There are Four Ways to Restore Deleted Contacts on iPhone

While cleaning up the address book and making it look perfectly organized, you end up deleting some important contacts accidentally. OMG! When you realize the mistake, you become desperate to recover all of your deleted iPhone contacts.

Before the worry of losing the contacts begin to kill your peace, let me tell you that there are basically four ways to retrieve them. Moreover, Apple offers a super handy iCloud tool to help you bring back all of your data with ease. So, let’s get started!

How to Recover Deleted iPhone Contacts

Method #1: Recover Contacts using iCloud

To me, this is the easiest way to get back the lost data on iOS devices. All you need to have is a computer, a web browser and an active Internet connection to get going.

Step #1. Open a web browser on your computer and go to iCloud.com. Then, you need to sign in to your iCloud account.

Step #2. Now, click on the Settings icon.

Click on Settings in iCloud.com Website

Step #3. Next, scroll down to Advanced section and hit Restore Contacts.

Click on Restore Contacts in iCloud web

Step #4. Next up, choose the most recent archive of your contacts and click on Done.

Restore Deleted iPhone Contacts using iCloud Web

Now, all of your iOS contacts will be (slowly but steadily) be restored. One thing worth noting is that the archive of contacts you choose will replace the contacts on all of your devices synced with the same iCloud account.

Method #2: Restore Your iPhone Using Backup

So long as you have iTunes backup, the chances are high that you will be able to reclaim your lost data.

Step #1. Connect your iPhone to the PC/Mac using a USB cable.

Note: You may get a popup on your iOS device to trust this computer or enter your device passcode, do it.

Step #2. Now, open iTunes and click on your iOS device when it shows up. (In case your Mac is running Catalina, open Finder → Click on the device from the sidebar.)

Step #3. Next, click on Restore Backup.

Click on Restore Backup in iTunes

Step #4. Now, check out the date and size of each backup and choose the most recent one → Next up, click on Restore again to confirm.

Restore iPhone Contacts using Backup

Note: If you had taken an encrypted backup, you will need to enter your password.

Now, you will have to wait until the backup has been successfully restored on your iOS device. So, grab a hot coffee and let the iTunes do the job without any interruption. Once your device has been synced with the computer, you can disconnect it.

Method #3: Restore Your iPhone Using iCloud Backup

This is a very drastic method, as you will have to erase all of your content and settings up front. Besides, it’s also a bit more time-consuming.

However, if you don’t have a computer and want to get everything done right from your iOS device, this is the way to go. To get it done, head over to this complete guide.

Method #4: Recover Deleted contacts using Coolmuster, a data recovery software

All-in-one Coolmuster can help recover everything from your iDevice. No matter how you lost iPhone files and what you’ve lost, you can get them back by those 2 iPhone Recovery modes. “Recover contacts from iTunes backup” and “recover contacts from iPhone directly.”

Here is the step by step guide:

Step #1. Run the Coolmuster Data Recovery for iPhone iPad iPod, and you’ll found all iTunes backup files have been detected and displayed in the main interface. Just select one and backup file and start to scan.

Cool Muster iPhone Data Recovery

Step #2. After the scanning, all found data will be shown on the left, including contacts, messages, camera roll, photos, etc. For lost contacts, you can choose “Contacts” and find those contacts you want back. Then click “Recover” to save them on your computer. Done!

Recover Deleted Contact with Coolmuster

Features of Coolmuster:

  • Recover contacts, SMS, calendars, photos, notes, music, and more from iPhone, iPad and iPod within one click.
  • Automatically detect all iTunes backup files on computer.
  • Recover lost data due to iOS upgrade, factory reset, virus attack etc.
  • Regain lost data when your iPhone is inaccessible, stuck in Apple logo, black/white screen of death or when you forget the device password etc.
  • Support all iOS series product including iPhone 6/5/4, iPad and iPod.

Visit Coolmuster.com for more information.

Dr.Fone is also useful data recovery software to recover contacts

There is yet another good alternative for iPhone data recovery is WonderShare’s Dr.Fone. If offers comprehensive solutions to recover deleted files from iPhone, extract iCloud and iTunes backup files, fix the crashed iOS when your device is stuck on Apple logo or white screen and backup WhatsApp history. For more information, please visit Wondershare.com.

