Technical notes index
RIP MobileMe

MOBILEME IS DEAD

Email | Calendars | Contacts | iDisk & Gallery | Website hosting | Syncing error pop-ups

As was announced on June 6th, 2011, with several follow-up emails over the next year and prominent notices on the website, Apple's MobileMe service was terminated on 1st July 2012, and the limited 'grace period' during which you could download your files ended a month later. If you had a MobileMe subscription, and did not migrate your email, contacts and calendars to iCloud and your iDisk contents and Gallery to your computer or another hosting service, then you can no longer do so and the contents of your account have long since been deleted.

Email

If you have already set up iCloud from scratch on a Lion or above Mac, or an iOS5 or above device, and want to connect to your iCloud email on pre-Lion systems you may have to set mail up manually:
You may want to note that unlike in MobileMe, which as a paid-for service came with Support, iCloud is a free service and in common with other free email service offers no support unless you currently have AppleCare (as a result of a recent hardware purchase, or extended at a cost) or are prepared to pay for a support session. You may or may not be happy entrusting your email to a service with no support.

Calendars

The following only applies to people who had a MobileMe subscription and have taken no action about it since 2012(!).In order to retrieve your calendars if they had been synced to MobileMe on Lion or Snow Leopard, you will need to follow the following process. Do not sign out of MobileMe: your calendars should still be visible as cached versions even though the server cannot be contacted.

  1. Select a calendar listed under your MobileMe login name.
  2. From the File menu choose Export...>Export. An .ics file will be saved at your designated destination.
  3. Create a new calendar with the same name as the one you've just exported from, choosing 'On My Mac'.
  4. From the File menu choose Import... Select the .ics file and choose to import it into the calendar you just created (make sure you don't import it into the MobileMe version).
  5. When complete, check that it's OK and then you can delete the MobileMe version.
  6. Repeat for other calendars.

This will place your calendars on your Mac. If you want to sync them with iCloud using Lion, simply enabling Calendars in System Preferences>iCloud should do it. If it doesn't:

  1. Select your 'On My Mac' calendar. From the File menu choose 'Export...' then 'Export...'; from the sub-menu. This will create an .ics file at the location chosen in the Export dialog.
  2. From the File menu choose 'New Calendar' then your iCloud login name in the sub menu.
  3. A new calendar called 'Untitled' will appear in your sidebar under your iCloud login name. Change its name to that of the calendar you exported.
  4. From the File menu choose 'Import...' then 'Import...' from the sub-menu. A navigation pane will open: navigate to and choose your exported .ics file.
  5. iCal will ask you where to import this to. Click the drop-down menu and select the iCloud version of your calendar (make sure not to choose the 'On My Mac' version). Import.
  6. Your calendar contents will appear in the iCloud version of the calendar but this may take some time. You need to leave iCal running until the rotating icon at the top of the sidebar disappears.
  7. You can now delete the 'On My Mac' version of the calendar (control-click it in the sidebar list and choose 'Delete').
  8. Repeat for other calendars.
You cannot sync calendars on pre-Lion Macs, although for Snow Leopard only there is an unsupported hack which may work.


Contacts

Your contacts will not have been synced under Snow Leopard or earlier, and probably not even if you have Lion. Again, simply enabling them in System Preferences>iCloud on Lion should transfer them but if it doesn't:

  1. Select all your contacts and drag them to the Desktop to create a vCard file (or choose File>Export>vCard)
  2. Delete them from Address Book.
  3. Go to Address Book Preferences>General and set iCloud as your default account. Close Preferences.
  4. Select 'All iCloud contacts' in the accounts list.
  5. Drag the vCard file you created to Address Book.
You cannot sync your Contacts to iCloud on a pre-Lion Mac.


iDisk and Gallery

If you want equivalent services to iDisk and the MobileMe Gallery you will have to find a third-party solution. These pages examine some options:

http://rfwilmut.net/missing3
http://rfwilmut.net/missing4


Website hosting

Any websites you have hosted on iDisk have now disappeared. You can republish to another hosting service - please see this page:

http://rfwilmut.net/missing2


Syncing error pop-ups

If you have any form of syncing set up you are likely to be plagued with errors as your Mac cannot connect with MobileMe. You should start by going to System Preferences>MobileMe>Sync and turning off all syncing: going to the iDisk pane and turning off iDisk Syncing if it's on; then going to the Account pane and signing out. Note that you should not do this before carrying out the calendar transfer procedure detailed above.

If this does not stop errors popping up, go to (User)/Library/Preferences/ByHost and delete all .plist files beginning with com.apple.DotMacSync, and also any beginning com.apple.idisk, then reboot. (If you are on Lion or later, note that Apple have hidden the user’s Library folder to casual viewers, in an attempt to stop new Mac users messing their machines up. To access it, in the Finder hold down the Option (Alt) key while clicking on the ‘Go’ menu; the Library folder will appear as a choice.)

Roger Wilmut. This site is not associated with Apple