My Contacts Disappeared:

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I am mortified: all my saved Contacts have disappeared. First I was having trouble with my iPad Mail connecting to the server. I deleted my mail account from the iPad and then reinstalled it and it worked perfectly , but later on I noticed that my contacts had disappeared from the iPad. I didn't get too excited about it until today while back on my iMac I clicked on my contacts and to my surprise every email address was missing on the iMac as well. I am not going to panic yet because I have most of these addresses on my old iMac in another room (It is not connected to the internet)
Does anyone know if I can reinstate my contacts. They have to be on the hard drive.
I never Launched my Time Machine, for some reason. But just to continue on I went to my iPad and reinstated my iCloud. "Presto" the complete CONTACT list restored automatically but only on the iPad. The iMac didn't restore. I think iCloud is very ominous and may even be dangerous to a degree. Be careful how you use iCloud. I would love to change my original ID that is linked to it but apparently you can't do it. I would really like to start anew with iCloud.
the reason I did not launch "Time Machine" when I bought the new iMac was because I found it rather confusing. As I recall it asked me to choose where to save it (Which DISC) and I was wondering what the selection should be. (What was I supposed to do next?)
I don't use iCloud... it scares me. But I thought you could turn iCloud on for your Mac as well. If you did that, it might suck down the contact list into your Mac.
My typical use is to go buy a USB drive and point Time Machine at it. I use a laptop mostly. Today, my monitor is Apple's monitor that has a USB connector in the back. I plug in my USB drive in there so anytime I have my laptop hooked up to my monitor, the USB is hooked up as well. The small "ick" with this is I have to be careful to unmount the drive when I disconnect the monitor.

Apple has Time Capsule which is a disk that you can access via wifi. But the general point is to have a disk that you connect up on a regular basis

For the iMac, just leave it attached and Time Machine will continuously keep your backups and manage them. I tend to buy $100 disk which means a 3T drive today. That's probably backup space for the rest of your life :)
With Time Machine, it will ask where to save your Time Machine backup, so you would choose the external drive that you want to use for that backup.
You can always make that selection at a later time. The first time that you mount an external drive, your system will ask if you want to use that drive for your time machine backup. If you accept that, then Time Machine takes it from there, all auto-magically.

Just curious, you said that iCloud worked for you to restore your contacts successfully.
That doesn't sound too 'ominous' to me!
It's YOUR technology, giving you with access to your stuff (and now you know it works, too!)
"Ominous" only because when I deleted it, it took my contacts with it. (Those contacts were there in my iPad long before I connected the iCloud to it.) I sometimes wonder who else might have access to my iCloud content. It feels like "Big Brother" in some ways. You are right about the restorative part. That's a positive.
JJiMac (Jake)

"Serendipity to me is spiritual"
On your Mac, launch System Preferences and click the iCloud panel. Is there a checkmark on Contacts? If not, check it and see if your contacts come back.

I lost a bunch of Notes in much the same way. I had been using a GMAIL address and, at some point, I couldn't load mail or do anything with it. So on my iPad I deleted the account and then reinstated it. Mail worked but the notes vanished without a trace.
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Thanks. Yes. Since those previous posts by PEDZ and DELTAMAC I reconnected the iCloud to the iMac and it restored my Contacts. but the tips I got on using Time Machine will help in the future. I just think off hand that it was surprising that the iCloud yields that kind of Power that by deleting it you lose your contacts along with it.
on a another matter I noticed that your ID above your post contains a picture. where did you go on this site to attach that. I was looking everywhere to attach a picture and couldn't figure it out.
I posted that picture years ago and don't recall the details. It must be under "My Profile" somewhere.

No. It's under "Settings", see "Edit Avatar".
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I sometimes wonder who else might have access to my iCloud content.
Anyone that knows (or can easily guess) your password can access your iCloud content.

This may be a good point in time to ensure your password isn't something silly like "rover123" or something easy-to-guess. A good rule of thumb is that if you can remember your password without having typed it 50 times or so, you have failed at picking a good password. Your password is your front-line defense against snoops and prying eyes -- it would certainly be doing yourself a grave disservice to put a poor password on your iCloud account.

Here are some guidelines:

1) 8 characters in your password, at minimum. 10 or more is standard. The longer, the better.
2) Use symbols in addition to letters and numbers. Lots of symbols.
3) No words. No birthdays. No pet names. No street names. Nothing that would make you say, "This will make it easy for me to remember..."
4) Upper- and lowercase, everywhere. Alternate them.

This is a bad password: jjimac123
This is a good password: $$tGGy76*&

Which does yours resemble?

This may all be stuff you already know, but in many cases, with many people, it's a surprise. When people say, "My Facebook got hacked!" what actually happened was that they picked the worst password possible and someone guessed it easily. That's not "hacking." That's taking advantage of someone that didn't take the time to protect their content in the slightest.

With a good password, as described above, you shouldn't need to worry about your iCloud content falling into the wrong hands.
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Thanks Diablo, How familiar are you with iCloud. As I mentioned before in a previous post I would like to start over with iCloud and if you are familiar with how to do that I would appreciate hearing more. I want to associate the iCloud account with my long time email account. Not JJiMac.
Now, with iOS 7, and OSX 10.9 "Mavericks" all your devices can be in sync. This is great unless you make a mistake. The system believes that when you delete something, then you want to delete it everywhere.
You can be careful what you delete, and use the left sidebar to create lists with certain contacts. Then if you want to delete a certain list of contacts you delete that list. Remember, that there is only one "Real" list of contacts, and when you delete a certain contact list, they are removed from the 'Real' contact list. If you are using iCloud, then the 'Real' list is there, and all your devices are 'talking' to the 'cloud' and each one is an equal partner. If you use your iPhone and do 'delete this contact' you are sending a message to the cloud to delete the contact. All the devices that sync with the cloud will delete the contact.
You can also stop syncing in various control panels. For example, when you connect your iPad or iPhone you can turn off syncing or limit it in its iTunes window..
In Contacts application, go to File => Export and make a backup copy in a safe place. That will help if you make a mistake.
I had this happen to me this morning on my iPhone 4s.
I fixed it by going to the Settings > iCloud and turning ON 'Contacts'. Went back to my contacts list and they started populating with names instead of numbers, took about 30 secs for all iphone contacts to restore.
Hope this helps.
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