I maintain my husband's contacts database up to now on a PC using Outlook. I switched to Mac for my own use (Mountain Lion) and use Apple Contacts for my own Address book.

I would like to create a separate address book for him on my Mac which I would then sync only to his mobile phone and iPad. I wish to keep his contacts completely separate from mine.

Is this possible and how do I do it?


Create a separate user account for your husband. Your stuff will be different. Steps:

  1. System Preferences > Users and Groups.
  2. Click the lock icon in the bottom left and fill in your password.
  3. Click the + below the left pane.
  4. Fill in the credentials.
  5. Log in to that account and start filling out the contacts.
  6. If you want to copy over any contact, select the contacts in the address book and then File > Export. Save the files on a USB drive or a place not in your home directory.
  7. Just open the files in your husband’s account. They will be added to Contacts.

If you are talking about an iPhone, another thing you could do is use iCloud. That would be much better and much more streamlined.

  • The solution proposed here is the best for simplicity but you could also look into rooSwitch which allows you to move preferences (and data files) in and out under an application in general. In specific, this is hard since AddressBook syncs and uses a database so moving things around in this case can be problematic if another process is reading contacts when you swap things.
    – bmike
    Aug 26 '12 at 15:14

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