How to get Calendar & Address Book with iCloud on Snow Leopard

iCloud is designed to work with Lion or iOS 5 or better. It’s not supposed to work with iCal or Address Book on Snow Leopard, but it does. Here’s how:


  1. Open iCal in Snow Leopard
  2. Select Preferences from the iCal menu
  3. Go to the Accounts tab
  4. At the bottom left, click the + sign to add a new account
  5. Select the CalDav option under the Account type
  6. Enter your iCloud (.me) name including the .me
  7. Enter your iCloud password
  8. Hold down option and click Continue (was Create)
  9. The server address will be (See the next step to determine your xx number
  10. Here’s where it can be a challenge: You need to determine the unique number which is your iCloud account number. The way I did it was to log in to iCloud on the web. Then, click on your name or picture to get your account settings page. If you don’t have a picture there, you may need to upload one. Once your picture is there, right click on it (in Safari) and choose Inspect Element. (If you don’t see the Inspect Element choice, you’ll need to go into Safari Preferences, go to the Advanced tab and make sure there is a check mark for “Show Develop Menu in Menu Bar”.) Search for You’ll find something like <img src=”…>. The number in the nnnnnnnn position is your unique number. It may be seven, eight or nine characters. Your pxx number is right at the beginning after the https://.
  11. The server path will be /nnnnnnnn/principal/
  12. Make sure the port is 443 and SSL is selected.
  13. That’s it. You may have to restart iCal to get the Calendars working.

Address Book

Getting Address Book to work is a bit trickier.

  1. Open Address Book in Snow Leopard
  2. Select Preferences from the Address Book menu
  3. Go to the Accounts tab
  4. At the bottom left, click the + sign to add a new account
  5. Select the CardDav option under the Account type
  6. Enter your iCloud (.me) name with the domain: (substitute your own account name for yourname (you will change this later)
  7. Enter your iCloud password
  8. The server address at this point can be anything eg.
  9. Click Create. It will fail. Click Create again.
  10. Quit Address Book
  11. Now you will need to edit the Configuration.plist found in /Users/yourusername/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/Sources/some-128-bit Unique#/
  12. You can double click it to open. Depending on what applications you have installed will dictate what application opens it. If you have Property List Editor installed, you’ll want to open the Configuration.plist in something like TextWrangler or even TextEdit.
  13. Look for <key>servername</key>
  14. The next line needs to be changed. It will look something like: <string></string> when you are done. Change the xx to whatever server you found for the Calendar and the nnnnnnnnn will again be your Unique ID for iCloud.
  15. Re-open Address Book and change your iCloud name to be yourpassword needs to be your real iCloud password. Yes, your password will be visible to anyone who opens your preferences in Address Book. This is a BIG negative. But, it has to be done for this to work.
  16. Re-enter your password in the Password field if it’s not there.
  17. Close the Preferences window. Address Book should now sync with iCloud perfectly. (PS: You cannot have any profile pictures in your Address Book. If you do, you WILL get duplicates.

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(Addendum: I’ve recently moved to Mountain Lion. There is no question, for me, it is heads & tails better than Lion. For $19.99, I think a switch is warranted which gives perfect integration with iCloud without any of the hack problems/convolutions.)

(Addendum 2: One of the biggest issues with this hack is with Address Book. If you have profile pictures in your Address Book, you WILL get duplicates. You must have NO profile pics as long as you are using the hack with Snow Leopard to sync Address Book.)

(Addendum 3: I think Snow Leopard was the most stable OS Apple ever released. That said, if you’ve read this blog post, please consider leaving a comment as to why you’re still using it, four revs later. Not saying this is bad; just curious as to motives. Thanks.)

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128 thoughts on “How to get Calendar & Address Book with iCloud on Snow Leopard

  1. Thanks a lot for the advice, works great!
    Only problem is, the contacts are duplicating themselves, 440 are now 1940 contantly growing and adressbook slows down dramatically, altho everything looks fine in the several groups, no duplicates there…
    Any idea?
    And sorry for my bad english, I’m from germany.

    And thanks again, iCal works like a charm!

    • Hi Fred,

      Thanks for visiting and using this tip. Sorry you’re having problems with the contacts multiplying. Are you syncing your contacts with iCloud on any of the iOS devices as well?

      BTW, your English is soooo much better than my German! 🙂

      • Hi Donny,

        I am trying to configure this on my MBA (OSX 10.6.8) but am confused about the user name I should use. my icloud user name is my email address, without any or
        I am therefore not sure what to use here:

        can you pls help.

