Lost Contacts on iPhone? Here’re 4 Ways to Recover iPhone Contacts

iPhone Contacts The iPhone has quickly become the contacts book for many of us, saving dozens or hundreds of names and phone numbers in digital formats. Whenever you want, just pull out a person's contact info to make a quick call or send a message.

But if you accidentally deleted some contacts, or you lose your iPhone, or it becomes damaged, you may face a situation where you have no access to those valuable contacts.

The good news is, with a good iPhone data recovery software, or you have regular iCloud or iTunes backups of your phone data, chances are high to recover your lost contacts.

Today, we're going to show you four different iPhone contacts recovery approaches. Each method has its pros and cons, so use your instinct to judge which one(s) you should try. And don't forget to let us know what you think.

Please note: these techniques work with all iPhone models including iPhone 4/5/5S and latest iPhone 6, 6 plus, 6s as long as they run on latest iOS 8 or 9.

1. Check your iPad or Mac immediately

This usually works great if you accidentally deleted one or two important contacts, and you want them back quickly. Why check iPad or Mac? Well, chances are that if you hold an iPhone, you'll probably be using an iPad or a Mac computer. Perhaps you've enabled Apple ID in each of these digital devices, which means critical data such as contacts, notes, calendar & reminders, etc. are synced across all the connected devices.

When you remove a few contacts on your iPhone, they are probably still sitting on your iPad or Mac. So what should you do? Go ahead and turn on your iPad or Mac and check out the Contacts app. Note: in case you've enabled auto sync, it's best to turn off Wi-Fi or Internet connection before you do.

2. Restore lost iPhone Contacts from iCloud

If you have enabled Contacts sync in iCloud, things can be much easier to restore any lost contacts. Note: this method works not only for accidental deletion, but applies to contacts mysteriously disappearing as well. You can rely on iCloud backups to get them back in just a few taps.

  1. On your iPhone main screen, go to Settings > iCloud.
  2. See the Contacts option? If it's off, turn it on. If it's on, turn it off and back on again to trigger a re-download.
  3. You'll see a popup window hinting your contacts will be merged with iCloud, hit Merge to continue.
  4. Done. Wait for a few minutes; you should see your deleted or lost contacts back to your iPhone.

3. Recover deleted Contacts via iTunes backup

If you regularly use iTunes (on your PC or Mac) to sync iPhone data, you may have backed up your device in iTunes before you deleted or missed some Contacts, then you're in luck. Because the previous iTunes backup may include your contacts. To restore them back to your iPhone, follow these steps:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer where you've installed the iTunes application.
  2. Now launch iTunes, move to the Devices tab, right click on your iPhone and click the option "Restore from Backup…".
  3. Wait until it's complete, then check your iPhone Contacts to see if your lost ones are back.

4. Use iPhone Data Recovery Software

If all the above techniques fail to restore your iPhone contacts, your last resort is probably to try some third-party programs — more specifically, iPhone file recovery tools (see reviews) that are capable of retrieving a variety of items from the dead.

Stellar Data Recovery for iOS, for example, one of the best data recovery software for iPhones, offers two different recovery modes and support recovery of a variety of file formats including iPhone contacts. Give it a try and it may give you some surprise.

Free Download Stellar Data Recovery for iPhone

Note: the program also works even if your iPhone is lost, damaged or broken; then use the Extract mode to scan local iTunes or iCloud backup files and extract content from them.

Quick Summary

These are all the ways we've known so far to retrieve deleted or lost Contacts from an iPhone. If you know another good way or app, let us know in the comments. Thank you in advance.

Also, we want to remind you once again that data backups are significant for mobile devices like iPhones, which tend to save many precious files that we can't afford to lose. iCloud has been proved to be the most convenient backup solution. iTunes also works well though it takes some extra efforts.

Chris Hwang

Chris is a certified computer technician since 2008. He writes everything related to computer issues and loves helping people solve problems. Currently, he's extending his interests into cloud computing.

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