Sharing Contacts and Calendar with Spouse on iOS 12? Help!

Ever since my wife has had an iPhone, we have used my Apple ID on both phones. So great!

  1. Photos automatically sync together from both phones
  2. Calendars sync
  3. Contacts sync
  4. I turn of iCloud email and set up her Gmail email

All was well in the world. NOT ANYMORE!

For whatever reason when people text me, it goes to both of us. Even though the numbers are clearly different. So I logged her out of my iCloud account, and created one for her and added her into our family sharing.

Now she has no contacts, so all of her text threads are just numbers, not names. All of her calendars are gone. I haven’t’ looked through the photos, but I hope they still sync. Of course, this is not even an option in family sharing! We can share Screen time analytics, but we can’t share contacts and calendars! Grrrr!!

So how do I return to

  1. Having a shared Contacts database?
  2. Having shared Calendars?

It used to be so easy…

Couple ideas — For contacts you could setup a unique Google account or iCloud account that would house them. Then in Settings - Contacts you select the Default Account to that one. For calendar, we have our individual calenars (Google) but we share them with each other. Both can be viewed on each other’s phone and are always in sync. If its an event that is for both, we invite the other person.

My wife and I have our own iCloud accounts (we share the App Store account). We have only one shared calendar – for events we both attend. No shared contact list. Has worked fine this way for years, including iOS 12. She messages from her phone #, I from mine.

If I recall correctly, personal iCloud accounts are recommended by Apple – pretty much for the reasons @bodiequirk experiences as problems.

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AFAIK, there is no way to share an iCloud contacts list. Question: Do you have a Mac? If so, how about this:

  1. Set up a new gmail account
  2. Export your contacts and calendars from iCloud
  3. Import them into the new Gmail account.
  4. Log into the new Gmail account on all your devices (& your wife’s), selecting contacts and calendar only (no email).
  5. Then on your devices deselect iCloud contacts & calendars.
  6. Your wife then deselects contacts & calendars on her personal gmail.

You each have access to your own email account, and share contacts & calendars.

I’ve managed my work, personal iCloud mail, and two personal gmail accounts using the above for several years. The only difference is I also logged into work mail/contacts/calendars.

This looks like the only available solution, so thanks Wayne for spelling this out. I cannot believe I have to use Google as a solution for something bonehead simple that Apple should easily have figured out.

Really appreciate you taking the time to help on this one

As @WayneG suggested as well, it looks like I now I have to use Google as a go-between. Ugh

Sadly, this is not an option for us @anon41602260. If my wife were in charge of her contacts and calendars we would all be in a world of hurt! You should see her email and app management. I literally die inside just a little bit every time I look at her phone.

When I manage them all is well with us, but glad that works for you guys!

If you don’t want to use Google, another option is to create a third, “shared” iCloud account. My wife and I each have separate iCloud accounts with our own contacts but we also have another (third) iCloud account that we use solely for syncing shared contacts. Our individual iCloud accounts are “primary” (i.e., set up first) on all of our devices, and the “shared” (third) iCloud account is set to only sync contacts.

One thing to be careful about with this set up is to exclude your contact card and your wife’s contact card from the “shared” contacts. Instead, you should include both of your contact cards in both of your individual iCloud accounts so that you can tell iOS / macOS which contact is you and also use relationships in Siri. From my experience in the past, Siri freaked out when our contacts were in the shared (third) iCloud account’s contacts!

I just ended up inviting her to each and every calendar. Works ok. Still miss the old days.

Oct 11
I just ended up inviting her to each and every calendar. Works ok. Still miss the old days.

That’s what we do and it has always worked. There are some calendars that we don’t need to share and so “no invites”… Don’t care for Google and try to minimize using it.