Monday, February 20, 2023 Skipping Export of Some Contacts

Miles Wolbe:

Some contacts would not export to vCard from, instead exhibiting the following behavior:

  • when clicked and dragged alone, the resulting file, “Contact.vcf”, was zero KB

  • when clicked and dragged with unaffected contact(s), affected contact(s) would be skipped

  • when exported via File → Export → Export vCard…, affected contact(s) would be skipped if combined with unaffected contact(s), while no output would be produced if only affected contact(s) was/were selected.

This has the potential for data loss since, with a mixed selection, it will look like the contacts were exported. You would have to check the counts to realize the export was only partial. He was able to work around this using Automator.


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Not sure if this might be related but since Ventura I occasionally experience a few individual contacts missing/not syncing from my Mac to iOS. These contacts are not new and have been there for a long time. The issue is not fixable by signing out, and back into iClould on my iOS devices. The only way I found to fix it was to duplicate the affected contact and delete the old one, which made me suspect something might be wrong with the contact itself... and ID issue perhaps.

Thanks so much for sharing that blog post, Michael. I've updated it with a bit more background and info, and plan to add more around, AddressBook-v22.abcddb, and . abcdp files over the next few days.

One of the main takeaways for now is that the long-standing method of restoring contacts via .abcdp files in a Metadata directory appears to have been broken since Catalina (in fact, since Catalina, the situation has reversed: restoring the AddressBook-v22.abcddb sqlite database recreates the Metadata directory along with its .abcdp files).

Another one of my posts you were kind enough to feature last year, "Restore macOS Contacts from Time Machine backup", alluded to this issue in method #5.

I've been bitten by this before… I had corrupted contacts that (silently) wouldn't export and it took me forever to realize which ones and recreate them after restoring the address book.


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