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Thread: Contacts Issue

  1. #1


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    Contacts Issue
    I recently upgraded the OS to High Sierra 10.13.3 on my mid-2010 iMac and, for the most part, all seems to be working relatively well considering the computer's age. The one real issue I have is that when I open Contacts. The Contacts menu bar appears but the window with the contacts does not. I get the dreaded spinning beach ball and the app has to be force quit.



    I have tried running Disk Utility First Aid but that didn't help.


    I tried running in Safe Mode and that didn't help either.



    I tried not including it in iCloud to no avail.


    Not sure what else I can try to get Contacts to appear. Can anyone help me? Thanks!

  2. #2

    chscag's Avatar
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    It's possible that some contact information data may be corrupt. You can try several things:

    1. Restore from an older Time Machine backup

    2. If the menu bar on Contacts appears, select "File", "Export". Then, export your contacts to "vCard" and for backup, also export to PDF. If that works ok, you may be able to see if any of the information is corrupt and correct it. Then import it back to the contacts app to see if that works.

    You can't delete the contacts app and redownload it again since it's protected by the system.

  3. #3


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    Someone suggested I try the steps in this link: https://discussions.apple.com/docs/DOC-10581

    I tried the instructions and did take one very tiny step forward, but have a long ways to go. I located the three files; addressbook-v22.abcddb, addressbook-v22.abcddb-wal and addressbook-v22.abcddb-shm and discovered there were SEVEN of each. I deleted all of them and restarted Contacts. The Contacts window did open this time, but all my groups were missing. And, the contacts that showed up on the rebuild had nothing to do with my actual contacts that were in the app originally. They appear to be AOL contacts. I have no idea what happened to those originally in the app. I did a search for "vCard" and they didn't appear, but the contacts that showed in Contacts (AOL?) did show up as vCards. Is there a separate folder or database with the actual contacts that I am missing?


    Also, I still get the spinning beach ball if I click on on contact or group name. That prevents me from even entering my contacts manually, or doing anything at all for that matter, including anything in the menu.


    I also took a look in Time Machine and it's the same there. I could not locate my original contacts. Apparently, this is an issue that occurred when I upgraded (?) to High Sierra.


    Contacts in my iPad do appear to be fine. I reconnected my iMac iCloud account to saving my contacts in the cloud, thinking that the contacts from my iPad would get transferred to Contacts in the iMac. That hasn't happened. Is there someway to get my contacts in the iPad back into the iMac?

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    It's very important to FIRST export the contact list to either vCard format or PDF before messing with its data base. Also, in order to restore from Time Machine, the Contacts app has to be open before entering Time Machine - which is why I did not suggest that to you since your contacts refused to open.

    Also, before you progress any further with trouble shooting, it might be a good idea to boot to recovery and run a First Aid check on your Macintosh hard drive. Your iMac is getting a bit "old in the tooth" and if that's the original hard drive, it may be showing signs of failing (slowing down, lots of spinning beach balls).

    To answer your other question regarding syncing contacts from iCloud to your iMac.... yes, it should work. It works for me between my iMac, iPad, iPhone, and my wife's iPhone. You need to be signed into iCloud on both your iMac and iPad with the same Apple ID and password. And, in System Preferences, iCloud, on your iMac, you should have contacts selected.

  5. #5


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    It's very important to FIRST export the contact list to either vCard format or PDF before messing with its data base. Also, in order to restore from Time Machine, the Contacts app has to be open before entering Time Machine - which is why I did not suggest that to you since your contacts refused to open.

    I can't export the contact list to either vCard or PDF format because of the instant beach balling that prevents anything from being done.

    Also, before you progress any further with trouble shooting, it might be a good idea to boot to recovery and run a First Aid check on your Macintosh hard drive. Your iMac is getting a bit "old in the tooth" and if that's the original hard drive, it may be showing signs of failing (slowing down, lots of spinning beach balls).

    As mentioned in my first post, I did run First Aid while in Safe Mode.

    To answer your other question regarding syncing contacts from iCloud to your iMac.... yes, it should work. It works for me between my iMac, iPad, iPhone, and my wife's iPhone. You need to be signed into iCloud on both your iMac and iPad with the same Apple ID and password. And, in System Preferences, iCloud, on your iMac, you should have contacts selected.

    The last thing I did was to make sure I was signed in to iCloud and have Contacts checked on both the iMac and iPad and nothing has appeared in the iMac yet. I'm assuming it should happen automatically? Is there any way to export contacts from the iPad?

  6. #6

    chscag's Avatar
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    As mentioned in my first post, I did run First Aid while in Safe Mode.
    Run First Aid from Recovery, not Safe Mode. Safe Mode does not have the ability to unmount the hard drive and may give false results.

    The last thing I did was to make sure I was signed in to iCloud and have Contacts checked on both the iMac and iPad and nothing has appeared in the iMac yet. I'm assuming it should happen automatically? Is there any way to export contacts from the iPad?
    Yes, it should happen automatically, however, if your Contacts app is broken on the iMac, you won't know if it worked until you get that fixed.

  7. #7


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    Tried running it from Recovery and it didn't make any difference.

    Still hasn't happened automatically from iCloud synching from the iPad either. I don't expect it ever will since the basic app doesn't work.

    Am I at a point where I should try re-installing the the OS? And, if I do, should I do a Recovery using High Sierra or an earlier version?

  8. #8

    MacInWin's Avatar
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    Tried running it from Recovery and it didn't make any difference.
    Does that mean that the First Aid check reported the drive as without errors, or that it wouldn't run, just like in Safe Mode? There's no point in going to a lot of trouble if the drive is dying. You'll just end up repeating the work with a new drive.
    Jake

  9. #9


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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Does that mean that the First Aid check reported the drive as without errors, or that it wouldn't run, just like in Safe Mode? There's no point in going to a lot of trouble if the drive is dying. You'll just end up repeating the work with a new drive.
    It means that I went into recovery mode, opened Disk Utility and ran First Aid. It reported no problems, it appears to be okay. I then restarted into normal mode, tried to open "Contacts" and ended up with the same problem as I've been having all along, the menu bar appears with no window showing any contacts. When I click anywhere on the menu bar, I get the spinning beach ball and must force quit.

  10. #10

    MacInWin's Avatar
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    OK, thanks. Remember, we cannot see what you are doing or seeing, so you have to be overly detailed in what you tell us is going on. That's why I asked. "It didn't make any difference" is a bit vague.
    Jake

  11. #11


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    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    OK, thanks. Remember, we cannot see what you are doing or seeing, so you have to be overly detailed in what you tell us is going on. That's why I asked. "It didn't make any difference" is a bit vague.
    Thanks for asking for clarification. I'll try to be more detailed in the future.

  12. #12


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    Finally got around to spending more time with this issue and re-installed High Sierra using Option/Command/R on a restart. Tried opening Contacts afterwards and everything appears as normal!

  13. #13

    harryb2448's Avatar
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    Maybe it was time to do an erase and clean install.
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  14. #14


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    I would like to have done a clean install but I have a couple older programs that, if I had to re-install, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to update to their current state without having to buy new. Namely Adobe Photoshop 5 and Lightroom. I like having them as they are still running adequately, but I only use them infrequently and, for me, not worth upgrading. High Sierra is the last OS I plan on using for this mid-2010 iMac.

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