Help: I upgraded to iOS 4 and lost my contacts!

Monday, June 21st, 2010 | Business | by

I just upgraded my iPhone 3GS to iOS 4 (iPhone OS 4) and lost all my contacts.  Initially they were there and all was well, but then they all disappeared.

I even had to enter my voicemail PIN for the first time in years (I have never done this since first setting up my original iPhone years ago).

The fix?  I’m not sure

For me, I seem to be getting contacts back in.  I was lucky to be using a Google account to manage calendar / email / contacts.  I removed that account, set it up against as exchange, and then waited.  It seems to trickle back in.  Maybe everyone that used Google exchange accounts is doing this and slowing down the servers.

I keep checking my favorites list, and see names appearing where numbers were before.  Voicemail is filling back up with real names too.

It may help to know that when I was in contacts I saw the “group” link in the top left corner, and selected the “Contacts” option, as opposed to my “ Global” option.

Let me know if you are having any luck.

UPDATE for iOS 5: If you are having trouble on iOS 5 please check out this iOS 5 help article including various fixes for lost contacts.

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26 Comments to Help: I upgraded to iOS 4 and lost my contacts!

June 21, 2010

I too had mine setup through Exchange via Gmail. But after upgrading, I’ve found that they are gone from my phone AND my online gmail contacts! Know of a way to get them back?

June 21, 2010

Check your iTunes, you most likely have a backup you can restore to

June 21, 2010

Mine finally all came back after I let it sync for a bit. I may not even have had to reset it (but I did). Essentially, give it time

June 21, 2010

Same issue, tried same fix (deleted and re-added Gmail account), and so far I have the same result. Gmail contacts appeared as numbers in the Favorites and in stored texts. Slowly trickling back in and changing to names.

June 21, 2010

Same here in iOS4… Happened after I tried to go into the contacts feature in Navigon.. The app crashed and that was all she wrote for my contacts… They should have a new version soon per their website… Not sure if that’s 100% it but possibly..

Chris Blatus
June 21, 2010

I’ve had a few crashes already with IOS4…. lost contacts twice after 2 crashes. Was using IM+ not sure if thats the cause. Seems that there’s going to have to be quite a few app updates with this os4. Anyone else having crashes?

[…] on the comments to my earlier post, Help: I upgraded to iOS 4 and lost my contacts, people are getting their contacts back […]

June 22, 2010

All of my contacts were deleted after the upgrade too! However, I was able to search for contacts, and all the details were there.

I’m not sure if this fixed the problem, but I went to an SMS from a friend, scrolled to the top of the thread, and tapped Contact Info. Now my contacts appear as usual.

Hope this is of some help!

June 24, 2010

I had the same problem. Just deactivated the contacts of my exchange account in the settings, activated them again and they came all back…

June 24, 2010

i finally got my contacts back
i downgraded to ios 3.1.3 and restored it from backup

June 24, 2010

i lost my original walpapers that came with my phone! like the van gogh one and such. how do i get those back? or where can i download them?!

June 26, 2010


How did you downgrade the OS to 3.1.3?
I want to do this so that I can get my husband all his contacts back seeing as it was me who told him to do the upgrade and all his 400 odd contacts he needs to run his business are gone.
Old Backup restores to phone but contacts still not there.
I need it in plain and simple language – I’m not a computer whizz and I can’t run the risk of killing his phone completely.

June 27, 2010

I took a backup prior to installing, and when I discovered all email on my phone – and all my calendar was gone; I restored via backup.

And it didn’t fix the problem.

July 3, 2010

All the contact names (but not the numbers) disappeared on my girlfriend’s 3GS – this was fixed by going into the “Mail, Contacts & Calendar” settings and hitting “Import SIM Contacts” – all but the newest names reappeared!

July 6, 2010

Rund, You’re a genius. Thanks for the fix “import SIM Contacts” and they all came back!

terry cassar
August 10, 2010

what you need to do is on your iphone go to settings then choose mail, contacts, calenders
than scroll down till you see import sim contacts
press and wait a min or to till it updates

August 30, 2010

I have the iphone 3G. I did a back up that took almost 2 hours last night. When I plugged my iphone back into my itunes today it downloaded an update (4.0.2) now all my contacts, notes, photo’s and calendars are gone. The only backups that show in my itunes are the ones from today, not my one from last nite. Is there any way to get all that info back? I have tried the import sim contacts and still nothing. Now everytime I sync my phone with itunes it returns it to the factory settings. I have tried to restore my PC back to yesterday but that did not work either.

October 26, 2010

I had different problem with bank details being declined, i tried to reset them email’d them about 4 times, no joy, reset them about the same times they said it was the card, my bank said it was apple’s fault,after getting pissed off went to apple store they took my phone in the back came out and it was fine. I know this isn’t the same prob but bite the bullet go in and let them to sort it, after the cash you’ve spent they’re happy to help, just a thought?

October 12, 2011

For those of you visiting for iOS 5, I upgraded earlier today without any issues. I will say that I did have to sync up a few times before everything transferred over.

[…] October 13th, 2011 | Business I’ve seen a huge spike in traffic on my site searching for iOS lost contacts.Thought I’d post something specifically regarding iOS 5, and some solutions that are out […]

October 15, 2011

if u had a backup u can restore all just need to disconnect the usp an connected back with diffrent usp port

October 15, 2011

After updating my iphone 3g I lost all of my voicemail messages I had saved to new. How do I get them back?

November 24, 2011

I upgrade lost contacts on my phone but not my ipad … discovered all my contacts in outlook were moved from that folder to a new folder in outlook named “contacts in icloud.” I moved them from the icloud folder to the “Contacts” (under the My Contacts tab — I’m running outlook 2007).
Next, I switched to itunes, hit sync — within a couple minutes they were all back on the iphone and names were now associated with my text messages.

November 28, 2011

After panicking and then realizing they MUST be in there somewhere since “favorites” and text messages still had names — I think I’ve concluded that it’s a cloud hiccup. I tried at least five of the suggested fixes (short of plugging back in to a computer since it isn’t here with me) … cycled back through and tried again. At some point in the process, they just suddenly reappeared then a few minutes later disappeared. So it may just be that ANY fix will work (even you just wave a magic wand over it) if you happen to hit that moment in time when the hiccup clears. All I know is that next time they appear, I am turning off cloud for contacts. I don’t think I even know my own phone number any more, let alone 256 others that are stashed in my phone. Sigh.

January 2, 2012

I lost my all contacts after installing IOS 5. Need a immediate help.

Chris blatus | Gofites
August 30, 2012

[…] Help: I upgraded to iOS 4 and lost my contacts!Jun 21, 2010 … Chris Blatus June 21, 2010. I’ve had a few crashes already with IOS4…. lost contacts twice after 2 crashes. Was using IM+ not sure if thats the … Uncategorized by admin […]

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