WonderShare iPhone Data Recovery Software

Besides these, you can also use third-party software like Tenorshare & iStonSoft that will let you restore contacts anytime. Even the deleted or lost ones. You can check out our review of Tenorshare software here and the review of iStonSoft here.

There you go!

Wrapping Up…

That’s how you can reclaim your iOS contacts. Though Apple offers multiple ways to retrieve the files, it doesn’t yet offer up a solution to restore only the deleted stuff. That would have made the official solutions more user-friendly.

Which one of the above methods have you chosen and why? Toss up your feedback down below.

You’d like to have a glance at the following articles as well:

How to Recover Deleted iPhone Contacts

We may earn commission when you buy the product through links on our site.

Dhvanesh Adhiyahttps://www.igeeksblog.com
The founder of iGeeksBlog, Dhvanesh, is an Apple aficionado, who cannot stand even a slight innuendo about Apple products. He dons the cap of editor-in-chief to make sure that articles match the quality standard before they are published.

45 COMMENTS

  1. Very detailed methods, restoring from iCloud and iTunes are helpful. But it only help you to get back previous contacts on some history date. At this time, the article introduces a third-party software. FoneLab, but this one may be a little out of
    date.

  2. I just had the same issue take place. Applications were crashing as soon as I opened them. So I restarted my iPhone, only to find my contacts deleted!
    Here’s what I did to restore contacts on iPhone, maybe you can get some useful ideas here:
    On my phone, went into SETTINGS and then iCloud. An error message came up and said that my password was incorrect so I tapped the button to correct it. And boom! My contacts were back!
    I don’t know how this password was incorrect in the first place, but now it’s correct!

  3. just because you have a copy of all your contacts in icloud, does not mean that if you accidentally delete a contact on your iphone you can recover it using icould. NO Sir that does not work, because if something happens to your contacts on your iphone the exact same thing happens to your contacts on your icloud, so you must have a saved file of all your contacts like that .vcf file somewhere safe that is not synced to your iphone. and update it every once in a while. This iphone business is not as user friendly as everyone says it is, if that was the case, there would not be millions of people searching the net on how to do things.

  4. I just wanted to post a HUGE thank-you to this person. I also needed my contacts at a crucial time (something came up and I need to call co-workers to ask if anyone can take my shift) and THANK GOD for this. So grateful, and now that I’ve been scared half to death, I’m gonna start regularly backing my stuff up. Lesson learned ^_^

  5. I lost some of my contacts on my iphone. I do back up to icloud every day. However when I log in to icloud to review my contacts, I only see my deleted contacts and not all contacts. How do I recover just the deleted contacts from icloud. Also, what do I need to do to ensure all my contacts are backed up to icloud? Please help

  6. I lost some of my contacts on the iphone. I do use icloud for my back up and I could find some of the lost contacts there, however for whatever reason all my contacts on my iphone are not backed up. I need a way to merge the contacts from icloud and not replace everything on my iphone from icloud. I tried to use the steps laid out here but I did not get the merge option. Please advise

  7. Thanks so much! The icloud method worked perfectly. I tried the itunes method and kept getting messages that I didn’t have enough room to restore… any ideas why? And any ideas why this happens in the first place?

    Thanks again — super helpful and well-written.

  8. You have a another simple, easy-to-use tool to do that.
    FonePaw iPhone Data Recovery, support all iOS device and recover deleted contacts from iOS Device, iTunes/iCloud backup.
    The recovered contacts contain address book, email, phone number and more.

  9. Just bought Tenorshare iPhone Data Recovery for $110 AUD, perfect tool for recovering everything you’ve lost from an iOS device.
    You can use it on two more computers.
    First two people to email me at [email protected] for the software, 90$ AUD off, will get the email and registration code for it.
    A timeless tool to cover you for any mistakes in the future.

