My main computer is running Snow Leopard, so I am not using any iCloud syncing. It needs to stay on Snow Leopard because of several apps I'm still using that do not work under Lion.

My iPhone and iPad sync to this main computer.

I also have a laptop running Lion, and it does not have my iCal, Notes, Mail, or Address Book entries on it.

I'm not going to have access to my main Mac for about a month. I don't care a lot about the music in my iTunes library as I plan to leave it on the SL Mac because it has much more disk space, and I can live without it for a month.

However, I need my calendar, notes, and contacts. In particular, my calendar on my main computer has reminders and to-dos years into the future for legal and regulatory deadlines as well as historical records of when I made such filings, so I have to preserve that. Plus I want day-to-day usage of the calendar to still work.

The change is now I want calendar, contacts, notes, and iTunes all to be hosted on my Lion laptop. So what's the best way to move the data from my SL Mac to my Lion laptop and get the iPhone and iPad to sync to the laptop? Particularly since I'm going to want to move them back to the Snow Leopard Mac later.

I've read a lot of articles on how to move the iTunes library over, but because it is so big, I'd prefer not to move over the music. In any case, just moving the iTunes library is not sufficient. How do I move the other data over without wiping my laptop or my iPhone?

1 Answer 1


I understand you want your iTunes library to be hosted on your main machine but not on your Lion machine. Bit of confused there.

FIRST OF ALL. Back-up all of your calendar, address book, etc. data before you proceed for any inconveniences that may happen.

Anyway. For migrating your calendar, contacts, notes & etc. :

  • use the export features of those apps storing them on Snow Leopard machine and then import them to your Lion machine,
  • reset address book & calendar on your iOS devices by connecting them to your Snow Leopard machine and un-checking syncing of those data and finally syncing them for changes to take effect,
  • setup iCloud on Lion and also on your iPhone and iPad so that you can sync those information with your iPhone and iPad.

NOTE: don't sync them through iTunes when you are on Lion because if you do so your iPhone and iPad will be wiped and then re-synced as you've said because those devices can be synced with only one iTunes library at a time. Since you won't be taking your musics with you, those will be gone if you sync through iTunes. Just use iCloud. But this also means that you won't be able to sync music and any other kind of media to your iPhone and iPad until you return to your Snow Leopard machine.

After your return then you should: - export those up-to-date calendar, address book, etc. info. on Lion, - import them to your SL, - remove iCloud on everything, - return back to old fashioned iTunes syncing.

I know it's a bit of a hassle but it's your only option as far as I can see right now if you don't want to move your iTunes library to your Lion machine.

BUT if you choose to move your iTunes Library as well then you may follow Apple's guides here to do so. And be careful when you're migrating. Don't just copy&paste since iTunes' structure is complicated.

If you migrate then you can sync your calendar, address book, etc. through iTunes. But you gonna have to export&import those to your Lion machine as well. So the first option stands out.

If you've any other questions, just let me know.

  • Exporting contacts & calendars from SL and importing them in Lion went smoothly. Uploading them from Lion to iCloud also went smoothly. But then turning on iCloud on the iOS devices created duplicates of everything. How do I fix that?
    – Old Pro
    Jun 3, 2012 at 6:27
  • Do duplicates show up on your iCloud and hence on your Lion machine as well? If so then on your Lion machine you can use Address Book's 'look for duplicates' capability under the Card menu item to automatically find duplicates and merge them. Jun 3, 2012 at 11:04
  • no, duplicates are only on the iOS devices.
    – Old Pro
    Jun 3, 2012 at 19:45
  • can you please check your contacts groups. Probably what happened was that I forgot to mention resetting your address book on your iOS devices before enabling iCloud(really sorry for that) and when you enabled iCloud, iCloud contacts came together with the local contacts. So if you just view groups in your address book app in an iOS device of yours you can switch just to iCloud. Locals will still be stored but at least they won't be visible. OR for convenience just sync your iOS devices with your SL machine and un-check that contact & calendar syncing options. Jun 3, 2012 at 20:29
  • Ok, that seems to have done it. Please edit/update your answer for future readers and I will "accept" your answer.
    – Old Pro
    Jun 4, 2012 at 1:41

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