        • You MUST have an email address which includes either or No ifs, ands or but about it. Whichever domain you get your mail at is the answer. While your user name may well be your email address, icloud has assigned you an email address as well. Open icloud in a web browser. Go to mail. Gear in upper right will show you Preferences & your email address.

    • I believe the duplication issue is related to cards that have photos attached to them.

      Also, if you have access to a Lion machine, if you export to an iCal archive, then move that to a SnowLepoard machine and import it into iCal, it will bring over all the info including you pXX number and your 7-9 digit icloud ID.

      • I found the solution. I suspect the problem originated because my caldav served was changed (by Apple I guess) from p06 to p01. After iCal started complaining about my password, I deleted the account and tried to re-create it as explained here. But I still got the error message and the password would not stick in the preference pane (I had to re-enter it at every attempt). Now I simply rebooted my machine, and after a fresh startup the setup went smoothly. Now I can access the calendar again. I hope this helps somebody else.

  2. Thanks for the fast reply, yes I’m syncing the contacts with an iPad, too, running the latest iOs, everything’s perfect there, just the MacPro and the MacMini show this strange behaviour.

  3. OK. I think what’s happening is the iOS devices are working with the real iCloud account, while the Mac is working with a CardDav account. So to the machines, they are different. I’ve heard of this happening before with this hack.
    I think you have a few choices: 1. You can use Soho Organizer which runs about $99 US. 2. You can upgrade to Lion which will use native iCloud syncing (as opposed to the hack) or 3. You can wait for Mountain Lion which will be out in a few months. I don’t think there is a perfect solution that’s free, because of the iCloud vs. CardDav thing. Calendar, for some reason, doesn’t appear to have this same problem although one would think it should (CalDav vs. true iCloud). All the best, and thanks for visiting.

    Fred, I’m adding to this post. Are you syncing your Address Book from your iOS devices through iTunes as well as over the air (ota)?

  4. I’ve tried a lot of times, and it does seem to be connecting at first, because it downloads all of my contacts from iCloud and puts them On My Mac. But then it disconnects and won’t connect to iCloud again; with the following error message:

    Server Error

    The CardDAV server returned an error (404) for the user “”.


    Funny how I’ve entered p06-contacts, and somehow it’s finding p03-contacts and appending that to the end of the URL.

    • Tried that too. Still doesn’t connect. It throws up a different error message though; instead of a 404 it says ‘The user “” or password is invalid for the server “”. Verify the account settings in Address Book preferences.’

      • I’m guessing you’ve tried the p03 server substituting for the p06? I’ve heard this hack can be unreliable. If it comes down to not working at all, or working improperly, like doubling or tripling your contacts your only choices are going to be to upgrade to lion or use Soho Organizer. I’m on Snow, and personally, I use Plaxo for my contacts. I have a much smaller set of contacts for my iPhone and Plaxo works really well for that. The large set of contacts is just on my Mac, and I don’t worry about syncing those. Just have a good Time Machine backup. Just a thought.

  5. Thank you. Very welcome advice. Bit disappointed with Apple though that they have not thought this strategy through and helped users transition from one system to another. And Steve Jobs thought ‘Mobile Me’ was a mess!?…

  6. Fred and Donny – I’m on Lion and my contacts in Address Book randomly duplicate up to about 15 per card. It’s a chore. Only way to get round it is to enter on the web in iCloud. iOS devices then sync perfectly but Address Book doesn’t sync that entry at all. Totally stumped but wanted to share if useful. If I find a fix will post.

    • Dan, you say you are on Lion and having problems with Address Book?? I’m not sure how to apply that to our Snow Leopard thread. I appreciate you posting, though. As to the problems with Address Book on Snow, I’m a bit baffled. I tried Soho Organizer just to see how it connects to iCloud. It’s purportedly a better solution than the hack. Yet, SO is using the same type of connection specified in the post. Hmmmm!

  7. Oh, and a good friend lost 4 years worth of photos with an iCloud random ‘failure’ (He’s a trainer for Apple so no dummy). Lets be careful out there people!

  8. I have iMac running Snow Leopard (but I cannot upgrade to Lion) and iphone 4. I sync especially iCal with I use for my work (I’m a pastor of the reformed church). I read your suggestion how to make it work. But I have a question. Before doing this, am I supposed to migrate from to icloud? During the process should I say that all my devices are compatible (even though they are not ?). Thanks, Daniele

    • Danielle, you’re gonna have to migrate to iCloud before or at the end of the month which is when MM is scheduled to end. How you want to answer the question posed is up to you. The mail and iCal hacks work pretty reliably. The AB hack is kinda iffy from what I hear.

