Time Machine - Troubleshooting

E5.  Can’t  Restore  from  Address  Book

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A bug in Snow Leopard was fixed in 10.6.4 -- for some users, the Address Book app is "frozen" in the Time Machine "Star Wars" display, so you can’t restore anything from it.  The best fix is to simply upgrade to 10.6.4 or later. If you can’t for some reason, here are two workarounds:

We don’t have a workaround to restore individual contacts.  But there is a very tedious way to recover the data:


  1. 1.Open a Finder window.


  1. 2.Navigate to the: <your home folder>/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/Metadata folder.  It contains one file for each contact and group, but with a gibberish name.  (If you have a problem locating that folder, see item #A7.)


  1. 3.If the window isn't in list mode already, select View > As List in the menubar.


  1. 4.If you know when the contact was last created or modified, be sure those columns are shown (select View > Show View Options from the menubar, then select them in the Show Columns section).

 

  1. 5. Enter Time Machine, then navigate to the backup in question.


  1. 6.The contact files are in no particular order, but if you know roughly when the contact was added or last changed, you can use the dates to identify likely suspects.


  1. 7.Double-click individual files to open with QuickLook.  The contact data will be shown.  When you find the one(s) you want,  do a screen print (Shift+Cmd+3), or write it down so you can enter a new card.  Do not restore the file -- it will not appear in your Address Book.

To restore your entire Address Book (all your contacts) from a Time Machine backup (removing any changes made since then):


  1. 1.  Open a Finder window to <your home folder>/Library/Application Support.

       (If you have a problem locating that folder, see item #A7.)


  1. 2.  Enter Time Machine, then navigate to the backup in question.


  1. 3.  Click the AddressBook folder to select it, then the Restore button.