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How to Recover Deleted Contacts from iPhone

"I need some help !! Is there some people know that how to recover iPhone contacts?
I felt so sad that my iPhone 4S was stolen, but my contacts are so important for me. Now I hope to restore my contacts without my phone. Fortunately, I synced my iPhone to iTunes constantly on my computer, but I had to switch to another phone, since I could not afford another iPhone. I don't know whether is it possible to recover contacts without iPhone?"

The answer is: You can recover your contacts with or without iPhone! You can extract your contacts from the iTunes/iCloud backup when you lost your iPhone. iTunes can automatically back up your iPhone contacts and update it every time when you sync it. So you really have a big chance to recover contacts from iTunes backup.

How to recover contacts with or without your iPhone

We will now discuss how to get contacts from the backup file. You need an iPhone contacts recovery tool, and you can have my recommendation here: iPhone Data Recovery (Windows) or iPhone Data Recovery (Mac). Besides recovering contacts from iTunes/iCloud backups, both of the software can also help to scan and retrieve contacts directly from your iPhone X/8/8 Plus/7/7 Plus/SE/6s/6s Plus/6 Plus/6/5S/5C/5/4S/4/3GS, if you didn't lose your iPhone. Now we can check the information about powerful iPhone data recovery tool.
1. Recover deleted contacts from iPhone without backup, you can get back contact number, job title, address, companies, email and more which you store on phone book. You can export all contacts as several format like VCF, CSV or HTML.

2. Extract unreadable iTunes and iCloud backup, preview the details of backup file and selectively choose the contacts you need to restore, it's more advantages than iTunes. Unlike iTunes, you don't need to replace exisiting iPhone data. This will be more intuitive and save you a lot of time.

3. Support recover 22+ file types for all iPhone iPad iPod running all iOS versions (the latest version of 10.3 is included), including photos, videos, contacts, text messages, iMessages, mms, notes, call history, safari bookmark, voicemail, voice memos, as well as third-party app data like WhatsApp, WebChat, Viber, Kik, line, Skype etc.

4. Provide the best function to fix iOS system problem, you won't lost any data after your phone stuck at apple logo/ recovery mode, white/black screen, start up exception and other issue. When your phone suddenly encountered some system problems so that you can not normally turn on the phone, you still can get data back.

You can download the free trial version below to have a try.

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 Download Mac

Let's check detailed steps with the Windows version of iPhone Data Recovery. 

Part 1: How to Recover Deleted Contacts from iPhone Directly

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to the computer

If you didn't lose your iPhone, you can also use this way to recover your contacts. Connect your iPhone and run the iPhone Data Recovery program on your computer.

Ⅰ. For iPhone X/8/8 Plus/7/7 Plus/SE/6S/6S Plus/6 Plus/6/5S/5C/5 or iPhone 4S users, you'll see the main window as follows.

After connecting your iPhone, you only need to click the "Start Scan" button to scan your iPhone. You'll see this scanning window immediately after clicking the "Start Scan" button.

Ⅱ.For iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS users, you can choose to go to the "Advanced Mode" to get a deeper scan for your iPhone. Just click on the button at the lower right-corner.

enter dfu mode

Step 2. Enter the device's scanning mode and scan it

iPhone X/8/8 Plus/7/7 Plus/SE/6S/6S Plus/6 Plus/6/5S/5C/5/4S users don't need to do this step. You only need to click "Start Scan" to directly scan your iPhone for deleted contacts on it.
For iPhone 4/3GS users, you need to follow the steps below to enter the device's scanning mode to scan it:

1) Hold your device and click the "Start" button. 
2) Pressing the "Power" and "Home" buttons at the same time for exact 10 seconds. 
3) Then release the "Power" button, but keep holding "Home" for another 15 seconds until you get the message of successfully entering.

Whatever the device you use, the program will automatically begin scanning your iPhone for lost contacts after you doing the steps accordingly.

