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Co-joined iPhones and Lost Contacts Data

Discussion of general issues, not related to a specific Mac or iDevice operating system.
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pvhansen@tfon.com
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Co-joined iPhones and Lost Contacts Data

Post by pvhansen@tfon.com » Fri Mar 08, 2019 10:45 pm

I recently upgraded from an iPhone 6 to 6SE and later installed my wife's phone number on the older iPhone (we have Verizon). Now both phones ring for incoming calls, and incoming text messages appear on both phones.
Additionally, my wife started deleting entries in the Contacts list (which is on both phones, of course) and now they are gone from my phone as well. Some of the items are still on the iMac Contacts, but some are not.

Question 1: How do I restore the Contacts list on the iMac from Time Machine?

Question 2: How do I transfer data from Contacts on the iMac to the iPhones (the two systems don't appear to be syncing reliably)?

Question 3: Is there something I can do to get the two systems to sync reliability (Contacts and Calendar)?

Question 4: How do we disconnect the two phones so that they don't get the same text and calls for the two numbers, and operations on the Contacts list on her phone don't affect the ones on my phone?

Thanks for your help,
Paul V Hansen

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Stephen Hart
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Re: Co-joined iPhones and Lost Contacts Data

Post by Stephen Hart » Sat Mar 09, 2019 7:46 am

I posted here about the procedure we followed to successfully share a single Contacts list.
viewtopic.php?f=5&t=2553&p=8946&hilit=Contacts#p8946

But you seem to be reporting a problem that comes from sharing contacts: when a contact is deleted from one iPhone, it disappears everywhere. That's normal for a shared Contacts list.

If you don't want that to happen, you'll want to log into iCloud with two different accounts. You can then share some things, but not all. Calendars and Reminders can be explicitly shared with another person with a different iCloud account.
https://support.apple.com/kb/PH12516?locale=en_US
https://support.apple.com/kb/ph2690?locale=en_US

You can have both phones logged in to a single account, but that will bring its own problems. And you can't have a separate iCloud email address if you set the phones up that way.

Messages and phone calls can happen on devices logged into the same iCloud account. Here are some example how-tos:
https://www.imore.com/how-make-and-answ ... -your-ipad
https://www.iphonelife.com/content/all- ... top-ios-11

Having more than one device ring and be able to be used for phone calls can be handy, but it can also lead to comical problems. We once had a phone call and FaceTime conversation at the dining table with two iPhones and an iPad Pro (on our end) going all at once.
"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works."
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Ray Bentsen
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Re: Co-joined iPhones and Lost Contacts Data

Post by Ray Bentsen » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:43 pm

Regarding Questions 2, 3, and 4:
Possibly you have some contacts added into an iCloud account and some into "On My Mac". Having contacts in "On My Mac" may even be leftover from the days before iCloud! Check the sidebar in Contacts on your Mac to see if you have both. My guess is that at this point you should only be having contacts in iCloud, since those will be the ones syncing to other devices using the same iCloud account.

Also be sure that on your iMac in Contacts Preferences you have selected iCloud as the default when you add new contacts. (see screenshot)

As Stephen has suggested, if you and your wife want to have separate Contact accounts, you will first need separate iCloud accounts. Both accounts can be displayed in Contacts on the Mac, so entries can be edited separately.

;)
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Ray Bentsen
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Re: Co-joined iPhones and Lost Contacts Data

Post by Ray Bentsen » Sat Mar 09, 2019 2:34 pm

Regarding Question 1:

To begin, and to be on the safe side, I would begin by using the Contacts File menu to choose Export > Contacts Archive on your iMac. This will create a file that will at least restore your Contacts to the way they are now (by just double-clicking it), in case the process below fails to work as expected.

Then, to restore your iMac contacts using Time Machine:
1. Open Contacts.
2. Enter Time Machine using the icon in Menu Bar. Be patient, it may take a minute or so for Time Machine to find all the data it needs on your Time Machine backup drive.
3. Go back in time by selecting past dates using the right sidebar ... until you see some of the missing contacts. Again, be patient.
4. Select one contact (or all of them by typing Command-A).
5. Click Restore. Again, be patient. ;)
An old Norse adage: Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.

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