      • I’m having problems to register the account.
        I found the pXX and my nnnnnn. Till here OK.
        What should I write in the following options?
        – model account (none, …. mobileMe, serveriCal)
        – account name (OK)
        – pw (OK)
        – server address: (is it correct?)
        – path of the server: ???? (I don’t know)
        – gate: 443 with SSL

        I suppose I have problems with the path. And, actually, I don’t know where I’m supposed to enter my nnnn – number.

        BR, Daniele

          • Thank you indeed. Now iCal is perfectly working! I don’t really understand why Apple didn’t give this hint for solving the problem with Leopard. Best regards, Daniele

  9. Thanks to the terrific instructions here and elsewhere, I’m able to synch my calendar and access my email even though I don’t have any Lion nor iOS 5 devices (still running Snow Leopard so I can use Eudora, and my old iPhone 3 won’t run iOS 5). However, I couldn’t get my address book contacts imported into iCloud nor could I get synching to work (it only ever showed my ‘me’ contact with my “” address).

    Since I use the terrific utility Unison to synch 1Password data and selected other files between my machines, I figured the easiest path is to add ~Library/Applications Supports/AddressBook/ to the stuff I’m synching. No iCloud contacts, but synching works and no hassles with duplicated contacts nor losing contact photos.

  10. Thanks for the tips. Got both to work. Address Book though now lists two address books, my one (which I called iCloud in “description”) and “On My Mac”. I presume as long as I use the iCloud one, I will be OK in everything staying up to date, but that local one will be a possible trap….

  11. I have tied this work around for my Snow Leopard Machines… I don’t have choice on my Power Book which is too old for Lion or my Server since Lion server is a joke. Calendar works great.. the Address book does not… i have the good id number and server.. issue is that I can’t “see” the icloud on my SL machines… when I add an address to the Icloud book it does not appear one the web version or my IPAD so it appears I have a disconnect between the CARDDAV and ICLOUD versions of the address book?.


    • Hi Jason,

      I’m not really clear on your problem, but I’ll take a stab at it. Maybe you could tell me what you mean when you say, “when I add an address to the Icloud book it does not appear one the web version or my IPAD so it appears I have a disconnect between the CARDDAV and ICLOUD versions of the address book?” What I’m not understanding is the reference to adding an address to the iCloud book. Define that for me better and I’ll see if I can add some insight. Please bear in mind, once you begin using iCloud for addresses, it MUST be primary. That is you must select that as the main place for addresses.

  12. Many thanks for the excellent procedure. Saved my proverbial butt because i LOATHE Lion and did not want to upgrade my Mac Pro running SL10.6.8 – your instructions worked first try.

    Again, thanks for contributing such a helpful post to the community of Apple users who have been abandoned by Apple.

  13. Thanks for posting your easy-to-follow instructions. I also appreciate your contributions to the Apple community. All the best to you!

  14. Hmmm. The Calendar workaround seems to have gotten broken somehow. It was working for awhile; now I get (after a spinning in process animation) “The server responded with an error” described as an unexpected network error, code 60. The password field was empty in preferences, so I filled it back in and verified all the other fields were correct, but no dice. Tried shutting down and restarting iCal. Is this just me, or did Apple do something to cripple this workaround?

      • Craig,
        I would try deleting the calendar in iCal then recreating it. Remember with iCloud, the master always needs to be in the cloud anyway. If need be, remember to run a backup of iCal on your computer first.

        • Sorry – wrong email address in the box. Please reply to this one:

          Hi there,

          I tried your workaround as described but I went wrong somewhere. And now I have a message that says:
          “The server did not recognize your user name or password for account “” Make sure you enter them correctly”

          Two options “revert to server” or “go offline”. Whichever one I click, nothing happens, and it won’t let me back into “preferences”. Tried restarting iCal and restarting MacBook. Now worried that I have permanently broken the iCal app….

          Please help!


  15. Hi Donny, thank you so much for posting such clear and easy to follow instructions for getting this working. I have been able to get iCal working on all 3 of our macs now, and two 2nd gen iPod touches.

    However, ran into some issues with getting Address Book to sync. Weirdly, I was able to get it to work with my account on my MacBook Pro, but could not make it work for my wife’s account on her computers. I did notice that she is on a p04 server while I am on p02. Do you think that would be what’s causing this?

    Also, I haven’t been able to get Address Book syncing working on my ipod yet. I am unable to get the account setup to work. Do you know how to accomplish this?

