How to restore deleted iPhone contacts (2024 updated)

Written By Dhvanesh Reviewed By How-to iPhone 7 Min Read

One of the scariest things that can happen – when you try to change iPhones, sync contacts, or sync to the cloud/backup – is losing contact details. I’ve found myself – very often – losing a few contacts once in a while when I try to sync, update, or just restore my device.

Things have become relatively easy with iCloud, but if you’re old school, iTunes or Finder backup is still a good solution. As long as you’ve got a backup of your contacts somewhere, you can restore deleted contacts on your iPhone easily.

  1. How to retrieve deleted iPhone contacts from other Apple devices
  2. How to restore deleted iPhone contacts from iCloud
  3. How to restore lost iPhone contacts through Gmail
  4. How to recover deleted iPhone contacts from Settings using iCloud
  5. Restore iPhone from iTunes or Finder backup
  6. Restore iPhone from iCloud backup
  7. Recover iPhone contacts using third-party tools

7 ways to recover accidentally deleted iPhone contacts

If you accidentally deleted all or some of your contacts while making some changes on your iPhone, one of the methods mentioned below will surely help you recover them.

1. How to retrieve deleted iPhone contacts from other Apple devices

If you use Apple devices other than the iPhone, I’m certain you use iCloud to save your contacts. Now, if you’ve deleted a contact on your iPhone, it’ll obviously get deleted from other devices as well, with the only condition being those devices are connected to the internet.  

Hence, if your iPad, MacBook, etc., is not connected to the internet, it still has these contacts, and you can recover deleted iPhone contacts. Just go into Contacts on your other Mac or iPad, and there you have it!

If this doesn’t work out for you, move on to the next step!

2. How to restore deleted iPhone contacts from iCloud 

Apple has already implemented a way to recover your deleted contacts from your iPhone. However, you will need a Mac or a Windows PC.  

  1. Visit iCloud and sign in using the Apple ID on your iPhone.
  2. Click Account Settings.

    click on account settings in icloud
  3. Click Restore Contacts at the bottom left corner.

    click on restore contacts in account settings on icloud
  4. Now, select the most recent iCloud backup.

    click on restore contacts tab and click on restore
  5. Select Restore to confirm your selection and done.

    restore deleted iphone contacts from icloud.com

You will receive an email and a notification on iCloud once the process is completed.

3. How to restore lost iPhone contacts through Gmail

We’re all aware that Google backs up our contacts through our email IDs. Getting them back is not a tough task if you have synced contacts with Gmail. All you need is your iPhone to restore these contacts.  

  1. Open Settings on your iPhone. 
  2. Go to Mail.  
  3. Tap Accounts and select the email address you have contacts synced with.  
  4. Now, toggle on Contacts.

    Restore contacts through Gmail on iOS device

The synced contacts will now be available in your Contacts application.  

4. How to recover deleted iPhone contacts from Settings using iCloud

The success of this method is subject to the possibility of your internet being disconnected when you delete the contact. Follow the steps below:

  1. Avoid turning on the Wi-Fi or mobile data.
  2. Open Settings and tap the Apple ID banner at the top.

    tap on apple id and then tap on icloud in iphone settings
  3. Select iCloud → toggle off Contacts.
  4. Select Keep on My iPhone in the pop-up.  

    turn off contacts in icloud in iphone settings
  5. Turn on Wi-Fi or Mobile data.  
  6. Toggle on Contacts.
  7. Tap Merge in the next option.

    merge contacts to recover deleted iphone contacts from settings using icloud on iphone

If this method doesn’t help restore your contacts, the next step definitely will.  

5. Restore iPhone from iTunes or Finder backup

This method has a certain drawback, which will cause data loss. Read the example below to understand it better.  

Suppose you have 200 photos and 300 contacts on your iPhone on 9th July. You create a full backup of the device. This backup has 200 pictures and 300 contacts.

On 11th July, you had 210 photos and 303 contacts. If you restore from the backup made on 9th July today, you will lose the 10 pictures and 3 contacts that were added since. If you are in dire need of the deleted contact, read how you can recover lost contacts on iPhone through iTunes or Finder backup.  

Pro Tip:

  1. Before you restore, archive the old backup.
  2. Create a new backup.
  3. You can restore from the old archived backup. If you do not find the contact, you can restore it from today’s backup.

6. Restore iPhone from iCloud backup 

Restoring an iPhone from the iCloud backup has the same drawback as restoring an iPhone through iTunes or Finder. Firstly, check the time of the most recent backup from Settings.  

  1. Open Settings
  2. Tap the Apple ID banner located at the top.
  3. Select iCloud.

    tap on apple id and then tap on icloud in iphone settings
  4. Tap iCloud Backup and now check the time of the Last successful backup.

    tap on icloud backup and check recent backup

If the backup is old enough to have the deleted contact, follow our guide to restore it from iCloud backup.

7. Recover iPhone contacts using third-party tools

The last option you are left with to get contacts back on your iPhone is through third-party applications. Below are some of the apps you can try to retrieve deleted contacts on your iPhone without backup.  

That’s it!

Let me know in the comments below if this article helped you recover your deleted contacts on your iPhone and which method worked better for you!

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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.
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