Sync iCloud Contacts and Calendar on Snow Leopard

Syncing iCloud to Snow Leopard is relatively simple. The information you need are your iCloud ID, usually in number identified as 1473233284, and the iCloud Server Number, usually labeled as pXX-caldav.icloud.com.

To find out your iCloud ID and iCloud Server Number, you need to run Safari and sign into your iCloud account.

Pick Calendar or Contacts and choose Windows » Activity from menu bar.

iCloud ID and Server Number

You should find something similar to this:

p03-contactsws.icloud.com/co/mecard/?dsid=1325673149

From the image above, my iCloud ID is 1325673149 and my data are stored in server p03. Note down what you’ve found out because we’ll need these information later while setting up iCloud on iCal and Address Book.

Syncing iCal

Run iCal and choose iCal –> Preferences… from menu bar. Pick Accounts Tab and click on the small plus sign at the bottom left. Fill in your iCloud email address and password.

iCal Settings iCloud Sync

The most important part is to replace the p03-caldav.icloud.com with your own iCloud Server Number. For instance, if you find out that your iCloud Server Number is p11, fill the Server address with p11-caldav.icloud.com.

Syncing Address Book

Syncing your contacts1 might be a little bit difficult if you’re not used to edit plist documents. This is the right time to export all your contacts from Address Book and import them to iCloud before proceeding to next step. You can do this by select all your contacts and use right-click to create a backup file.

Access Address Book preferences by choosing Address Book –> Preferences… from menu bar. Add a CardDAV account by following the same procedure as iCal.

Address Book Accounts for iCloud

Fill the “User name field” with your iCloud email address under this format:

emailAddress%40domainName.com:yourPassword

Update 13/12/2013: I received a feedback from one of the readers, Arjan, that for this method to work, your iCloud password need to be in alpha-numeric. I haven’t tested it, but it’s always better to create a strong password for your Apple ID. If you have problem with this tutorial, try to change your password.

For instance, if your iCloud email address is [email protected] and the password is DogsMuffin, you must fill “User name field” with:

LOLcats%40yahoo.com:DogsMuffin14

Leave the Password field blank and replace the Server address field with your own iCloud Server Number. Take note that it’s pXX-contacts.icloud.com this time. Ignore the error and warning, you’ll fix it later.

Choose the “Server Settings” and fill in your iCloud server address. It’s the one you fill in earlier in Server address field. (pXX-contacts.icloud.com)

Working With Configuration Files

We’re going to configure some setting by navigating to Address Book support folder. Run Finder, choose Go –> Go to Folder… and enter this:

~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/Sources

AddressBook Sources

You should be able to find one or several geeky folders. Run through each folder and open the configuration.plist with TextEdit or any similar text editor apps until your find the configuration associated to your iCloud account.

Configuration Plist

Replace the value after servername with:

https://pXX-contacts.icloud.com:443/YYYYYYYYYY/principal/

Replace the XX with your own iCloud Server Number and YYYYYYYY with your iCloud ID number. Once you’re done, save the file and run Address Book. Fill in your iCloud password in the “Password field” and you should be able to see your iCloud contacts immediately.2

Update 12/02/2012: Federico pointed the need to enable SSL Connection to make contact sync works. You can also use https to skip SSL.

Notes and Duplicate Bugs

Sometimes Address Book will behave weird and keep duplicating your contacts. There is no need to worry having your contacts duplicated at iCloud Contacts. Those duplicated contacts only exist locally.

Update 24/03/2013: It seems this tutorial has brought some discussions at MacRumors. There are some solutions suggested there, especially the part that modifies “addressBookName” key.

I haven’t found the way to fix this bug. However, you can stop the bug temporary by readding your iCloud account to Address Book. Make sure to remove the previous iCloud account first.

You can always use the contact form if you have any questions.


  1. Finally! Sync your Address CardDav in OSX 10.6 Snow Leopard

  2. Thanks for j-dubya who helped to clear up all the confusion.