    Thanks again,


    • Colin: I really can’t imagine the difference between p02 & p04 being an issue. Soho Organizer uses whatever the values of the server are when it sets up the accounts there. What happens on your wife’s computer, and have you migrated to iCloud? Is your wife’s account a sub-account of yours from a family plan?

      As to syncing with your iPod, hopefully you mean an iPod touch. What version of iOS? If it is a first generation touch, you may be SOL as the max iOS on that device is 3.1.3 and iCloud on iOS devices requires iOS 5 or better.

      • I am a sub-account of her’s, actually. Yes we have both migrated to iCloud. Yes I meant iPod touch, 2nd Generation. They are only running iOS 4 (4.2.1) but that is the point of all this, isn’t it? As I said before, we were able to get iCal syncing working with them using the same server settings as posted here. It is just Address Book that there are issues with. I wonder if there is a Configuration.plist file on the iPod touch that needs to be edited–somehow.

  16. I have found that editing the AddressBook Configuration.plist file like this will prevent duplicate entries on both ends:

    1. Make sure the Account is working and syncing, then quit Address Book.
    2. Edit the Accounts ‘Configuration.plist” once more to delete either the entire ‘addressBookName’ key or just change its value ‘card’ to being empty (both worked).
    3. Prevent further changes to Configuration.plist by locking it in the Finder’s Info panel. Right click (control click) the configuration.plist file and check/tick “Lock”.

    • VeroPCnet: This is a very good and useful addendum to all of this, particularly the last point which I have been stressing for some time. One has to make iCloud the primary means of contacts going forward or everything goes to heck. There could be a problem with locking a plist file, so I want others reading this to know that.

    • Thanks very much – I was previously having a big problem with duplicates but deleting “card” in configuration.plist worked for me (on my Mac Mini and MacbookPro both running 10.6.8). I noticed that it was reinstated whenever I added a new contact on that machine so locking the file is essential. Have not seen any downside to locking (yet) – syncing between Mac Mini, Macbook Pro and iPodTouch is now working perfectly.

      • Good stuff, Geoff. I’ve seen several folks mention locking the file. I guess that’s easier than just logging into iCloud each & every time one wants to add a contact.

      • Donnie, like Geoff D, I wanted to thank you very much for this post as it clearly explained what I needed to do to get iCloud for iCal and Address Book on SL. 😀 I would have loved to upgrade to Lion or Mountain Lion but my MacMini (early 2006) is running the 32-bit EFI, hence, it is not supported.

        With regards to the file locking option presented by VeroPCnet to prevent duplicate entires appearing in the address book, I found that it only worked with the first option, that is, if I left the ‘addressBookName’ key and string tags and deleted ‘card’ from the string field. If simply commented out the key/string pair, which is in essence the 2nd option presented, then Address Book was still creating duplicates, regardless if I was updating/adding/deleting through the iCloud (CardDAV) connection on my MacMini or via the iCloud website.

        To echo Geoff D once again, I have not seen any downside either to locking (yet).

        • Marcelo,

          The iCal work around seems to be a no-brainer. It just works! I’m even using it on two Macs which can run Lion (’nuff said about that 🙂 ) but not Mountain Lion.

          The Address Book work around seems to be a real doozie. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sorry to hear using the iCloud Web interface still produces dupes. I guess the file locking option is the only way to go.

          Thanks to you and GeoffD for adding to this post. It’s been viewed more than 6,000 times since it was introduced in May.

          I’m still looking for info like this which will allow knowledgeable folks like yourself to make a go of it.

          Thanks for coming to the blog. Please come back.

          • Thanks for this posting, it helped a lot! I have my Contacts syncing from ML to SL!

            Any contact that has a photo in it under ML does duplicate in SL – but only locally, the dupes do not go back to iCloud. But DON’T delete those dupes or the delete can go back to iCloud.

            I tried both types of editing the Configuration.plist and locking it, the symptoms were the same.

            Now the only time it dupes when I open it in SL is when a change downloads from iCloud – add/change/delete. This is with the locked .plist. Oh well, I only want it in SL so I can auto-complete email addresses, and I only have 5 that dupe because of photos.

            thanks again!


          • Hi Chris, yes, the whole AB SL thing will remain a challenge. I’ve done the little here I could do to try to make it less painful and less expensive. I keep hearing the ‘right’ way to do this is through SoHo Organizer, but at $100, that’s an expensive row to hoe.

          • @ Chris Denesha:
            I very much doubt that the photos are the trigger: None of my contacts has a photo. Nevertheless, I have exactly the same problematic duplicating behaviour as you.

