iPhone Contacts Disappeared? Check Out These Tips to Bring them Back

While iOS remains the byword of seamless experience, there are times where it seems to go completely berserk. One of the most common problems that many of us have come across at some point or the other is “iPhone contacts being disappeared” – out of the blue! Thankfully, there are a few practical tricks to fix the issue and get back the missing iPhone contacts. And that’s exactly what we’ve mentioned in this troubleshooting guide.

iPhone Contacts Disappeared? 6 Solutions to Restore Missing iPhone Contacts

Before getting on with the tricks and all the possible ways to recover the lost iPhone contacts, it would be apt to get to the route of the problem.

So, Why Do Contacts Disappear from the iPhone At the Very First Place?

Well, there could be more than one reason why contacts go missing on an iOS device. It could be due to a buggy software update, ill-fated restore or sluggish syncing owing to the poor internet connection. Having taken a close look at each possible scenario, we have offered possible solutions that can bring back the missing iPhone contacts. With that said, let’s follow along to cut the clutter!

Solution #1. Sign Out of iCloud and Sign Back In

The first trick that you should try to force the missing contacts to appear again on your iOS device is sign out and sign back into your Apple ID. More often than not, it fixes this issue, so I hope that it gets the job done for you.

Step #1. Launch the Settings app and tap on your profile picture right at the top.

Step #2. Scroll down and tap on Sign Out.

Open Settings App and Tap on Profile and Then Tap on Sign out on iPhone

Side Note: If Find My iPhone is enabled on your device, a pop-up will appear asking you to enter your Apple ID to disable Find My iPhone. Do it.

Enter Apple ID Password to Turn Off Find My iPhone

Step #3. Under “KEEP A COPY OF” section, turn on the toggles for Contacts, Keychain, Safari, and other options to ensure they remain on your device.

Sticky Note:

  • All your optimized photos and videos will be removed from this iOS device.
  • However, the original images and videos will remain available on other devices that are using iCloud Photos.
  • All the documents and data which you have stored in iCloud Drive will also be wiped out.
  • Do note that all of your Health data will remain on this device.

Step #4. Now, tap on Sign Out.

Enable Keep a Copy of Contacts, Keychain and Safari on iPhone

Step #5. Next, sign in to Apple ID again.

After a while, head into the Contacts app to see if you have found success.

Solution #2. Change Group Settings for Contacts

Another hack you should try to resolve this problem is to change the contact group settings.

Step #1. Launch the Phone appContacts tab.

Step #2. Now, tap on Groups at the top left corner.

Open Phone App and Tap on Contacts and Then Tap Group on iPhone

Step #3. Deselect the “All iCloud” option and tap on Done at the top right corner.

Disable All iCloud Option and Tap on Done

Now, you should see all the contacts which you have saved on your iPhone. Check out the missing ones and add them to your address book. Once it’s done, head over to the Group settings and select the “All iCloud” option again.

Solution #3. Turn OFF/ON iCloud for Contacts

At times, all you need to do to fix this problem is toggle off/on the switch for Contacts syncing. And guess what, we are going to give it a try to see how it fares.

Step #1. Open Settings app on Your iPhone → ProfileiCloud.

Open Settings and Tap on Profile and Select iCloud

Step #2. Now, Tap on switch for Contacts.

Step #3. Next, a pop-up will show up from the bottom of the screen saying, “What would you like to do with the previously synced iCloud contacts on your iPhone?” Select, Keep on My iPhone.

Tap on Contacts and Select Keep on My Phone

Sticky Note:

  • You can also choose “Delete from the iPhone” to wipe out all the previously synced contacts and trust the iCloud to bring all the contacts back without any glitch. But I would recommend you to choose “Keep on My iPhone” just to play a bit safe.
  • As iCloud does offer the option to merge the iCloud contacts with the ones that exist on the device, “Keep on My iPhone” appears to be a better option.

Step #4. Next up, restart your device. (press and hold the side button and then swipe to power off. Then, press and hold the side button again to turn on the device.)

Step #5. Head over to Settingsyour avatariCloud and then tap on the switch for Contacts.

Tap on Profile and Than Tap iCloud and Tap on Toggle Next to Contacts

Step #6. Now, select Merge in the pop-up to merge the contacts with the existing ones on your device.

Tap on Merge to Merge All Contacts on iPhone

Wait for some time to allow the iCloud contacts to perfectly merge with the local ones. After that, open the Contacts app on your device. Check out if your missing iPhone contacts have finally appeared.

Solution #4. Make Sure On My iPhone is Selected As Default Account

iOS offers the option to choose a preferred account for contacts. So, make sure you have chosen “On My iPhone” as the default account in the Contacts settings.

Step #1. Open Settings app on your iPhone → Scroll down and tap on Contacts.

Step #2. Now, tap on Default Account and then make sure “On My iPhone” is selected.

Solution #5. Restore Your iPhone With Finder/iTunes Backup

If none of the above tricks have sorted out the problem, it’s time to embrace the nuclear solution. With it, I mean go back to the drawing board and restore the iPhone from the previous backup. As it’s always been a reliable troubleshooter for recovering lost data, I’m pinning my hopes on it to get the job done.

Step #1. Connect the iPhone to your Mac or PC using a lightning cable and launch Finder (in macOS Catalina)/iTunes.

Step #2. Now, select your iPhone.

Step #3. Click on Restore Backup and choose the preferred backup.

Click on Restore Backup in iTunesOnce your device has successfully restored from a previous backup, go to the Contacts app to see if the missing ones have finally returned to their usual place.

Solution #6. Try Out A Trusted Third-Party Data Recovery Software for More Flexibility

No solution as yet? If the disappeared iPhone contacts haven’t returned to the contacts list yet, you should give a third-party data recovery tool a try. While the market is flooded with a ton of data recovery software packages, not all of them work efficiently.

The iPhone data recovery tools that I have tried and found quite handy are: PhoneRescue, iMyFone D-Back, and Dr. Fone. What makes these tools so efficient is the ability to recover data selectively. Therefore, you can check out all of your contacts and restore the ones that are missing on your device.

But keep in mind, these tools are paid so you will need to shell out some bucks to recover the data as their freemium or trial versions are quite limited.

Wrapping Up…

So, that’s how you can deal with the “Contacts disappeared from the iPhone” issue and bring back all the missing ones. As I have been on this train a few times, I can feel the agony. Thanks to these helpful solutions, it’s possible to retrieve the contacts.

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By the way, have got back all of your iPhone contacts that had gone hiding? Make sure to share your feedback and let us know which tricks worked for you. Also, download our iGB app as well as follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to quickly access our latest troubleshooting guides and everything-Apple.