Ok, so I've come across a (seemingly) common problem in High Sierra: annoying problems using Contacts.app/AddressBook (not sure why they don't just call it AddressBook.app, but that's irrelevant at this point).

For a while, I thought the problem was on my end. To isolate this, I deleted my AddressBook folder in it's entirety and restarted. Now, with a fresh (empty) AddressBook, I still am having the same problems: the app hangs and I can't add/search/edit/delete etc... Nothing. Unfortunately, I am unable to decode the .hang file - I don't have a ton experience in this area. That is to say, it's not giving me any relevant information that I can discern.

Lastly, I did the exact same thing (fresh, empty AddressBook) and then rebooted in Safe Mode. This did not resolve the problem.

I've poured over the logs within Console, to no avail. I can't seem to get a consistent error message of any kind, so not sure what path to pursue at this point. I've not tried Sysdiagnose, yet.

P.S. iCloud sync has been OFF for this whole process.

EDIT: Here are the three errors I get

1. AEGetDescData of non-desc type 'reco' not a good idea

2. Exception caught during decoding of received reply to message 'synchronousDonatedMeCard:', dropping incoming message and calling failure block.

    Exception: Exception while decoding argument 0 (#1 of invocation):
    <NSInvocation: 0x60800026db40>
    return value: {v} void
    target: {@?} 0x0 (block)
    argument 1: {@} 0x0

    Exception: value for key 'right' was of unexpected class 'NSError'. Allowed classes are '{(

3. Error retrieving contacts from daemon: Error Domain=NSCocoaErrorDomain Code=4101 "connection to service named com.apple.contacts.donation.agent" UserInfo={NSDebugDescription=connection to service named com.apple.contacts.donation.agent}
  • Ooh - if you deleted folders from under the program, you may have ruined the application sync whether you think it's enabled or disabled. Do you have a backup of your data and can make a new user account on the Mac? this is almost certainly data errors and something you may have broken not realizing how the application persists data to the disk and the various databases it uses to speed up sync and queries.
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 13:27
  • @bmike I have backups, but I don't think any with a functioning AddressBook. I can create a new account, but I figured that would've resolved itself with SafeBoot. When you say "under the program", what do you mean? I simply deleted /Users/Me/Library/Application Support/AddressBook (and restored when it didn't solve the issue). I also never attempted to delete this file until I actually experienced this issue... So it's def. not the cause of the problem. Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 13:53
  • @bmike Ok, so created a new account and the app works there. Admittedly, this was on my radar to try, but for dumb reasons I won't go into detail about, I hadn't actually done it yet. So, how do I go back and fix the app in the admin account (heretofore, the only account on my mac). Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 14:15
  • Probably faster to move the files you care about to the new user and possibly then rename the new user. It depends on what specifically you moved, depends on the exact version of macOS and calendar and several other items. Far easier to backup and restore by hand.
    – bmike
    Commented Mar 19, 2018 at 14:48
  • Not worth it. AddressBook actually still functions correctly despite not having access to the app. It syncs via iCloud just fine. I had wanted to fix it bc it was bugging me. I still do. But trying to migrate a user I feel like will have unintended consequences and be a huge pain. Since I’ve not lost my actual contacts across my Apple devices, If I can’t fix it I’ll just have to live with it. Commented Mar 20, 2018 at 4:43

1 Answer 1


Apparently this has been a bug in High Sierra since it's release. A few days ago, the issue was closed and it is believed to have been fixed in OS 10.13.4 (beta).

High Sierra Contacts Not Working

  • I can confirm 10.13.4 fixes the issue. Commented May 23, 2018 at 19:49

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