  17. THANK YOU so much! I have been trying to figure this out for a couple of weeks and am looking forward to making this happen. I am running into one small problem. When I set up the icloud account on my iphone 4s and ipad2, I used the apple id that I created when I got the first apple – macbook pro. So i typed in my apple id which is an email address. So what should I type in for your instruction #6 above? GREAT instructions by the way! Gratefully yours,

  18. I’ve tried this carefully, just for iCal, and it’s almost working. I have a Macbook Pro with Snow Leopard, iPad and iPhone. Calendar changes on the iPad and iPhone show up on each other, on the online iCloud site, and on the Macbook Pro. But changes on the Macbook Pro don’t show up anywhere else.

    Any answers?? Thanks.

      • Sorry, but by “local” you mean a calender shared by multiple computers on a network, correct?

        I’m trying this out on iCal on a Macbook Pro running 10.6.8, so it should work, correct? Thank you…

  19. Thanks Donny…this worked like a charm for my calendar. Now iCal on my MB Pro
    (10.6.8) does sync up with my iPhone4S (iOS 5). Sadly, however, your recipe doesn’t work for my address book.

    I followed your instructions literally, but am finding this:

    The server “” could not be found on the network. Verify the account settings in Address Book preferences.

    I reckon there are two possible snags:

    1) I never had a Mobile Me login before I had an iCloud login. Was this an
    assumed requirement? I should think this is not the case because I was able to sync my calendar…

    2) My iCloud login ID is an email address. I wonder whether the “@” in the
    address is presenting a problem. I notice that in step 15 of your procedure that you replace what I presume to be an @ sign with the key sequence %40. Do you think that the fact I’m using an email address as my iCloud login ID is the show-stopper?

    Thanks for any advice or help you can offer in this matter.

    All the Best,

    • Jay, did you ever get an answer to your question about the contacts server not being found on iCloud ? I get the same problem and I tried everything I can think of, but no luck. Calendar syncing works fine, but I just can’t get contacts to get to iCloud

        • Jay, Hans, anybody dealing with the problem of having an email adress as a user name as an iCloud ID,

          Here’s what you got to do:
          in Step 15, fill in username:password
          with the @ sign in your user name (that is, in this case, your email adress) replaced by the key sequence %40.

          That’s the only change in the general instructions that’s needed for people like you and me.

          Hope it works for you.
          Kind regards,

          • Thomas

            Thank you! After spending about 1 1/2 hours on Addressbook-iCloud syncing your suggestion worked. Step 15 should be changed
            “If your icloud identity is an email address, type your address with%40 instead of @ and do not type or after it – then :yourpassword. “

          • Thomas,

            I tried the %40 as well as @ options, unfortunately I still get the same error message – ‘The server “” could not be found on the network. Verify the account settings in Address Book preferences.’ – on all the attempts.

            Did “%40” substitution work for Hans and Jay?

            Any other suggestions or workarounds?

            Thanks and best regards,

  20. This one worked for me in iCal:
    Server address:
    Server path: /xxxxxxxxx/principal/
    443 + SSL turned on

    (notice that p02 might be something else for you, follow the instructions at the beginning of this post given by the author to find your unique ID’s out)

    @donnyh15: you should update the information about the server address in iCal.

    • TJ,

      I see your note about updating the information, but I don’t see what changes you are suggesting. The way you show the server address is what is suggested, I think.

  21. Dear Donnyh,

    Thank you for this informative post. I’ve followed all the steps up to 10 re iCal but I simply can’t find my unique number as I can’t find “” or “”. I’m looking under the elements tab. What am I doing wrong?

    Also, not sure if this helps any, but when I then tried to do the Address Book, I managed up to step 14, however, instead of the line “” I have “http://:0(null)” instead.

    Please help!

      • Sorry, I wasn’t being clear. No I wasn’t looking for the actual double quotes but what was contained within them: and

        Neither of these are there under Inspect Element?

        • I’m not sure what to tell you, Jo. I just did this Sunday on my own Snow Leopard MacBook and it worked as described. What version of Safari are you using? If NOT v. 6, you can open the Activity item in the Windows menu and do the same search.

  22. Does it take time for the snow-leopard desktop-based caliendar (iCal) to sync with the iPad 3? I have more than 40 calendars in iCal, including about a dozen to which I subscribe). My iPad knows about all those calendars (somehow), but is not showing the events. Perhaps, because it was synced fine to my Touch before MobileMe shut down. I tried your method to no avail. I’m seriously thinking about upgrading to snowlion, but I have some important apps that will not support it so I’ve waited.
    Incidentally, thanks for this hack.

