I typically use iSync and .Mac to backup and sync my Address Book across multiple Macs, and on my Treo cell phone. However, a few months ago something happened during the iSync process, and all my addresses were tripled. What a pain! Luckily, I religiously (maniacally) back up my Address Book using it’s extremely easy File > Back up Address Book feature. I was able to use this to restore everything from my back up. From there I reset iSync and .Mac sync preferences, and I was back in order.

How to do it:

1. Launch Address Book.

2. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, browse File > Back up Address Book

3. A dialog appears, asking where you want to save your Address Book back-up. Note that by default, the current date will be added to the saved file name. Choose where you want to save the backup, then click Save.

That’s it. I typically email a copy of this back up file to myself – so I’ll have it saved on my email web-server. You can also burn it to CD or save it to a flash drive iPod. If you are worried about security or privacy, you can easily lock your exported address in an encrypted disk image. Read how on our blog:

http://blog.smalldog.com/article/318/creating-an-encrypted-disk-image

It’s easy to restore your Address Book from the backed up file. To restore: In Address Book, choose Revert to Address Book Backup from the File menu. In the resulting dialog, locate your backup file (it ends with a .abbu extension), select it, and click Open.

Finally, you can also export all your addresses as a group vCard. To do this,

1. Launch Address Book.

2. In the menu bar at the top of the screen, browse File > Export Group vCard.

3. A dialog appears, asking where you want to save the group vCard. Choose where you want to save the backup, then click Save. vCards can be opened, imported and read by most modern PIM applications, including Palm Desktop and the Daylight Productivity programs.

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