Apple Address Book lost

My Apple Address Book today disappeared. It's just empty. Gone!
Luckily I have a backup somewhere, but that will be a few weeks out of date. So that means I will need to add all the great people I met in Z├╝rich again. I really have other things to do...
I hope this is not a sign that my hard drive is about to fail once more! This is when I wish that ZFS were already released for OSX. Perhaps I should get the developer previews...

The last few things I did before this happened, was that I tunneled into Sun Intranet using Cisco's VPN. There I added a couple of vcards to my Address Book. Soon afterwards my email, address Book and calendar were frozen. I disconnected from VPN, but after force quitting them I could no longer start them. So I tried to reboot, the first reboot in a couple of weeks...


Were you synching to a server by any chance?

I've been synching my PowerBook up to a .Mac account (yeah, I know it's a take, but it's nice for my wife using iWeb). Then a couple of weeks ago I lost everything, just like you describe. It seemed to happen during a synch, though no error was reported.

Fortunately, I was also synching my home machine to the same account. I just had to scp the files back and I was OK, but without the other machine I'd have been out of luck.

Posted by Paul Gearon on February 12, 2007 at 04:00 PM CET #

No, I was not trying to sync. I don't have an iWeb account. Perhaps there is something else wrong with

Did your and also freeze?

I have recovered all my Addresses now (but have lost a week of info). For security I made a full backup of my machine.

Posted by Henry Story on February 13, 2007 at 12:57 AM CET #

I just lost all my addresses in Address Book. I found your site in a Google search.

Posted by George on February 23, 2007 at 07:07 PM CET #

I lost mine at the doctor's office. I was cleaning up my address book on my MBP. When the doc came in, I closed the lid and put it in my bag. For some reason when I opened it back up, everything was gone. Very strange. I've been combing through my sync services folder inside ~/Library/Application Support/SyncServices to see if I can't get the most recent version from somewhere in there, but it's not plain text. So, maybe my info isn't lost, I just have to figure out how to pull it out of there somehow. Seems like Apple should have a way to save info if the computer goes to sleep.

Posted by Benjie on March 03, 2007 at 12:31 PM CET #

My address book got wiped, too. I wanted to add a contact from when both apps froze. After that, the only enries I had left were the one for Apple and my own one. I do nightly backups, so I it was not much of an issue to restore the file, but something like this should absolutely not happen.

Posted by Troy on March 05, 2007 at 12:38 PM CET #

I found a thread on this issue here. Reminds me I should make a backup soon.

Posted by Henry Story on March 22, 2007 at 01:28 AM CET #

Hi There, Just found out, ther is a file in Library/Application Support/AddressBook, seems like it is a quick backup. Just erased the and renamed and everything is back to normal.

Posted by Gustavo Diogenes on April 24, 2007 at 09:56 AM CEST #

Hi! I just lost my whole address book too! I tired erasing and renaming as .Is this what Gustavo meant? he didnt say what to rename it as, hasnt worked so far! Please help over 600 addresses lost, yikes...

Posted by Rosa on June 11, 2007 at 08:50 AM CEST #

Hi there, Just found this article describing just what I said before about using the file:

Posted by Gustavo Diogenes on June 11, 2007 at 10:31 AM CEST #

isyncing my wifes nokia to her mb rendered her adress book useless since it just added the info from the phone. tried the rename to but it still loads up the same phone contacts. scrolling and searching the actual file with text editor i can still find the old info. very strange. any ideas?

Posted by markus on August 12, 2007 at 11:49 AM CEST #

those solutions to rename it ..doesnt work..this is a major bug and I dont use address book any more it sucks

Posted by jay on October 22, 2007 at 04:06 PM CEST #

First my address book began dissolving, names disappeared. One day everything was gone. TG for backup address books. I use them now. Then other things started: when I would try to upgrade any of the few applications, including the main thing, it would freeze for hours. It happened maybe 3 or 4 times, so I tried backing up everything on cd's. Didn't think to back up address book on a cd! About the 5th time it locked up into a half on/half off I had to get a new hard drive, etc., and lost everything that was in computer. What gives with this? Betty France

Posted by Betty France on January 15, 2008 at 08:11 PM CET #

Well, I've got the same bug: all addresses gone... not a single addrss in 'All' nor in any of my groups...the metadata are still there, but the renaming didn't work withmy addressbook...

Posted by Stefan on February 18, 2008 at 10:01 AM CET #

DId you all ever find out about the address book problem?

THis just happened to mine too. Just POOF, they are all gone.

HAs anyone heard what the problem might be? OR how to FIX it?

Or do I need to just try and redo it all?

Many thanks,

Posted by Rob on May 13, 2008 at 04:16 AM CEST #

The answer now is to get Leopard (OS X 10.5x). It has Time Machine that makes it easy to do regular backups. My mother is now doing this, and so am I of course.

Posted by Henry Story on May 13, 2008 at 07:08 AM CEST #

backups are tricky. i lost my address book just now but fixed it because i have an automatic backup setup. it backsup changes that occur on a daily basis. actually it is a raid 1 system with mirror backup drives. fortunately i was here when the address book crashed. if i failed to fix it now my automatic backup would copy the bad info and i would be out of luck.

i now backup important info on another drive that does not backup automatically. i put my mail, addressbook, quicken, etc. on it.

Posted by PRand on October 24, 2008 at 11:08 AM CEST #

Yet another victim of the problem.

One moment, all is gloriously well, next moment Address Book is giving me a warning about needing my own card before being able to respond to iCal appointments. I panicked, googled around, and see all is hopeless.

I never could have imagined that syncing an iPhone would suddenly break everything one days out of the blue.

Posted by Romer!can on January 19, 2009 at 07:40 AM CET #

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