    • Chris, you’re almost asking me the kinds of questions my consulting clients ask :). This is probably much more in depth than I can go into here.

  23. Hi Donny,

    Thanks so much for posting this solution, I could never have figured this out solo. However, one important function is not working at all for me, can you help?

    I have two laptops, an old MacBook with Snow Leopard, and a new MacBook Pro with Mountain Lion. The old MacBook is my personal laptop, and the new Pro is my work computer. I must have the calendars stay updated between the two. Because I had been using Spanning Sync on the old laptop, Google Calendars and my old MacBook were in Sync. So at first, on the new Pro, I just downloaded all my calendars from Google and uploaded them into Mountain Lion’s Calendar. That worked. But I still use both computers, and was not syncing daily.

    So today, I followed your steps above to keep calendars on both computers in sync going forward. But!

    The old MacBook will only sync with new events, so unfortunately this resulted in two separate sets of calendars on the MacBook: one “On My Mac” with all old events and one that is my iCloud account. (It’s not called “iCloud” because my iCloud account, ironically enough, IS my gMail address. So it reads as gMail but is really iCloud.)

    This is a BIG problem for me because I rely on recurring events for work and my personal schedule. These are all “old” events. How can I get this system to sync ALL events, not just old ones?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Nicole, Hi Donny,

      I have exactly the same problem…. my icloud account is my gmail address…
      I try to sync addressbook and ical on iphone 5 and macbook (10.6.8)…
      I finally bought mountain lion to solve the problem but it was to slow so i returned on snow leopard…

      I’ve tried to find my pnnnnnn number but with no result…

      Does anybody have an idea?


      • Hi Jeremy,

        One primary suggestion: Create a new iCloud account which is just “” then you won’t have the problem with your gmail address.

        iCal syncing is flawless. No problems there. With Address Book, if you have pictures with your contacts you will get double, triple, quadruple contacts. AB on SL thinks the photo is a separate contact and keeps replicating it.

        I understand about ML. Sometimes, I think I’ll take my own MBP back to SL because in many ways it is a better, leaner OS. Just as Windows 2000 beat the pants off anything which followed it!

        There are two other things you can consider:
        1) I can do remote support for a fee; contact me through the link on the home page.
        2) You can purchase SoHo Organizer, which has its own sync to iCloud for both calendar and contacts and seems to work right out of the box. It’s about $100, though.

        Best of luck. Keep at it.

  24. Pingback: How to Move Google Calendars to iCloud | iHelp Blog

  25. Donny,

    Thank you for the very clear instructions (on a very legible blog – which helps so much)! I am trying to sync a SL MBP with two iOS5 devices, until I can research Mountain Lion and decide if that’s the best move (skipping the unfortunate Lion).

    The hack for iCal works fine, and I’m very happy with that. For Address Book, however, I’m having the same trouble as described by Király on May 14, 2012 – for some reason there’s a second server appended to the URL sent out by my MBP. I have triple-checked the .plist and server settings, and can’t figure out why it’s adding a full https address for a completely different server.

    My correct server is p-04, as verified by a happily working iCal. The Address Book error message reads:
    The CardDAV server returned an error (404) for the user “[username][password]”

    Have you come up with any updates or ideas?


    • Josh,

      Without seeing screenshots of the info you got from the iCloud website, and a screenshot of your setup from AddressBook, I’m afraid it’s almost impossible to help.

      The blog is intended as a self-help tool for those who feel they can use the information here on their own. To go into analyzing setups, puts me in the realm of what iHelp is all about, which is a business to support Mac Users.

      If you like, you can contact me through the ‘Contact Me’ link on the front page of the blog to begin a process of engaging iHelp for a fee. Other than that, Google is probably your best ally.

      I know that’s not the answer you’re looking for, but the best I can come up with here.

      Thanks for using the blog. Please come back.

  26. Great tutorial, however when I try to setup my account I get the following error:

    The account “iCloud” is offline. No synchronization will take place with the server. Click this icon to change to “online” status.

    I changed the name of my account to iCloud in the description. I followed the other steps accordingly. They were easy to understand and rather simple. I just cannot get them to work sadly. Any thoughts?

    My software is up to date. !0.6.8

      • Gosh, and I thought my post was well thought out, I’m sorry.

        I am trying to sync the Address Book. Thats where I am getting the message from. Calendars and Mail works fine.

        • Contacts is the bug-a-boo. It either works or it doesn’t. Read through all the comments, you may find some ‘gold’ there. Barring that, and not seeing how you’ve setup in Address Book, best suggestion is to use something like Soho Organizer which seems to work well, but is $100 .