Step 3. Preview and recover iPhone contacts

When the scan is finished, you can preview all found data before recovery. Choose "Contacts" to preview, mark it and click "recover", you can save all the contents on your computer with one click.

recover iphone contacts without backup

The data found here includes deleted data and those still on your iPhone. If you only want back your lost ones, you can refine the scan result by using the slide button on the top to only display the deleted items.
Note: If you want to import recovered contacts back to your iPhone, you can use iPhone Transfer tool to do it in a few clicks.

Part 2: How to Recover iPhone Contacts from iTunes Backup

Way 1. Fully restore iPhone contacts from entire iTunes backup

Many iPhone users often back up their iPhone data to the computer via iTunes, and we know that the backup file can't be read, but you still can get contact back via entire iTunes backup.

You can open iTunes on your computer and connect your iPhone to it, when the iTunes detect your phone, you can click "File" > "Devices" > "Restore from Backup" or right-click iPhone icon and press "Restore from backup", select the backup file that contains the missing contact, then click "Restore" to import the backup back to iPhone.

recover iphone contacts from whole itunes backup

But you need to know you will lost all newly created data, including photo, music, contact, messages, note and other data, so you have to carefully select the backup file. In order to avoid the existing data is covered, you can choose to extract the backup file and selectively restore iPhone contact.

Way 2. Selectively restore iPhone contacts by extracting iTunes backup

This iPhone contacts recovery program enables you to recover contacts on iPhone from the backup files on iTunes, no matter you are using iphone X, iphone 8/8 Plus, iPhone 7/7 Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 6s/6s Plus/6 Plus/6, iPhone 5S/5C/5, iPhone 4S/4, or iPhone 3GS, or you just lost it, iPhone Data Recovery can help to find the contacts back on your computer. Besides contacts, it also can help you to recover previous SMS, Call History, Notes, Calendar, as well as lost photos and videos, etc.

Step 1. Scan the iTunes backup file

No matter you just lost your iPhone or you still hold it in your hand, don't connect or sync it with iTunes after you lost your contacts, to prevent the backup file from being updated and replaced by the contacts on your iPhone now.
If you have synced different iDevices with iTunes before, there will be more than one backup files, after you click "Recover from iTunes Backup File" on the top of the primary window. Choose the one for your iPhone and click "Start Scan". Then move further.

extract itunes backup

Step 2. Recover your iPhone contacts

Easily, the scan only take you a few seconds. All the contents from the backup file will be displayed in details. You can read the content right now, no matter from the Contacts, but also from the Messages, Call History, Notes, and you also can preview the photos & videos contained on your iPhone.

To recover the contacts, check the box in front of the Contacts and click the "Recover" button, then you can save the content on your computer. You also can recover the other data, if you have a need.

recover iphone cantacts from itunes

The contacts you find in the scan result contain those existing in the backup file and those deleted from your iPhone before you made the backup. Both of them have their own color. You can use the button on the top to separate them: Only display the deleted items.

Note: If you want to import recovered contacts back to your iPhone, you can use iPhone data transfer tool to do it in a few clicks.

How iTunes backs up your iPhone contacts

As an iPhone user, who tends to manage the content of iPhone with iTunes, must know that iTunes backs up everything of your iPhone first when you sync with it. This will be the warmest thing when you lost your contacts from iPhone. The bad point is that the backup file is not regular file type, but a SQlitedb file, which is not allowed to preview, even access. Sometimes it's encrypted, just for private safe.

Part 3: 5 Ways to Recover iPhone Contacts from iCloud Backup

Way 1. Merge iPhone contacts from iCloud backup

First you can open on your web browser and sign in your iCloud account, click "contacts", if you can see the deleted/lost contact under contacts, follow the below

step to merge iCloud contact.This may be the easiest and most useful way to restore contact to your iPhone.

Step 1. Click "Settings" > "iCloud" > "Turn off Contacts" on your iPhone.

Step 2. Choose "Keep on My iPhone" option in the pop-up which asking you what would you like to do with the previously synced iCloud contacts on your iPhone.

