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iPhone Contacts Disappeared? Here’s How to Fix!

by | Feb 21, 2024

Did you ever think about why your phone numbers disappeared on your iPhone? It might happen when you switch to a new iPhone 14 or 15, or after you update to iOS 17, or if you accidentally delete them.

Losing phone numbers on your iPhone all of a sudden can be really annoying while you’re going about your day. But don’t stress! This article will explain the possible reasons and give you different solutions to fix the problem of missing iPhone contacts. Additionally, you’ll learn some easy ways to recover your lost phone numbers or missing names.

iPhone Contacts Disappeared? Here Are the Reasons!

There are a few reasons why your iPhone contacts might have disappeared. 

One possibility is that it happened after you updated your iPhone’s software to iOS 17 or 16. Sometimes, these updates can cause glitches that result in contacts going missing. The good news is that Apple usually releases new updates to fix these issues.

Another reason could be a problem with syncing your contacts to iCloud. If there are any issues with iCloud syncing, your previously synced contacts may not show up properly on your iPhone.

Accidental changes to your contact settings can also lead to missing contacts. For example, if you accidentally turned off iCloud Contacts or made changes to your email account settings, it could cause your contacts to disappear.

Sometimes, contacts can be deleted accidentally or permanently, which can also result in them going missing from your iPhone.

If you’ve jailbroken your iPhone, that could be another reason for the disappearing contacts. Jailbreaking can have unexpected consequences, including the loss of contacts.

A weak or unstable internet connection, whether it’s Wi-Fi or cellular, can prevent your contacts from syncing back to your iPhone.

Restarting your iPhone can sometimes help troubleshoot the issue of missing contacts. It’s worth a try if you’re experiencing this problem. Whether some or all of your contacts have disappeared, there are effective solutions available to fix the issue and recover your missing or deleted contacts.

iPhone Contacts Disappeared? Here’s How to Fix it!

Method 1: Recover disappeared contacts using iCloud

If you were using iCloud for your contacts before they suddenly disappeared from your iPhone, you can try the following steps to sync and download your contacts from iCloud again.

Syncing iPhone contacts from iCloud:

  • Start by making sure that Contacts is enabled in iCloud. Sometimes, the contacts may not be displayed correctly on your iPhone. To fix this, turn off iCloud Contacts and then turn it back on. Make sure you have a stable Wi-Fi or cellular connection so that your iPhone can download the contacts from iCloud again.
  • Go to your iPhone Settings and tap on your name, then go to iCloud.
  • Turn off Contacts. When prompted, select the option to delete the previously synced iCloud contacts from your iPhone. Don’t worry, this won’t delete the contacts in iCloud.
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Recover disappeared contacts using iCloud
  • Turn on Contacts in iCloud again to sync all the contacts back.
  • Wait for a few minutes and check if the disappeared contacts are back in your iPhone’s address book. If not, you can try the next steps to troubleshoot the missing iOS contacts.

Downloading contacts from iCloud to iPhone:

  1. If you notice that your contacts are missing on your iPhone, go to icloud.com using a computer browser and sign in with your Apple ID and password.
  2. Open the Contacts app and make sure that the missing iPhone contacts are present in iCloud Contacts. If your iPhone is not showing the contacts, it’s recommended to sign out of iCloud and then sign back in.
  3. On your iPhone, open the Settings app and tap on your name at the top.
  4. Scroll down and tap on “Sign Out.” Follow the prompts to complete the sign-out process.
  5. Power off your device and then power it back on.
  6. Once it’s on, sign back into your iCloud account.
  7. It may take some time to download the contacts synced with iCloud back to your iPhone. Once it’s done, simply check the Contacts app on your iPhone to see if the contacts have returned.

Method 2. Recover disappeared contacts using iPhone Data Recovery software by AppGeeker

If the previous methods didn’t work for you, or if your disappeared contacts weren’t synced with iCloud before, or if you accidentally or permanently deleted the contacts on your iPhone, you can try using a professional data recovery tool to retrieve them.

Luckily, iPhone Data Recovery software by AppGeeker makes it easy to scan your entire device and recover the missing contacts from your iPhone, even without a backup or iCloud. This smart tool can automatically scan and find deleted or lost data on your iPhone or iPad, supporting up to 19 types of files. It also allows you to preview individual contacts or files before recovering them.