  10. Actually, when we delete a contact from iPhone, the contact doesn’t get deleted really, it still stay somewhere on our phone but is difficultly detected by our eyes. It’s because the deleted data is technically marked for deletion by the operating system and hidden so that they become invisible to us.
    Do you know how to retrieve deleted contacts on iPhone? As is known to us, when we have no previous backup to restore, the only way to retrieve deleted contacts on iPhone is by using a third-party iPhone data recovery tool. Maybe you can follow the guide below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hDtHkp5eng

  11. plz help

    i was unaware of what i cloud is.

    then, in the settings, in iCloud section, i disabled the contacts icon and when it asked for ‘Keep on My iPhone/Delete from MY Phone, I by mistake chose the delete one. Now i am missing my very important contacts. plz help, its urgent.

    thanks with all regards

  12. Thanks a ton! My contacts disappeared at a really crucial time yesterday and I just managed to get them back with your suggestions. Turning icloud on and off and resetting didn’t work for me despite trying several times. The vcard method was a winner!

  13. I have had my phone randomly delete all of my numbers 3x in the last 2 months. I have to manually enter the contacts from my existing text message feeds. It also doesnt let me add contacts within the contact app. I tried the merge iCloud it deleted all of my contacts? When I login to iCloud on my computer all of the contacts are there….but not on my phone. HELP

    • Check if you have restrictions enabled. (disable them, if yes).

      Try
      disabling ‘Contacts’ switch under Settings -> iCloud. Then, use the
      .vcf export method to get all your contacts onboard. See if that
      prevents contacts from being deleted.

      Aside: I am assuming that
      you’re not using multiple iCloud accounts. If you are, that could be an
      issue too (although in theory, it shouldnt).

  14. Thank you! Facebook deleted all my contacts and replaced them with Facebook contact info that I did not want, and this worked perfectly to restore all my contacts. I’m so relieved and grateful!

  15. hai… i had backup on iCloud but my phone still can get any contact. fyi, for iCloud account i use to my iphone and my ipad. can you help me to solve this problem? i want all the contact numbers… [sorry for my bad english]

    • Have you turned on iCloud -> Contacts? And is the iPhone connected to a stable Wi-fi network?

      If nothing works, do this:
      – Go to iCloud.com on PC/Mac. and login.
      – Click on Contacts and select all contacts.
      – Click on the cog icon on the bottom and export all contacts as vcf. Email the downloaded vcf file to yourself.

      On the iPhone, open the Mail app and click on the vcf file from the
      email. You will have an option to import the contacts to your iPhone.

  16. Hi, I have recently bought a new lab top and tried to update my OS on iphone from 4.0.2 to latest. When my phone synched I lost all my contacts. I have a backup version on my old computer but when restoring it asks for a password. I have a new password for my apple account which doesn’t seem to work. Would the password for the restore backup be a old password or is there any way to bypass this or reset the password so I can restore the backup version?

  17. You can recover deleted contacts from iPhone from iTunes backup as the following:

    1. Connect your iPhone to your computer.
    2. Open iTunes.
    3. Under “Devices”, you should see your phone, right click on it.
    4. Click on “Restore from Backup”.
    5. Select one of the earlier backups when you had all the contacts and let it install them. You are done!

    Check out the details from this YouTube video guide

  18. Try this guide and see how it works for you:

    STEP 1:Make sure iTunes doesn’t automatically sync with iPhone when connected.
    STEP
    2:Connect your iPhone to iTunes and Back up by selecting Preferences
    > Backup from iTunes, or right-click on your iPhone and choose back
    up.
    STEP 3:Restore your iPhone by selecting Restore under
    Preferences. Note that restoring the iPhone will restore the previous
    iPhone firmware. Your iPhone will be completely erased after the new
    firmware is installed. So make sure your back up is good!
    STEP 4:The
    final step will be to restore your iPhone from the back up you created
    on step 2. This will allow you to restore any data you have backed up,
    including the “deleted” text messages.

  19. Thank you for the detailed help offered here! I feared hours and hours of hunting and telephoning to restore my lost contacts (all of them) following my first sync to the cloud. After about 10 minutes of hunting the web I found you and less than 10 minutes later, my contacts were all returned! Thanks!

  20. Hm, I think that Step 4 should read “Right-click on the iPhone icon and select “Restore from Backup” as described here:

    and not “Right-click on the iPhone that’s connected and click ‘Backup’”. Selecting “Backup” will simply backup the currently existing data on the iPhone (i.e. the empty contacts records) and will not delete or restore the iPhone as suggested.

    I’d personally prefer the iCloud method as I really do not trust iTunes and what it coul do to my iPhone.

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How to Recover Deleted iPhone Contacts
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