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My iPhone Contacts are Gone! Help!

Kelly Wilkerson | | categories: data recovery, itunes, iphone | View Comments

We've been hearing more reports that iPhone (iPad, and iPod Touch) users suddenly find all of their contacts are missing from their iPhone, with no clues about how the contacts vanished. If your iPhone contacts are gone, we have a few different solutions to help you recover them.

  • One thing to check first is if your contacts are stored on iCloud. They may be there if your contacts were removed as part of turning off iCloud contact syncing. Go to https://www.icloud.com/#contacts to log in to iCloud in web browser and view your iCloud contacts. If the contacts are on iCloud, turn on iCloud contact syncing on your iPhone from the Settings app → iCloud → Contacts on/off switch. The contacts should merge into whatever contacts exist on your iPhone now.

  • If you know your contacts are stored through another provider like Gmail or Exchange, you'll want to log into that account on your computer and verify that the contacts are still there (much like iCloud, but for that provider.) If the contacts are still present on your provider, go to the Settings app → Mail, Contacts, Calendars → the listing for your provider, and then make sure the Contacts option is turned on there.

  • If you have a recent backup, you can restore your iPhone to the backup, and the contacts will be restored to whatever state they were in when the backup is made. Note that all of your data will roll back to the state it was in when the backup was made. All photos, text messages, contacts, notes, EVERYTHING will be restored from the backup and all new data from after the backup will be lost.

  • If you have a recent backup, but don't want to time warp your iPhone to the state of the last backup, you can use Decipher Backup Browser to read the contacts from your backup and export them into a file to send to your iPhone.

To use Decipher Backup Browser to get your contacts from an iPhone backup:

  1. Download and install the free trial of Decipher Backup Browser from.

  2. As Decipher Backup Browser starts up, it will read your existing backups automatically and then present you with a list of backups it found. Click on the backup you want to look for contacts in. (Enter the backup password if your backup is encrypted.)

  3. Click on Contacts in the center column of Decipher Backup Browser. Your contacts should appear in the right-hand column!

  4. After registering Decipher Backup Browser, you can click Save in the upper-right corner to save the contacts as a VCF (vcard) file. Email that file to yourself and open on your iPhone to import the contacts into your iPhone address book.

recover iPhone contacts that are gone by using an iPhone backup and Decipher Backup Browser