How to Automatically Back Up Contacts in OS X

Nearly all of us have experienced a situation in which we have faced a corrupt hard drive, and due to not having any backups, have lost all our data. Good backups are always necessary. In this article we will show how you can use Automator to automate backing up your contacts in OS X.

1. Open up Automator on your Mac. You can do this by searching for it from Spotlight Search or by navigating to your Applications folder and opening Automator.


2. Select a new document if Automator prompts you to do so, and select “Calendar Alarm” in the type of document. This is a type of document that can be triggered by events in your calendar, meaning you can set it to run at specific intervals automatically.


3. From the left-hand “Actions” panel, choose Contacts, and drag “Find Contacts items” into the right-hand pane.


The option that comes up lets us filter which contacts we want to back up. As we’ll be backing up all of our contacts, simply leave the first two options to “people” and “All” as they are. Select “Name” and “is not” for the last two options and enter in “aaa.”


4. Click on “Run” on the top-right corner of the window. If everything runs perfectly you should get a “Workflow completed” message in the bottom of the window. Click on Results (it has a green tick next to it), which should bring up a list of all the selected contacts, showing that the action has indeed successfully selected all of your contacts.


5. Now, from the second list, drag “Export vCards” to the right hand pane, making sure it sits underneath “Find Contacts People” in your workflow. Leave the Export option as it is (also seen in the screenshot below); just choose a custom location where you would like your Contacts to be backed up.


6. Once done, click on “File -> Save” (or press “Command + S” on your keyboard) from the top menu and save your alarm. Now, once you’ve saved it, Automator will automatically add it as an event at the current time to your calendar. Calendar should automatically open up, but if it doesn’t, open it.

Double-click on the event, and click on the Date.


The following window should open up.


Here, in the Repeat section, you can set a regular interval for a regular backup of your contacts.


That’s it! It’s that simple to create an automatic task (workflow) to back up your contacts in OS X at a regular schedule. Although it is a bit lengthy, it’s a one-time setup that can prove to be life-saving in the occasion you have a hard drive failure. For that we recommend selecting a network drive location in the Automator workflow, but it’s entirely upto you.

Similarly, you can also mess around with other Automator options to create other backups. Let us know what you thought of this guide down in the Comments section.

Leave a Reply

Yeah! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic! Check out our comment policy here. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation.