Start with a new MacBook Air running Lion. Configure it's address book to synchronize with MobileMe. The MobileMe contacts list has 374 items, synched from another Mac running Snow Leopard.

After invoking Sync on the MBA, all items are deleted from the MobileMe Contacts, and the MBA Address Book has just two entries: Apple, and the MBA user account.

This behavior is the same whether the user chooses Merge or Replace Data on This Machine.

The desired result is for the MBA to be updated with the 374 items in MobileMe.

Any suggestions?

2 Answers 2


I have a similar issue here, but not involving MobileMe. I 've been struggling to see any of my iPhone 4 (running iOS 5 beta4) contacts appear in Lion's Address Book. It's all empty, whatever I do through iTunes (10.5 beta 4) (either manual syncing of Contacts, or by using iCloud).

At least all my contacts are still on the iPhone... but i'm stuck with a beautiful new Address Book on Lion which has 0 contacts... (or just that "Apple Inc" and "Me" contact cards)..

  • Is your iPhone synchronized with a Mac? If so, it may be that your iPhone's contacts are identical to that Mac's Address Book, and the procedure I describe in my answer will work for you. You need some way to get the archive file from the Snow Leopard Mac to the Lion Mac. Maybe DropBox ? Commented Jul 23, 2011 at 23:53
  • Thanks Thomas; but my Snow Leopard Mac IS my Lion Mac. :( I have no way to backup the contact list. What I did is purchase an app on the App Store called "Excel Contacts". I created a backup and now I'm restoring my iPhone to factory settings. Let's see if I can import back.. and then sync to iTunes. Hopefully the will be synced to the Address Book too. Commented Jul 24, 2011 at 0:41

Although the cause remains a mystery, I have a cure. At the advice of Apple Support, I used Address Book | File | Export | Address Book Archive on my iMac (Snow Leopard) to create a backup. The extension for a backup is .abbu (Address Book Back Up I guess). I put it on my iDisk. Then I copied the backup from iDisk to the MacBook Air Desktop. This created a clickable icon with an Address Book image, so I clicked it, and Address Book updated.

The next several Sync sessions requested my approval for changes and updates, but now all appears well.

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