  27. This solution worked for me until last week. Now it does not anymore: ical keeps saying that the server rejected my password. Even entering it again does not solve the problem, nor does deleting and re-installing the account. Anybody else experienced the same problem?

      • Thanks, I missed your reply. Then something must have changed on my account or my machine. Unfortunately I tried to delete and reinstall the calendar and just get a ‘wrong password’ message.

  28. The info on getting iCal to work from OS10.6.8 on my old MAcBook Pro worked great. Unfortunately the directions for Address Book didn’t make it on my system. In Users/username/Library/Application Support/Address Book/ there is no folder called Sources. There is a configuration.plist file at the top level of the Address Book folder, but when I open it in TextEdit there is no server name line and no line with the configuration
    Any suggestions?

    Dave Matz

    • Hi Mats, I’m glad this is working for you. I have several systems running SL and the iCal and Mail are doing swimmingly! The contacts as we all know is still a bit of a crapshoot, but I believe the answers here, from myself and other contributors have shown it does work if you cross all the ‘t’s and dot all the ‘i’s.

      • Address Book works for me…
        …unfortunately, not.

        But I believe this has to do with my special constellation:
        Mac OS X 10.6.8 clients with Microsoft 2011 Outlook (mail app)

        As long as I sync the Address Book with the iCloud data, everything is fine (…but only after the write-protecting Configuration.plist file…)!

        As soon as I let Outlook sync to the data of my local Address Book, it goes down the drain: double double entries entries…

        But as I said: that’s my individual setup problem!

  29. Chris Denesha,

    Are you sure that your configuration.plist file is locked with “card” deleted? This is what stopped duplicates for me. It is still working perfectly for me – I can edit contacts from iPodTouch, Mac Mini or MacbookPro. Until now I have not created any contacts with photos but as a test I have just added one to an existing contact on the Mac Mini. It already shows up on my iPodTouch but I see it has created an additional contact on the Mac Mini. I’ll report if it causes more duplicates to reappear.

  30. donnyh15,

    By chance I came across a post elsewhere referring to people successfully using fruux – a 3rd party contacts and calendars sync application supporting most platforms. The basic version is apparently free. I’ve not looked into it myself but the website is

  31. Follow-up …..

    After adding a photo to one of my CardDAV contacts on my Mac Mini, duplicates of this contact (but without the photo) have continued to slowly appear on the Mac Mini (one every few days). So it indeed appears that one should avoid this. I have not yet checked to see whether the same happens if the photo is added via an ios device or via the iCloud website. First I want to ensure things are back to normal (ie no duplicates) after deleting completely the offending contact.

  32. I have tried this and can not get the iCal to work.
    System is up to date, I have my pxx number. Unlike everyone else mine seems to be an 07 not 04.

    My primary ID is a hotmail one but iv also tried .me and nothing works. It keeps telling me there are no calandars.

  33. I followed your steps (I’m on snow leopard 10.6.8) but then how do I populate the icloud calendar with my current ical (“On My Mac”) events? I have 4 categories of events (and a lot of them in each category!) and I’d like to transfer them all — all past, present, and future events — from all 4 categories (among other reasons, for being able to search for a particular event from years past by typing in the name in the search bar). Can this be done aside from going through each day of each month from when I started and selecting each color of each category and manually dragging them to the iCloud categories that have been created at the bottom left?


  34. Hi

    Thanks for your reply, but I really do NOT have any icloud/me account. I do not use icloud for my mail, only for my contacts & calender. It all does work in OSX 10.7x.

    so whats the issue?

    • well, just for the sake of trying to see if it is working, I have creadted a icloud email address, and followed all your steps, it does work. so thanks.
      The only problem that I have the I get 100s of duplications for many records.

  35. Hi,

    I also had to deal with the duplicating problem. Deleting ‘card’ in configuration.plist did the trick!
    Only my own name keeps duplicating .. any suggestions?

  36. Hi,
    I had the same issue where my personal address card was appearing in triplicat or quadruple. I resolved this by deleting all versions of it and then re-creating it on the iCloud website. No more dup’s anymore.

  37. I did try this, but it didn’t work out.
    I did it by changing the name of my personal adress cards, maybe i have to delete it

    • It is best to have just iCloud as your contacts or calendar. No local data at all; it’s all pushed from iCloud. Both contacts & calendar which are based in iCloud are not likely to cause problems. It’s the local (On My Computer) data which will cause a problem. (This is what Lion & Mountain Lion do, btw.)

  38. This didn’t work — please clarify what the account name, password and server name particularly should look like now when I establish an account in address book. Thank you.

