iPhone Lost Contacts After Update? Here's How to Get Them Back

Brandon Wood
Nov 08, 2023

Recently, many iOS users have reported encountering the issue of "iPhone lost contacts after an update". In response, we have prepared this guide. In this article, we will introduce the potential reasons behind this problem, offer simple and swift tips for resolving it, and provide alternative methods for recovering iPhone contact data in cases where these tips may not be effective. Read to learn about them.

iphone lost contacts after update


Part 1. What Can I Do Immediately After My iPhone Contacts Missing After Update?

Lost your contacts after the iOS 17 update? There are several reasons that might result in the issue:

  • Data corruption.
  • Apple ID issues.
  • iOS update glitches.
  • iCloud/iTunes/Finder syncing issues.
  • Sync conflicts among multiple email accounts.
  • The contacts may not be missing but merged/marked as deleted.
  • ...

Based on the experiences of many users who have encountered this issue before, when faced with this problem, you can try the following quick tips to see if the issue can be resolved. If the problem persists even after attempting these solutions, then you can proceed to recover your data as outlined in Part 2. and Part 3.

1. Restart your iPhone.

restart iphones

2. Try sending a text.

3. Re-sync contacts to iCloud by tapping on "Settings" > [your name] > "iCloud" > the "Contacts" option.

sync contacts from icloud

4. Check your Google account to see if you still have the contacts.

5. Sign out of your Apple ID by tapping "Settings" > [your name] > the "Sign Out" option, then log into the account again.

sign out of apple id

Part 2. How to Recover iPhone Contacts Disappeared After Update with Backup

If you have backups of your contacts on iCloud or iTunes, restoring them will be a straightforward process. Below are the steps to recover your contact data using iCloud and iTunes:

Way 1. How to Recover iPhone Update Lost Contacts from iCloud Backup

You can recover your lost contact data from iCloud both on your mobile device and your computer. Here are the steps to do so:

1. With Your Computer

Step 1. Navigate to iCloud.com and sign in with your Apple ID and password.

Step 2. Click on [your name] located in the upper-right corner, and choose "Account Settings".

Step 3. Scroll down to locate the "Advanced" section, and then select "Restore Contacts".

Step 4. You'll be presented with a list of available archives. Locate the archive that includes all your contact entries by date and click "Restore".

restore contacts drom icloud

2. With Your iPhone

Step 1. Erase All Content and Settings

In the "Settings" app, go to "General" > "Transfer or Reset iPhone" > "Erase All Content and Settings".

Before you can restore your contacts from an iCloud backup, you need to erase your iPhone's current data. Please note that this will remove all data on your device, so make sure you have backed up the essential data before proceeding.

erase iphone

Step 2. Set Up Your iPhone Again

When your iPhone restarts, you will see the "Hello" screen. Follow the on-screen instructions to set up your device. When you reach the "Apps & Data" screen, select the "Restore from iCloud Backup" option and sign in to your iCloud account with your Apple ID and password.

Step 3. Choose an iCloud Backup

After signing in, your iPhone will display a list of available iCloud backups. Select the backup that may contain the contacts you want to recover.

restore data from icloud backup

Your iPhone will then start restoring from the chosen backup. This process may take a while, depending on the size of the backup and your internet connection. Once the restore is complete, your contacts, along with other data from the selected backup, will be available on your iPhone.

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Way 2. How to Recover iPhone Update Deleted Contacts from iTunes Backup

If you've lost contacts on your iPhone after an update and have a previous iTunes backup that contains those missing contacts, you can recover them using iTunes.

Here's how to do it.

Step 1. Connect Your iPhone to Your Computer

Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable and open iTunes (or Finder on macOS Catalina and later).

Step 2. Select Your Device & Choose a Backup

In iTunes or Finder, click on your iPhone icon when it appears on the screen and you'll see a summary of your device. Under the "Backups" section, click "Restore Backup".(In Finder, you'll find the option to "Restore Backup" directly.) A list of your available iTunes backups will appear. Choose the backup file that contains the contacts you want to recover.

restore iphone from finder

Step 3. Check Your Contacts

Once the restore is complete, your iPhone will reboot. Open the "Contacts" app to check if your lost contacts have been recovered. They should now be available on your device.

