I want to be able to keep a group of contacts on my Mac only, while keeping the rest of them synched to iCloud (as they currently do).

A bit of background: I'm wanting to do this since I'm dabbling with a bit of scripting involving the Address Book, and I want to be able to create test contacts without disrupting my real Address Book, and risking the wrath of the sync gods. My workaround has been using a second account that only has local storage, but it's disruptive having to switch accounts to test something.

The Address Book preferences has an On My Mac account listed alongside my iCloud account, but I don't see any options when creating new contacts or groups for putting them in local storage. If I reveal the groups pane, new groups get put under the iCloud section, and I don't see any local/On My Mac section.

Is the On My Mac account a mirage, not actually accessible if you have iCloud enabled?

1 Answer 1


Here's a Mountain Lion solution that I hope works on Lion. (I just worked at this from the other way - wanting to banish forever the On My Mac group.)

  • Open Contacts
  • Select On My Mac as the default account.
  • Import a contact or two from a vCard or import your test data set from the Import… menu
  • Switch back your default account to iCloud.

Going forward you can always drag a .vcf / vCard file into the On My Mac list to import there directly without changing the default account.

  • Nice, this appears to do what I was trying. I've switched to all 10.8 now, so I can't immediately check if it works for Lion as well (although I don't remember Lion having a default option).
    – robmathers
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 22:13
  • Nice - we could edit the question and leave things up in the air for anyone still on Lion - your call on that. Glad it helped.
    – bmike
    Commented Feb 25, 2013 at 22:53

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