Previous 1 2 Next 17 Replies Latest reply: May 27, 2015 2:52 AM by Henrog
Doug Lerner2 Level 4 (1,030 points)

I'm trying to help a friend who got a new iPhone 5 sync his contacts from his iMac's Address Book to his iPhone 5. He is running Lion, and has lots of contacts in his Address Book app on his iMac.


I watched him doing this via screenshare on Skype (we can't get iMessages/iChat screenshare to work anymore, but that's another issue).


Anyway, he connected his iPhone 5 to his iMac running the latest iTunes, and after connecting we can see his iPhone 5 show up under devices in the sidebar of iTunes. In the iPhone 5 settings we even changed the name of the device to make sure it was the correct device and the new name is showing up in iTunes. So we are sure it is the right device connected.


In iTunes, under the device settings for his iPhone 5, in the Info tab, at the bottom, under Advance settings, we checked the box for Contacts and then Apply.


iTunes said it was syncing contacts and then finished.


However on the iPhone 5, under the Contacts app, there are "no contacts" after the sync is complete. We tried this several times.


This seems like it should be simple, but we can't get the contacts synced over.


What are we doing wrong?





iMac, OS X Mountain Lion, iMac (21.5-inch Late 2009, 12 GB)
  • ckuan Level 7 (29,389 points)

    Is Contact in iCloud ON in Settings > iCloud > Contacts: ON?

  • Doug Lerner2 Level 4 (1,030 points)

    I don't believe so. We were taking it one step at a time since he's 93 years old, and we got stuck while trying to enable iCloud on his older iPhone 4 (separate posted question) so we decided to skip over that for now and just do some basics, like syncing over his contacts.


    But we aren't trying to sync with iCloud. This is a direct USB sync from his iPhone 5 to his iMac. So should that matter?



  • Doug Lerner2 Level 4 (1,030 points)

    Yes, that is exactly what we tried:


    Sync contacts and other info with iPod touch, iPhone, or iPad

    1.                            Connect your iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad to your computer and select your device.                                                  
    2.                            Click the Info button and select the items you want to sync.                       
    3.                            Click Apply.                       
  • ckuan Level 7 (29,389 points)
  • Doug Lerner2 Level 4 (1,030 points)

    I appreciate your note, but the 28 steps listed there are all but impossible for a 93 year old man with his computer skills to follow. If I could do a screen share with him I could get control of his iMac and do it for him, but the screenshare is also buggy.


    Anybody have any simpler ideas?





  • Doug Lerner2 Level 4 (1,030 points)

    No matter what I did it wasn't working. So I got him to upgrade his iMac to Mountain Lion and we set up iCloud syncing instead of iTunes USB cable syncing (that still was not working in Mountain Lion), and the contacts did sync via iCloud.


    So problem solved for now.


    So much for things "just working" with Apple products though. It took forever, and he had to upgrade to a new OS for it work. But at least it's working now.



  • keithmewis Level 1 (0 points)

    I figured this out with my Mum's iPad2 and iTunes 11.


    On the iPad, she had it to sync her contacts using iCloud. It wanted her to set up an iCloud account to do it, as the post above recommended. I went to Settings  > iCloud > Contacts OFF on the iPad. When I plugged it back into her computer, it gave me the option to sync contacts not through iCloud. I clicked to "Sync Contacts" and Apply, and it worked like a charm.


    It appears that if it is trying to sync using iCloud, that it won't sync using the cable/connector to a computer.


    Hope this helps.

  • WindowsSecurityExp Level 1 (0 points)

    I did this via iCloud. I would suggest you do the same.

  • gaberdine mac Level 1 (30 points)

    So I have to upgrade to Mountain Lion to make any sensible use of my iDevice now that it's on iOS7 ...???

    (Not my choice to upgrade!). Even if that means getting a new Mac? Seriously?


    There really is no way (other than manual entry) to get contacts from my Apple Address Book to an iOS7 device...???


    Gee, thanks Apple.


    Every day a little more of my Apple love turns to cold, dry dust and a little more Apple hatered takes its place.


    Merry Christmas.

  • GwenMM Level 1 (0 points)


    I have worked on my problem for an hour (going blind reading the same Support instructions and having them not work) and, you are exactly right, I had to turn off my iCloud in order to be able to sync my iPhone contacts to the Address Book on my mac.  Congratulations and many thanks.

  • gaberdine mac Level 1 (30 points)

    A bit of experminetation has provided me with a solution:


    It turns out you can just export your Apple Address Book contacts as one big vCard...

    You can then import this into iCloud contacts via your web browser.


    This workaround only requires a version of Safari that won't make iCloud cry - in my case Safari 5.1 and OS X 10.6 work just fine.

    The latest version of OS X is not required here, folks!


    However, nothing will sync between your Address Book and iCloud. Any new contacts on one will have to be added manually to the other.

  • Kevinaide Level 1 (0 points)

    Use your Mac Address Book and sync your iPhone with iTunes. From the Info tab, under Contacts, make sure to select “Address Book” from the drop-down menu before you sync.
    I am not sure whether it works on Mac, but you can use copytrans contacts to transfer the contacts too (in case you do not want to use iTunes sync):


    Finally, you can simply use the iCloud app and install it on your Mac. Make sure to enable iCloud contact sync on your iPhone. Then import contacts from your Mac to your iCloud application, this will move and sync the contact entries to your iPhone.

  • Jasonoizer Level 1 (0 points)
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