  39. Hi managed to complete steps 1-10 but and found my 8 figure unique number, but I keep getting the message from iCal “the account information was not found.The operations could not be completed. Connection refused.”
    I can log into to my iCloud account on the web. iCal is also switch “on” on my iPhone 4 in the iCloud panel.

  40. would like a paid help to set up my Mac Pro with snow leopard, mail works, ical and address book no even if I did everything you explained, also the .plist file that now is totally different after my adding for pxx etc.
    cannot waste more time, many thanks ciao

  41. Thank you for the great directions!! My only issue is that it is only syncing my events from my mac to my iphone 5. None of my events from my iphone are syncing to the ical on my mac. /: Any ideas?

  42. I recently upgraded to Mavericks. Now I have two iCloud accounts listed. One is the hacked account with all the duplicates and the other is the actual iCloud account with no duplicates. I want to delete the hacked account, but only the actual/official account is listed under the Internet Accounts. Does anyone know how to remove the hacked account?

  43. Hi just want to know how to make a mac on Snow Lepoard able to connect via icloud (I have a .me account as well) in order to make some apps sync through the cloud. When I go in preferences and insert .me mail address and passwords it says something is wrong, but it isn’t…Thnaks.

  44. Hi, I managed to sync my calendars between iPhone, iCloud and on the intranet with another account (Invite to calendar option) and it worked perfectly until last week (oct. 2014). I checked all settings and ecerything is ok, but nothing: I still got everything synced on the iPhone and on the iCloud account via web, but my iCal 4.0.4. on MAC OSX 10.6.8 stopped sync (not everything but just the shared calendar).

    Any idea??


  45. Hi – to answer why I am still using SL – it works and works well! I could have gone on to Lion but it was messed up from the beginning. My computer requires I go out and buy a newer computer to move up into the newer OS available and I don’t have the $$ to do that. BTW, I think Panther also fit into your definition of Best OS when it came online.

    I appreciate that you have the skill and willingness to provide fixes to assist us keeping up with the progress and mobility that computers provide.

    • Thanks, marigael. I agree, SL was the best OS Apple released. On a couple of my Macs, (I support Macs for a living) I’m still using ML. On my MacBook Air, I’m running El Capitan. It’s OK and has some problems, notably ejecting external disks. With companies like Google now saying they won’t support even ML going forward with Chrome, it makes me wonder how long I can stay on older OS. I have an old black MacBook which can either support SL or Lion but that’s it. It’ll probably be SL until I stop using it altogether.

  46. I’ve just downgraded my 2009 Quad core i5 iMac from Yosemite to SL. Why? I got fed up of seeing that lollipop, even though I had tripled the RAM to 12Mb. SL was designed to be lean and have a small resource footprint which lets you focus on running software which is why I picked it. I don’t need the other frills, as pretty much everything data orientated can be cloud based one way or another now. This version of iCal works fine with Google calendar, so why not use that as the data source instead of iCloud?

    I get the distinct feeling that ever resource hungry OSs are all part of Apples ‘accelerated obsolescence’ program to try and drive sales of new devices. I mean, what is making everything translucent going to do to demands on your system FFS?!?! Are they going to have animated or 3D rendered window backgrounds to make basic OS functions even more resource intensive next? Hmmm… probably now I think about it. Watch this space 😉

    It is particularly noticeable with their iPhones which won’t let you downgrade from a resource hungry the OS that slows your device down to a more efficient one. At least their hardware is top notch!

    • Jo-ho-ho,

      I believe SL is Apple’s XP; best OS ever and lots of folks stay with it. I have just one computer, of about four still on SL. My internal servers are ALL SL as I think the Server OS really went to crap after that. Two of my computers are on ML as I think that was the only decent release of the last five.

      I believe the biggest problem with SL or even ML is support from both Apple and third parties is diminishing quickly. Heck, Google won’t even update Chrome for anything older than Mavericks. Shame.

      If you’re going to use Google calendar, take a look at BusyCal which works well with 10.6. I myself, gave up on Google Calendar, which was my choice for many years until it started being problematic about 3-4 years ago. I now use Fruux, which syncs across contacts and calendars flawlessly and if you use an Android phone, you can download the free Fruux app to add CalDAV & CardDAV at no cost to your phone. Works a wonder!

      It’s a shame the company once known for ‘ease of use’ is now more like Microsoft than the Apple of old. QA stinks. Buggy software everywhere. So, good on ya mate. Stick with lean & mean. Take a look at ML, it supports iCloud natively and is almost as good as SL, in my opinion.

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