Part 3. How to Recover Lost Contacts on iPhone After Update Without Backup

Is it possible to recover lost contact data without a backup? - The answer is "Yes." With the two tools introduced in this section, you can easily achieve contact data recovery. Read on to learn more about these methods.

Method 1. How to Recover Lost Contacts After iOS 17 Update with iPhone Data Recovery App

Coolmuster iPhone Data Recovery is a professional iOS data recovery tool. With this software, you can not only easily recover lost data from iTunes or iCloud backup files but also retrieve deleted files from your iOS device. This tool features a user-friendly design and supports the recovery of various files, including contacts, SMS, call logs, and more. It is an indispensable file assistant for both your personal and professional life.

Here are some of the key features of Coolmuster iPhone Data Recovery:

  • Effortless Recovery Process: No technical expertise is necessary; anyone can effortlessly navigate the recovery steps.
  • Flexible Recovery Options: Whether you have a backup stored in iCloud/iTunes or rely on your device alone, you can confidently retrieve your data.
  • Comprehensive Data Recovery: We support multiple data types, including call logs, contacts, messages, message attachments, notes, note attachments, and more.
  • Seamless File Export to PC: Easily recover and export your data to your computer in user-friendly formats like CSV, HTML, and VCF for contacts, CSV and HTML for text messages, and other file types with their original quality intact.

This is how to retrieve the lost contacts using Coolmuster iPhone Data Recovery:

01Once you've successfully downloaded and installed the program on your computer, open it on your desktop. Select the "iOS Recovery" module, and proceed by connecting your iOS device to your computer using a USB cable. The software will promptly identify your device. To enable recognition, please tap the "Trust" option on your mobile device.

connect idevice to pc

02On the interface, choose the specific data types you want to retrieve, then click "Start Scan" to proceed.

select data type to scan

03Once the program completes scanning the data types you've selected, you'll be able to preview the detailed files within the interface. To retrieve contacts, select the "Contacts" option from the file list. You'll see a list of all recoverable contacts. Simply check the boxes next to the contacts you want to recover, and then click the "Recover to Computer" option.

recover contacts from idevice

You may also need:

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Method 2. How to Recover Lost Contacts After iPhone Update with iPhone SMS + Contacts Recovery App

Coolmuster iPhone SMS + Contacts Recovery is a professional software designed for recovering lost SMS and contacts. Even without backup files, you can use this tool to retrieve your lost contacts during an iOS upgrade. With the help of this tool, you can easily export your SMS and contacts in HTML or XML format for convenient viewing.

Here are some of the key features of Coolmuster iPhone SMS + Contacts Recovery:

  • Effortlessly retrieve deleted contacts from your iDevice.
  • Efficiently scan and extract content from your previously created iTunes/iCloud backup, enabling selective restoration or export to your computer.
  • Recover iPhone data lost due to new iOS updates, unsuccessful jailbreaking, or other iPhone-related issues.
  • Comprehensive support for a wide range of iPhone models.

This is how to retrieve the lost contacts using Coolmuster iPhone SMS + Contacts Recovery:

01Launch the tool on your computer once you have successfully downloaded and installed it.

02Connect your iPhone to the computer using a USB cable, and the program's interface will appear as shown below. Choose your desired data types and click "Start Scan" to proceed. The software will promptly identify your device. To enable recognition, please tap the "Trust" option on your mobile device.

connect idevice to pc

03Following the scan, you can preview comprehensive details of both deleted and existing files, including contact information such as home address, work title, company, and more. Navigate to a specific category from the left panel and pick individual items from the right side. Once you've made your selections, simply click the "Recover to Computer" button to swiftly retrieve them.

recover contacts from idevice

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, whether you possess backup files or not, there are viable solutions to address the predicament of lost contacts on your iPhone after an update. The existence of backup files offers a straightforward path to recovery, while those without backups can still rely on effective methods and tools such as iPhone Data Recovery or iPhone SMS + Contacts Recovery to retrieve their essential contact information. These solutions, backed by professional expertise, ensure that the inconvenience of lost contacts does not disrupt your digital workflow.

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