Restoring address book contacts after downgrading

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Hello- new to this forum, first post. I have a mid 2007 iMac that I recently upgraded to Yosemite (from Snow Leopard). While I like Yosemite just fine, combined with CC it was just too much for this old machine and did some scary things, so I reformatted the HD and reintalled SL and all software, with some help from Apple Tech Support. All is fine except for restoring Address Book (which is called Contacts in Yosemite). All data is on the Time Machine back up. Can anyone advise how I get my contacts/address book back with the various groups? Thank you.
 

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Welcome to the Mac-Forums!

I need to know first when you made the Time Machine backup of your contacts? In other words, did you back them up while running Yosemite or is your Time Machine backup from when your ran Snow Leopard?
 
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The full backup was done while on Yosemite, but while SL was running, Time Machine backed up hourly.

Thank you for your help.
 

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OK, here is where your contacts are located in your Yosemite backup:

Macintosh HD/Applications/Contacts.app/Contents/MacOS/contacts

Open Time Machine and go to the last date you made a backup while using Yosemite. Open that date (should be on the right side) and then go to the file "contacts" (above) and restore from it. If it won't allow you to restore because of the different location, make a copy of the file by doing a copy and paste to your clipboard. Then you can manually copy the contacts.
 
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I am not familiar with using clipboard, can you please advise how I would do that? Also, when you say I can manually copy the contacts, do you mean, one by one? There are over 2,000.

Thank you for your help.
 
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Do you know how to copy and paste? That's the clipboard.
 

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I am not familiar with using clipboard, can you please advise how I would do that? Also, when you say I can manually copy the contacts, do you mean, one by one? There are over 2,000.

Thank you for your help.

No, not copy them one by one, but all 2000 at once from the clipboard. Also, it's too late now, but before restoring Snow Leopard you could have exported your entire contacts.app to Vcf card format as one file. Then when you restored Snow Leopard, just import the Vcf file into your Address Book.app and all your contacts would have been restored. Keep that in mind for future reference.
 
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When I double click on conacts.app it says it cannot open it because it is a Time Machine backup.
 

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You don't double click the contacts.app, you double click the contacts file that I gave you the path to above. If that's what you mean, then the only way you're going to get those contacts back is to reinstall Yosemite, restore the Time Machine backup, and follow my directions above about exporting to a Vcf file. Then restore to Snow Leopard and import the contacts Vcf file into your address book app. Sorry, but I know of no other way. 2000 contacts is way too many to try and re-create. You unfortunately have lots of work to do.
 
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I think it can be done on my Macbook Pro that has Yosemite, but creating another user file and restoring via backup. Thank you for your help.
 

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That's a great idea. Let us know if you need any more assistance.
 
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I don't know about Yosemite, but the path tho one's Address Book or Contacts, up to including Mavericks is usually:
Users/[username]/Library/Application\ Support/AddressBook/

But I'd suggest accessing it from there may not work as it's a folder with usually all kinds of files and folders, but as I recall, there are Utilities to recoup and rebuild the users Address Book/Contacts.
 

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I don't know about Yosemite, but the path tho one's Address Book or Contacts, up to including Mavericks is usually:
Users/[username]/Library/Application\ Support/AddressBook/

Unfortunately, that path does not list the contact information she needs. The one I gave her in my post is the correct path and actually will show all the contacts. I thought the same and researched the path you listed only to come up with a whole bunch of data base junk which does not restore the contacts. (But is needed to run the app.)

If you know of a utility to recover contacts let us know what it is. Like I told her if she had exported the contacts from Yosemite or for that matter Snow Leopard to a Vcf file, it can always be imported back. I've done that very thing several times to recover contacts.
 
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I can't find such a utility but I thought I'd seen mention of one while migrating a client's PowerPC Eudora addresses into their Intel Address Book. Talk about fun - not!!

But I just did a Google search and didn't find any, but most of the hits I looked at gave the same path to the user's Address Book, so I can't see why that wouldn't work.
https://www.google.ca/search?client...&oe=UTF-8&gfe_rd=cr&ei=IDjtVNrtGM6BmAKQmoD4AQ

I'm a bit curious to know if one couldn't just use the Address Book/Contacts app to Import and head to the Users/[username]/Library/Application\ Support/AddressBook/ and click import, as the folder should be in the Time Machine. But that sounds too simple.

I just might try for experience when I'm logged into a "tester" user account later on. ;)
 
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I just tried the idea above.... the choices within Address Book are Images and Metadata and neither have the option to import, just cancel or open. Dang, sounded like a great idea.
 
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I just tried the idea above.... the choices within Address Book are Images and Metadata and neither have the option to import, just cancel or open. Dang, sounded like a great idea.


What about selecting the actual "Address Book" folder and then click the Import button?

I sure don't know, but when I tried, the Import button wasn't greyed out, so I don't know and I wasn't about to click it.

Maybe grab a copy of that folder and save to your desktop anyway, and maybe it can be used to replace your empty Contacts/Address Book folder. But not when the AB app is running. ;)
 
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In your existing SL Address Book, do you have any entries?

Even if you do, create a new address entry and save. And do an export to save, just in case. Then navigate to your Users/[username]/Library/Application\ Support/AddressBook/ and see if the Address Book folder is actually there and when opened, you should see a file/folder with the recent Modified Date. That will confirm that that Address Book is your current working Address Book folder.

Then I'd replace it with the old folder from the same path and the same name from your Time Machine backup if possible that would have all the contacts you want.

No guarantee it will work, and at least a restart may be needed after any replacing, and don't move stuff while the Address Book app is running, but good luck.
 
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Address Book (Contacts)

Address Book (Contacts) Is located here. Use Time Machine and restore from a date when all was well.

There should be an image. the route seems laborious.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 10.44.22 AM.jpeg
 
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Look in BackupDrive/Backups.backupdb/Macintosh/Latest/DriveName/Users/You/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/Sources/somerandomnumber/Metadata
There should be all sorts of VCF cards in there. See if you can import them.
 

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