My Contacts data got botched up. Now I'm looking for a strategy to restore it. The old way, restoring from an archive, no longer works because iCloud immediately replaces the restored data. It used to be possible under MobileMe to restore from an archive and have the local data replace that on MobileMe. So, the only alternative left is to restore from Time Machine. However, TM restore works only on a group-by-group basis which makes this task hugely time consuming. Each time I recover a group, Contacts finds duplicates that are also in previously recovered groups, and since Contacts is so incredibly bad at understanding duplicates (it thinks two people at the same company constitutes a duplicate!), I have to manually review each and every card to be imported. With 1400 cards and 20 groups, this is going to take days.
Apple wants $20 just to listen to my question. Pathetic.
Any suggestions about how to restore cards AND groups from an archive, Time Machine, or .vcf files?
I can't believe how abysmally bad Contacts is. How can the company that makes such brilliant and complex apps as Aperture and Final Cut get something as basic as Contacts so horribly wrong?
Thanks, but this method relies on importing a vcf file for each group, and that has been part of the problem, because cards that belong to multiple groups are flagged as "duplicates", and I have good reason to believe that Contacts will handle duplicate resolution poorly if I do not manually verify each one.
That said, I ultimately gave up restoring from the Contacts archive file. I imported a vcf file for each group and left duplicate resolution to Contacts. I ended up with almost the same total number of cards, and it remains to be seen whether any data has been lost to inappropriate merging. Fingers crossed. It did seem to work better when I chose NOT to review duplicates on import.
As it stands now, if you rely on iCloud, a Contacts archive is utterly useless except for generating vcf files, which is no advantage if you have a Time Machine backup.