat again.  It would give me very many vcards.  Of course, I presume I can copy them all at once. Still,  It is not obvious why to me I should not just export the entire Contacts list as one file.  The restoration of the On My Mac contact list was unexpected when I restored to iCloud.  -j

  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,325 points)

    Select the first card, hold shift and select the last card, now all are selected, I don't understand the dfficulty here?

  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,325 points)

    FYI, the reason not to use an abbu is because it restores to whre it was.


    This situation was triggered when you migrated to iCloud and didn't notice that you now had 2 accounts, be careful restoring and remember


    On My Mac will not sync, so if you want to sync, use iCloud accounts.

  • Janopus2 Level 1 (0 points)

    I understand all of this, except the abbu files were entirely new to me, and not revealed explicitly by the "Export" function.


    There is no a priori reason to think that the iCloud contacts are connected in any way to On My Mac contacts.  In fact, some people maintain separate iCloud contacts (which they want to sync with various devices) from other on their contact lists on their machine.


    At one point in my confusion managed to get two sets of contacts on iCloud.


    I am still guessing that the Birthdays problems is in some way caused by calender sharing.  I share several with family, some of which have birthdays posted as independent events.


    I found more details, and followed the below procedure, but it did not help (of course I still have the separate On My Mac contacts, which also have the Birthdays listed ... could be the problem)




  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,325 points)

    Had I suggested using abbu files I would take responsibility, I asked you to expoert to a vcard file, had you done so this would now be done.


    I assumed that you would follow the instructions I gave, not some other method.


    Restore your backup.

  • Janopus2 Level 1 (0 points)

    No need to restore the backup.  Everything is in place as it was originally, just not birthdays.

    Why are you so hostile?  The detailed troubleshooting guides on the Apple site show that many people are having related issues.

    While the Birthday subscriptions is a convenient feature, there are other ways to do the same thing.

    Unfortunately, there are many traps to unwittingy fall into in cyberspace, and the Birthdays subscription seems not to be a Apple feature that "just works".

    Thanks for your help.

    Live long and prosper.

  • Csound1 Level 8 (46,325 points)

    One time


    You have 2 contacts files, therefore you have 2 birthdays calendars, decide if you are using iCloud or On my Mac, when you have made the decision subscribe to the correct Birthdays calendar.


    That's it, it is simple once you decide where your active contacts actually reside.


    This is a user error, your Mac and its software are working fine.

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