[Discussion] Adressbooks sync with MacOS

Hello, I have a problem with syncing adressbooks of 1 NC user with macOS Sierra and OSX Lion (nextcloud 12.0.4) . Don´t know if the problem existet in former versions. Just createt 2 new Adressbooks yesterday.

I use this CardDAV link: https://mydomain/remote.php/dav/principals/users/USER/

Screenshot from NC:

In MacOS Sierra only the “Kontakte” Adressbook and its Contacts are shown. The other Adressbooks and their contact do no show.

Screenshot MacOS Sierra Contacts:


In IOS it works fine. All 3 Adressbooks are shown.

Has anybody any suggestions to fix this Problem? Havn´t found anything in www.

Unfortunately MacOS is not able to sync more than one addressbook.

really? no way? no workaround?

Not that I know of.
To be clear: this is an issue of MacOS and not Nextcloud. So a workaround would need to be done on MacOS.

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Actually: as a workaround you could share the addressbook to a new user and add an carddav-account on MacOS for that new user. You would have to do that for every single additional addressbook though.

I got this problem too.
For my part, i use to tag my contacts and i didn’t use groups for the moment.

So i saw all my contacts in OSX and i have always the webUI open if i want to make a view from tags.

I have tried for weeks now and contact sync with MacOS appears to be broken. Settings will accept the CardDAV details but the contacts never sync. iOS, Android, Windows are all fine. There appears to be no workaround.

Have you tried with service discovery?

Hi Bernie_O!

We are struggling at the same point, trying to use 2 different address books in Mac Contacts.app
one for personal contacts (read/write)
plus another as global addressbook (read only)

The global contacts is a share to an extra user-account (read only)
This global contacts account we need to integrate in every users Addressbook on Mac.

Setting up this extra user-acoount in Mac Contacts, the url direct so the personal addressbook named “contacts” and not to the shared one.

How do I connect to exactly this global addressbook?
If it is not possible to connect to the 2nd one, we could use the original global addressbook, but it is not read only then. Any chance to make it read only (Mac side / server side / rights / nextcloud)?

Besides this: there is always confusion about the right url-strings.

Any hints to solve the problem?



I’ never done this but here is what I would try:

  • User A: account with personal contacts (read/write)
  • User Y: account with global addressbook (read/write): shares the global addressbook to user Z (read only)
  • User Z: receives the shared global addressbook from user Y (read only)

There can be several different user accounts like the one from user A.

On the mac:

  • add carddav account for User A
  • add carddav account for User Z

I would always use service discovery on Mac OS or iOS. I explained here how that works for caldav. For carddav the same applies (just exchange caldav with carddav):

Good luck!

Hey Bernie_O,

the User setup is exactly, what I have planed. So I’m am on the right way :wink:
The tricky part is to get the Account for user Z on Mac to NOT use his personal contacts but the shared from Y.

I will check service discovery later.

I will give feedback when everything is working.

Thanx for Your answer


I see and understand now. That will indeed be tricky. Will the users have access to the web front end? I think the personal address book can be deleted with the occ command. But if users visit the contacts app within the nextcloud web front end the personal address book will be recreated (I think).

EDIT: bollocks - of course probably no one will visit user Z in the web front end. So deleting the personal address book might work. Haven’t tried it though…

EDIT 2: just saw that the occ command can create address books and not delete (https://docs.nextcloud.com/server/13/admin_manual/configuration_server/occ_command.html#dav-commands). Sorry. It might work though to delete the personal address book in the web front end and then never ever visit the contacts app from that user account again. I am not entirely sure and can’t verify that now, but I think I’ve done that a while ago.

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Your workaround works excellent with NC 13 and macOS 10.14.2 Contacts app, THANK YOU VERY MUCH for that idea!

Is it a duplicate of High Sierra address book does not sync?
It seems very similar. Anyone tried the config/fix there?
Also look https://github.com/nextcloud/contacts/issues/399

I think this is a different issue:

  • this thread is about synching multiple addressbooks with Mac OS X.
  • the other one is about syncing problems with Mac OS X. For the difference see this comment from @macnex : High Sierra address book does not sync and the according answer from user kfincei

I tried the fix from the other thread and it doesn’t solve Mac OS X not being able to sync multiple addressbooks. I also commented quite detailed in the according github issue: https://github.com/nextcloud/contacts/issues/399#issuecomment-468992259