For many people, the data in their Contacts application represents years of effort and would be nearly impossible to replace manually. Being somewhat of a backup fanatic – and because my Contacts list is essential to my work – I backup my Contacts data, separately from my other backup solutions, on a regular basis from within the Contacts application. What this does, is creates an archive of all of my individual contacts, which I can reimport into the Contacts application should the need ever arise.
To backup your contacts, click File on the Contacts menu, point to Export and then click Contacts Archive. The default name for the archive is the word Contacts – and the current date (i.e. Contacts – 06-25-2014) but you can change the name, if you wish. From the All Contacts dialog box, you then navigate to the folder where you wish to save the archive. This should be an external drive or cloud drive and not your Mac’s hard drive.
If you ever need to bring your archive back into the Contacts app, choose File > Import from the menu, navigate to the location of the archive file, select the file and then click Open.
If you have a large contacts list that would be difficult to replace, it might be a good idea to create an archive of your contacts on a regular basis. It’s also recommended if you are making any major changes to your Contacts data, such as importing contacts from another application.