Troubleshooting issues with Contacts

If Alfred isn't returning your Contacts when searching, be sure to check that you've given Alfred access to your contacts.

Need further help? Choose the option that best represents the issue you're seeing:


I can't find any contacts

If Alfred can't find any contacts, follow the steps below. If the only contacts not found have accents in their name, take a look at "I can't find contacts with diacritics" below.

  1. Check that "Contacts" is checked in Alfred's Features > Default Results preferences tab
  2. Reset macOS's contacts security permissions using the "tccutil reset AddressBook" command in Terminal, then restart your Mac and re-allow Alfred access to your Contacts
  3. Add a brand new contact in your local address book and check if Spotlight is seeing it… If so, is Alfred seeing it too?
  4. Check that Alfred is listed in macOS's Security & Privacy > Privacy > Contact and that the box next to Alfred is checked
  5. If you open Console.app, do you see any errors relating to Alfred when you try to search for contacts?

If you have carefully followed the steps above and still can't see your Contacts in Alfred 3, go to Alfred's Preferences under Features > Contacts > Advanced and check the box at the bottom "Use Spotlight metadata for searching contacts". This is an alternative way for Alfred to find your contacts if the above doesn't work on your Mac.


I can't find contacts with diacritics

If you're using Alfred's Contacts search and are unable to find a contact who has an accented character in their name, launch Alfred's preferences to Features > Contacts > Advanced.

Check the box next to "Use Spotlight metadata for searching contacts", which will use Spotlight metadata as an alternative to the Address Book API, ensuring that your contacts are found, whether you type their name with or without an accent.

Spotlight Metadata

For more information on searching for Contacts, take a look at the Contacts feature page.


I want to find someone by company/nickname/notes

To keep results tidy and relevant, Alfred doesn't search all text fields for a contact. You can use a file filter workflow to search all text fields.


I'm seeing duplicates of my contacts

If you're seeing duplicates of your contacts' details when typing their name into Alfred, it's likely that there are legacy contacts data hanging around on your Mac.

First, launch Alfred's Preferences to Features > Contacts > Advanced and ensure "Use Spotlight metadata for searching contacts" is not checked.

By default, Alfred uses Apple's Contacts API for searching contacts, which usually works great. On the rare occasion where the API doesn't work for you, using Spotlight metadata provides an alternative where Alfred relies a different source for contacts, but may result in seeing duplicate contacts (e.g. backups of your contacts, random vCards stored on your Mac and in email attachments).

You can identify duplicates by pressing Cmd + Return ; Provided your action modifiers are set to default, this should show the subtext "Reveal in Finder". Take a look at the folder where the contact's data is stored, as all Contacts app data should be within the ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/ folder on your Mac.

If all contacts appear to be in the correct location, there may be defunct .adcdp files which have not been cleared by macOS. The cleanest way to clear these out is to de-sync Contacts from your services, delete the folders containing the .adcdp files, then re-sync to the contacts services. This will re-create the metadata files, ensuring only valid ones are created.

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