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Phat^Trance

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 9, 2009
505
39
Just restarted my MacOS and noticed that most of my contact photos are gone in the message app. This was working fine since i bought my M1 mac mini.

Does anyone know how i can fix this? Forcing a icloud sync doesnt solve the problem. And login out and then login on icloud doesnt fix the problem either.

Contact photos on my iPhone 13 pro max is fine (they are all there), but on both my macbook and mac mini are mostly gone!


1705342726907.png
 
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ischack

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2024
5
0
Just so that you know, you are not alone: I'm experiencing the exact same thing. And it's been getting worse of the last week or two, meaning: more and more Contact photos disappeared. And it also is the case, that the Contact photos remain untouched on my iPhone and iPad.

I've been going through the affected contacts and cannot recognize any rule or system. Apparantly, random contacts get robbed of their photo.

Also, this does not exclusively affect contacts with Apple devices. My first thought was, it might have to do with Apples "new" feature to share contact photos with others. But I have at least two contacts who only use Linux/Windows machines and Android phones and tablets.

Here's what I tried so far:
– Deactivating the contacts sync feature in the iCloud settings on my Mac (and re-enabling it, of course).
– Signing out of my iCloud account on my Mac (and signing back in, after a reboot).
– Starting the Mac in Safe Mode.
– Manually deleting the actual address book files on the Mac. They were recreated (from iCloud) as soon as I opend the Contacts app, however still missing the same contact photos as before.

Also, this didn't start with the latest version of Sonoma (14.3). OP's entry is about a week older and least I wasn't using the (public) beta.
 
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ischack

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2024
5
0
OK, and now it's completely falling apart. The two selected blue entries are the same person. All conversations with “phone numbers” do, of course, have full contact cards with names on them. And as you see, several contacts lost their fotos (top left, the second from the top with a blue unread dot in front of it) and the one below Anja. Heavens!
 

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ischack

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2024
5
0
New possible solutions I tried (without success):
– Creating a new user on the Mac and connecting it with my iCloud account
– Re-installing macOS (without deleting anything)

Next step is probably to completely wipe the Mac and set it up a) using a time machine backup and then b) as a completely new machine (which I neither have the time nor the patience for right now).
 

Ben J.

macrumors 6502a
Aug 29, 2019
551
261
Oslo
I've experienced this. I don't remember the exact details on how I fixed it, but it had to do with disabling contacts in icloud sync settings, and letting my messages, contact apps etc. use my google account (already enabled) to sync these. I haven't re-enabled contacts in icloud sync settings. FWIW.
 

ischack

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2024
5
0
Another update with a (possible) solution.

Re-installing macOS did change something after all: This morning, contacts whose pictures were gone (see: the person below “Anja” in my screenshot above), were no longer shown with no graphic at all, but with the typical placeholder initials – AM for Alex Merks for example.

I was now able to add a new contact picture to those contacts. Moments later (OK, maybe a couple of minutes) those changes propagated to my iPhone and iPad. Opening those contacts' contact infos from the Messages app on the iPhone allowed me to revert the contact photo back to the one it had before (see: the screenshot in this post).

Since only about 12 contacts (out of hundreds) seemed to be affected, I see this way (re-installing macOS, changing the photo manually, having Messages on the iPhone change it back) as a solution.

However, I'll keep an eye on this and see, if this behaviour returns. By now I also have a support case with Apple on that matter.
 

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Phat^Trance

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 9, 2009
505
39
i tried to add new posters / contact images via my iphone, and they did sync to both my mac mini and macbook, but after a day or so the contact images on my macs were back to blank images again.

FFS WTF is going on???
 

ischack

macrumors newbie
Jan 24, 2024
5
0
Turns out I celebrated too early. Yesterday I talked on a podcast about the problem and a (possible) solution. Today I'm back to square one with several contacts' pictures missing in the manner shown before. Meh.
 

Phat^Trance

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 9, 2009
505
39
Turns out I celebrated too early. Yesterday I talked on a podcast about the problem and a (possible) solution. Today I'm back to square one with several contacts' pictures missing in the manner shown before. Meh.

this is so random :/
 
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