macOS issue: Contacts not syncing with iCloud

All too frequently, I experience a glitch with my otherwise-working-well MacBook Pro where the contacts do not properly sync with iCloud. They will sync properly on my iPhone 7 Plus, iPad Air 2, and the iCloud web site, but they will not do so on my MacBook Pro. It’s quite frustrating, but I found a fix.

  1. Quit the Contacts app completely.
  2. Go to System Preferences and then to iCloud. Uncheck the box for Contacts.
  3. Go to Finder. At the top, click on the “Go” menu and click on “Go to Folder.” Then open ~/Library/Containers and delete the files with “addressbook” in their names.
  4. Next open ~/Library/Application Support and delete the files with “addressbook” in their names.
  5. Then open ~/Library/Preferences and repeat.
  6. Report for ~/Library/Caches
  7. Restart your computer.
  8. When it boots back up, open System Preferences and re-enable Contacts.

If you feel uneasy about permanently deleting system files, feel free to copy them into a separate folder.

After completing this process, the Contacts app will then take a minute or two to reload the contacts. Although you will need to re-set which contact is “you” and some of the contact photos may take awhile to reappear, it should fix the issue.

I am not quite sure why this happens. It has happened every 3 or 4 months for the last couple of years, regardless of which version of macOS I run.


EDIT:  On June 12, this happened again. I followed these instructions and it was fixed.