Backing Up Contacts to Synology

I exported a Contacts Archive (.abbu) to a folder on my desktop last week before making a fix to my Contacts - just in case. All went well with the Contacts issue, but when I copied the Contacts Archive to a Synology shared folder (smb over wifi) it took a long time to finish.

I did a few tests after rebooting the Mac and the NAS, and it seems any .abbu file takes forever to copy compared to other file types. And by forever, I mean 15-20 minutes to copy a 200MB file, compared to a few seconds for another file type of that size in my limited testing. I assume it’s related to these .abbu packages containing lots of other files, because even a 50MB archive takes 10-15 seconds to copy to an attached external USB drive, but 20 minutes for 200MB to the NAS?

This may all be moot because I came across this detailed article about the perils of Contact Archives (Thanks, @tjluoma). So now I am wondering:

  1. What is the current best practice on the Mac for backing up a complete Contacts database with group data?
  2. What gives with super slow copying?

I think you’re right. I have 805 contacts, and the .abbu package has 864 files.

You could try exporting as vcards, which puts them all into one file. I don’t know the ramifications of restoring, etc.

I tested this and copied a 70MB .abbu to my Synology using Carbon Copy Cloner. Took about 10 minutes for CCC to finish. So, similar to @evanfuchs’ experience.

I’ve never thought about backing up Contacts – since these data are on all my devices, I supposed if one device crapped out then the data will be somewhere else or in iCloud. Which might not be a good analysis.


Does it take as long when you zip the .abbu archive?

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I had “ghost duplicates” on my Mac, which are what the internet calls it when a contact shows up twice in Spotlight index, but not in the actual Contacts app. The fix was zapping everything at /Users/username/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/Sources/ which sounded risky enough to make me want a safety net. Otherwise between Time Machine, iCloud, and the restore feature I don’t worry too much about it.

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