Step 3. Turn on contacts again and click "Merge". After a few minutes, You will find that the deleted contacts appear again in your iPhone contact list.

merge iphone contacts

Way 2. Export vCard File From

When you add a new contact, you can back it up to iCloud and follow the below step to export them as a vCard File, then you can get the lost/deleted contact back from vCard file when you lost some contacts next time.

Step 1. Open on your web browser and sign in your iCloud account.

Step 2. Click "Contacts" > "Settings" icon on the lower left bottom > "Export vCard".

Step 3. Export all contacts as a .vcf file to your computer hard disk drive, then you can us email to send it and use iPhone to open it, then you can restore contact back to your iPhone.

import vcard file to restore iphone contacts

Way 3: Recover iPhone contacts from iCloud Advanced Features

Many people do not know iCloud have a advanced features can help to restore lost contacts, but how to use this function, now we will introduce the detail steps, and you need to know, when you store to a new archive of contacts:
. The archive of contacts you select will replace contacts on all your devices.
. Your current contacts will be archived so that you can get them back if needed.

1. Open a web broswer on your computer, enter in the address bar and open it.
2. When you see a login interface, enter your Apple ID and Password to sign in. After you successfully enter iCloud, tap "Settings" icon to the new page, you will see the "Advanced" at the bottom of the page, tap "Restore Contacts" option and you will see a pop-up.
3.You will see all backup display as a list, choose the one contain all contacts and click "Restore" button to get contacts back to iPhone.

recover contacts from icloud advanced mode

Way 4. Fully restore iPhone contacts from entire iCloud backup

Only need several steps to recover from entire iCloud backup file. Click "Settings" > "General" > "Reset" > "Erase All Content and Settings" on your iPhone, when you see a pop-up, click "Erase iPhone", your phone will restart, just wait for a while, click "Set Up iPhone" > "Restore from iCloud Backup", then you can sign your iCloud account by entering Apple ID and password, choose the most relevant backup to download onto your phone, wait for the operation to complete.

recover iphone contacts from whole iCloud backup

As with iTunes, the recently existing data and setting will be overwritten, so you can choose the below way to extract iCloud backup file and selectively restore iPhone contact.

Way 5. Selectively restore iPhone contacts by extracting iCloud backup

Step 1. Login iCloud account and scan iCloud backup

Launch the iOS recovery software, switch to "Recover from iCloud Backup File", enter your Apple ID and password to login iCloud, then the software will find all iCloud backup files and display as a list, you can choose the one you make iPhone contacts backup and click "Download", then click "Next" to scan the backup after you choose contact file type in the pop-up.

extract icloud backup

Step 2. Preview and recover iPhone contacts

When the scan is over, all contacts will display in the contacts category of the scan result, you can preview all contacts detail, mark the contact you want to recover and click "Recover" to restore them.

recover iphone cantacts from icloud

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Part 4: Recover iPhone Contacts from Google or Other Cloud Services

If you backup iPhone contact to Google account or other Cloud Services before, it's easy to retrieve deleted iPhone contacts, you don't need to use any tool for help, just do it on the phone by yourself, follow the steps:

1. Tap "Settings" > "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" > "Add Account" on your iPhone.
2. Select "Google" option or other Cloud Services, use your email address and password to login.
3. Switch "Contacts" option to the open state on the page and click "Save" button to sync the contacts to iPhone.

recover contacts from google contacts

Part 5: Recover Contacts from iPhone Messages App

Many people may not know that using message app can also recover delete iPhone contact, now we have to explain in detail the use of the steps.

1. Click "Messages" icon on iPhone and create a new message by click "New message" icon in the upper right corner.
2. enter a name of the contact or type the number of contact that store in the previous contact list in the "To" field.
3. If the contact did not be removed, you will see a pop-up that contain the contact info of number and name, click “i” icon on the right side to create a new contact.

recover contacts from iphone messages app