After upgrading the OS, there's a glitch in the Contact app that tech support couldn't fix

Discussion in 'macOS High Sierra (10.13)' started by dudleybrooks, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. dudleybrooks macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #1
    I recently upgraded from Yosemite to High Sierra (and wish that I hadn't ... but that's another story!)

    The Contacts app changed in a weird way:

    I have a very large number of Smart Groups. Before the upgrade they behaved exactly the way they should: They had "Contains cards which match the following conditions", and an input field for the condition, and a "+" to add more conditions. That came up when I created a group, and it came up when I edited a group.

    After the upgrade, two things happened:

    (1) Suddenly my Smart Groups had been duplicated as Distribution Lists.

    I never created any Distribution Lists, I don't use Distribution Lists.

    I now have to scroll down past a long list of Distribution Lists to get to my Smart Groups when I want to look at one of them.

    Only an irritation, but still ... I would like to get rid of them. And I certainly don't like Apple deciding for me that I should have them!

    (2) More importantly, when I try to edit a Smart Group, it still has "Contains cards which match the following conditions" ... but the criteria have all disappeared! Just a big blank square.

    When I create a new group, the fields for the criteria are there; I am able to specify the criteria. But once the group is created, the criteria disappear again.

    The groups still work properly -- all the desired cards show up. But if I discover that I need to modify them (because they find either too many names or too few names or not the right names), I can't. All I can do is delete them and create a new group -- which will itself become un-editable. Plus I can't even see what the old criteria were, to make sure that the new group isn't just exactly the same as the old one.

    I was online with tech support for three-and-a-half hours, trying everything, with no success. They were about to have me re-install the OS, when I decided I had already wasted enough time.

    Anyone else have this situation or know what to do about it? Thanks.
     
  2. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #2
    I no longer have macOS High Sierra; All Mojave - But I checked, and the issue certainly is not there for me on Mojave. Based on Apple's response it doesn't seem like a general High Sierra issue, but perhaps Mojave will save the day regardless - worth a shot if you ask me
     
  3. dudleybrooks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #3
    Thanks.

    In the past I have had such bad luck with upgrades (including the most recent one to High Sierra) that I always make upgrading the OS my solution of last resort -- "the burnt child shuns the flame," as we say. So I will try it ... after trying any other proposed solution. (Even Tech Support recommended re-installing High Sierra first, before upgrading to Mojave. And even the reinstall I am waiting to try only if everything else fails.)

    This last upgrade meant -- as usual -- having to get new versions of a large number of the programs I use most frequently. And, as is often the case, some of those new versions sometimes had reduced functionality and/or completely arbitrary UI changes.
     
  4. casperes1996 macrumors 68040

    casperes1996

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2014
    Location:
    Horsens, Denmark
    #4

    Only other steps I can think of would involve wiping your contact book, which I don't think is a viable option for you, so don't really have any other recommendations right now. - Sorry to hear about your bad experiences upgrading though. I've never really had issues with it, but I keep everything up to date always. Not necessarily always feature upgrades, but for the most part that as well; Unless there's a pay wall.

    I think it's fairly rare that updates reduce functionality. - Last I remember with that was iWork and that's quite a while ago now. But that may just be the software I use.
     
  5. Brian33 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2008
    Location:
    USA (Virginia)
    #5
    Do you sync your contacts with iCloud? If so, can you see/edit the groups there? If not, perhaps turn iCloud syncing on and then see if the iCloud smart groups are ok (by logging into iCloud.com). I don't use smart groups so I'm not sure if it's even possible to edit smart groups via the iCloud web interface, but it seems like it should be.

    If you can get everything looking good in iCloud, I know how you can get rid of all the contacts and groups on your Mac by moving/deleting the files in your ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook folder, in the hopes that maybe this will get rid of some file causing the problem. Then you can re-populate your Mac's Contacts with the iCloud versions. (I did this to solve a Contacts syncing problem I had with two of my three Macs.)

    That's a lot of Ifs and Maybes, but perhaps a direction to pursue...
     
  6. dudleybrooks thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #6
    Thanks for the advice.

    However, I don't use iCloud. I will never use iCloud. I loathe iCloud. When I tried iCloud a few years ago it completely lost my entire Contacts list and my entire Calendar! (I don't remember the details of why that happened.) Tech Support couldn't recover them, and turned it over to the behind-the-scenes technicians who tried for a week a couldn't recover them either. Finally, a different tech support person pointed out that I could just restore them from Time Machine. But he had to lead me through a slightly complicated procedure to ensure that they would not just automatically go to iCloud again.

    Just as a matter of principle I don't like iCloud. When I use the cloud I want it to be for backup only, not as the primary location of my data. I want my computer to be the primary location.
     

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5 April 18, 2019