4 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2014 5:19 PM by Tim Murray2
Tim Murray2 Level 1 (95 points)

Once I enable an internet connection, Contacts on the Mac (Mavericks) appears to sync and never stops, but it does not appear to be actually syncing: If I make a change on iCloud my iPhone is updated and vice versa, but the change is not reflected in Contacts (that's why I said "appears" to sync). Also, the fan cranks into high gear and I see that Contacts is taking up 95% to 98% of CPU.  This began yesterday.


Finally, there was a time, perhaps during the .Mac days, when you could force an overwrite: You could tell your Mac to download Contacts from Apple servers and overwrite your local data, or vice versa. You see, I would consider completely deleting my Mac's Contacts, but I'm afraid the sync engine will delete my iCloud data and I know of no way to force data to move in the direction I want. Or I could (and I have, as a backup), create a big file of VCFs. That would be okay, except I make use of the photos, and VCFs don't retain them. This is a last resort.


A third: iTunes has its own backup, but I don't know if that includes Contacts.


Any ideas?

MacBook Pro, OS X Mavericks (10.9), 4 GB
  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,629 points)

    Please test after taking each of the following steps.

    Step 1


    Back up all data.

    Triple-click anywhere in the line of text below on this page to select it:


    Right-click or control-click the highlighted line and select


    Services Reveal

    from the contextual menu.* A folder should open with an item selected. Move the selected item to the Trash.

    Log out, log back in, and test. If there's no change, go to the next step.

    *If you don't see the contextual menu item, copy the selected text to the Clipboard by pressing the key combination command-C. In the Finder, select

    Go Go to Folder...

    from the menu bar, paste into the box that opens (command-V). You won't see what you pasted because a line break is included. Press return.


    Step 2

    If you use iCloud, uncheck the box marked Contacts in the iCloud preference pane. Press return to confirm, or click Keep on Mac in the dialog that opens.

    Step 3

    From the list of groups on the left side of the Contacts window, select All On My Mac. If that group doesn't exist or is empty, skip this step. Otherwise, from the menu bar, select

    File Export Export vCard

    Save the exported contacts to the Desktop.


    Step 4

    Quit Contacts. Reveal the following item in the Finder as you did in Step 1:

    ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook

    Move the selected folder to the Desktop, leaving the window open for now.

    Step 5

    Launch Contacts. Your contacts will be gone. If you took Step 3, then double-click the file you created in that step and confirm that you want to import from it. Your contacts will reappear.

    Step 6

    If you took Step 2, reverse it. Test. If the issue is resolved, delete the AddressBook folder and the vCard file on the Desktop and close the open folder window.

    Otherwise, quit Contacts again and put the AddressBook folder back where it was, overwriting the newer one that will have been created in its place. Post your results.

  • Tim Murray2 Level 1 (95 points)

    S1 was not sufficient; thanks.  Before I continue however I have a question about S5: Will that preserve the graphics? Exporting and importing a regular VCF does not include the graphic. And by the way, I am very comfortable with Terminal, VCF, and such, so you're welcome to use short stuff like "delete ~/Library/Caches/com.apple.AddressBookSourceSync".  Thanks.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (192,629 points)

    I have a question about S5: Will that preserve the graphics?



  • Tim Murray2 Level 1 (95 points)

    It's solved, using these steps: 

    1. Exported a Contacts Archive *and* a vCard set, just in case.
    2. Disabled Contact syncing *and* turned off wireless. (When I disabled Contact syncing all contacts became "on my Mac".)
    3. Deleted all contacts.
    4. Quit Contacts.
    5. Delete /Library/Application Support/Address Book.
    6. Enabled wireless.
    7. Re-enabled syncing and lanched Contacts.


    My fear that iCloud would see my deletions as something it should reflect was unfounded: Contacts started downloaded and once downloaded, syncing stopped.Thanks.