Friday, May 20, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

Restoring Contacts From a Time Machine Backup

Miles Wolbe:

Open Contacts.app then “Enter Time Machine” from menu bar icon to restore (H/T). Note that the “Browse Other Backup Disks…” option accessed by Option-clicking the Time Machine menu bar icon really means “Browse Other Backup Disks for the current device”.

This didn’t work for me. It just showed an empty Contacts window, and none of the Time Machine buttons responded, so I had to force quit. Fortunately, he lists 4 other methods. It seems like to really do it right you need to erase all the contacts in iCloud first:

No consideration is given here to iCloud Contacts sync (though thermo2’s 20-step procedure is reproduced below without prejudice). Back up, back up, back up and understand what you are doing.

3 Comments

I was trying to restore an email from Inbox in Mail using TM the other day, and it didn't work at all--just opened a Finder window. Ended up manually importing the entire Inbox mailbox from the ~/Library/Mail folder. Considering that this is really a marquee feature of TM, that distinguishes it from pretty much every other Mac backup app, I'm not sure whether I need TM at all given I always keep important data off my boot drive. Guess it can't hurt as long as I have the space for it, just in case.

> This didn’t work for me. It just showed an empty Contacts window

Hmm. It works for me, in terms of "after launching Time Machine, absolutely nothing happens for half a minute". The timeline also isn't as useful as I'd thought, unless the red shading means "this version is identical"?

Thank you for sharing this post, Michael.

The first (via James Ponds' noted Time Machine guide from yesteryear) and fourth (from the Lion era) methods were mainly shared for historical purposes; my apologies for not making that clearer.

The fifth method is actually what ended up doing the trick after exhausting the other possibilities; it was not intuitive or documented anywhere by Apple that I could find. In fact, the only documentation I found regarding the files and formats associated with ~"/Library/Application Support/AddressBook" was from 2009: https://krypted.com/mac-os-x/address-book-file-locations/ .

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