Just connect your iPhone to your computer, run the software, and scan your device. Then, you can select some or all of the contacts you want to retrieve. Importantly, this recovery process fixes the issue of missing contacts on your iPhone without overwriting any existing data. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Launch iPhone Data Recovery and connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable.
  2. Click the “Start Scan” button to begin the scanning process and search for lost contacts on your iPhone. Wait for a short while until it finishes scanning all the data on your iPhone.
  3. On the left side, locate the “Contacts” option when it displays all the scanning results. From the list of existing and missing contacts on your iPhone, you can click on each contact card to preview the name, phone number, email address, and other information.
  4. Select the contacts you want to recover, either individually or all at once. You can choose the “Restore to Device” option to directly retrieve the disappeared contacts back to your iPhone, or click the “Recover” button and select a location on your computer to save the recovered iPhone contacts as CSV or HTML files.
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Method 3. Recover disappeared contacts from iTunes backup or iCloud backup

If you have previously backed up your iPhone using iCloud, iTunes, or Finder, you can restore the missing contacts from those backups. However, it’s important to note that restoring from a backup will replace all the data on your device, including any new data added since the backup was created.

To prevent data loss and selectively restore only the contacts instead of the entire backup, follow the steps below:

Recover disappeared contacts from iTunes backup or iCloud backup

Restore missing contacts from iCloud backup:

  1. Check the iCloud backups under Settings > Apple ID > iCloud > iCloud Backup. Look for a backup that includes the disappeared contacts.
  2. On your iPhone, go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings. Confirm the reset to restore your iPhone to factory settings.
  3. During the setup process, choose the option to restore from an iCloud backup and sign in with your Apple ID.
  4. Select the backup that contains the missing contacts and complete the setup.
  5. Open the Contacts app, and you should see the contacts you were missing.

Alternatively, you can restore the missing contacts from an older version archived in iCloud.com. Keep in mind that this will replace the contacts on all your devices. Also read How to Recover Deleted Call History on iPhone Without Backup.

  • Sign in to icloud.com using your Apple ID and password.
  • Scroll down and select Data Recovery.
  • Choose the option to restore contacts.
  • Select the backup date before your contacts disappeared and confirm the restore.
  • The contacts stored in iCloud will be restored to your iPhone.

Restore lost contacts from iTunes backup:

  1. Connect your iPhone to your computer using a Lightning cable.
  2. Open iTunes (or Finder in macOS Catalina 10.15 or later) and select your iPhone.
  3. Go to the Summary tab and scroll down to the Backups section.
  4. Click on the “Restore Backup” button.
  5. In the dialog box, choose a backup that includes the missing contacts and click “Restore.”
  6. This will restore your iPhone with the old backup, overwriting any data that is not in the backup. The contacts that disappeared should be back in your address book.
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Recover contacts from iTunes backup without overwriting:

  1. Download and install iPhone Data Recovery software on your computer.
  2. Launch the software and choose the “Restore from iTunes Backup File” option.
  3. The software will scan and list all the iTunes backups on your computer.
  4. Select the backup that contains the missing contacts and click “Start.”
  5. On the file types screen, select “Contacts” from the list on the left.
  6. Preview the specific contacts you want to recover and choose them.
  7. Click the “Recover” button.
  8. If your iPhone is connected, you can choose to recover the deleted contacts directly to your device without erasing anything.

Remember to be cautious when restoring backups, as it can overwrite your current data.

Method 4. Recover missing contacts on iPhone through Contacts settings

Recovering missing contacts on your iPhone can be done by adjusting the contact settings in your accounts. If you find that your contacts have disappeared from your iPhone, it’s possible that they are linked to your Google, Outlook, or other email accounts instead of iCloud. By changing the Contacts settings, you may be able to retrieve the missing contacts on your iPhone.

Recover missing contacts on iPhone through Contacts settings

Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Go to the Contacts section and select “Accounts.”
  3. Choose each account listed on the screen.
  4. Toggle on the Contacts option to sync the account contacts with your iPhone.

Once the syncing process is complete, go back to the Contacts app on your iPhone to check if the missing contacts have been recovered. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Contacts app on your phone.
  2. If you’re not already on the contact list screen, tap the back arrow or “Lists” button at the top-left corner.
  3. Tap on “Show All Contacts.” This will display contacts from all sources, including iCloud, your iPhone, and other connected accounts.

Note: If you delete an email account, it will also remove the associated contacts. To restore them, you can add the email account again by going to Settings > Contacts > Accounts and re-adding it.

Conclusion

In conclusion, be cautious when restoring backups, as it can overwrite your current data. It’s always a good practice to regularly back up your iPhone to avoid data loss in the future.

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