Connecting to a Mac Server Contacts list

Store contacts (address book) on a server and when you update, add or remove a contact, it’s done on all your devices that sync with that server. You access this address book in the Contacts app, Mail and other apps.

Adding a Mac Server Contacts account

  1. Open the Contacts app.
  2. Click the Contacts menu and choose Preferences, then click Accounts.
  3. Click the + button to add an account, then choose Other Contacts Account and Continue.
  4. Choose CardDAV, and for Account Type select Manual.
  5. Enter the user name for the server. This could be the first part of your email address (before the @). Or to add a shared contacts list (global address book), type that account name. (Ask your network administrator.)
  6. Type the password for the account.
  7. Enter the server address.
  8. Click Connect. If you see a security warning, click Show Certificate. Check the box to trust this server, then enter your computer login password you use to get to the desktop.
  9. Close the Accounts window. The shared contacts are added to Contacts, and are also available in Mail and other apps.


Server can’t connect or having difficulties? Select the server account and click the – button. Now follow the steps to add it again.

Working with shared contacts

  • The shared contacts list is kept separate from your own contacts. Each has its own heading in the sidebar. (If you don’t see these headings, click the View menu and Show Groups.)
  • Each contact list is independent. Creating or deleting cards in one does not affect the other.
  • Choose All Contacts to see everyone, regardless of which list they’re in.
  • You can copy cards from one list to another – such as from On My Mac to the shared list – by dragging them to the list.
  • You’ll be notified if the destination list already has the person in it. You’re given the opportunity to simply update the existing card.
  • Dragging between groups within the same list doesn’t duplicate. The system just shows the same contact card in both groups.
  • Delete cards by selecting them and pressing the delete key on the keyboard. You choose whether to remove them from the group or delete them from the list entirely.
  • Be careful about deleting contacts from a list. If you’re viewing the shared contacts or All Contacts, you’re deleting them from everyone.
  • Before you create a new contact card, think about whether you want to share it. Select the correct list or group, then click the + button under the list of names.
  • Shared contacts don’t normally sync with your iPhone or iPad. You can put particular cards on your phone if you have iCloud syncing enabled. Just drag the cards from the shared contacts to iCloud. Be aware that if someone changes a card in the shared contacts it won’t update your iCloud copy (or vice-versa). You’ll need to drag the updated contact to the appropriate list.

Learn more about email & iCloud.

   ©2023 Creative Tech Support, Inc.   Experts in Apple support since 1994     Need help? Contact us.     Not officially affiliated, related, or licensed by Apple.