Help: After iOS 5 Upgrade Lost my Contacts

Thursday, October 13th, 2011 | Business | by

iOS 5I’ve seen a huge spike in traffic on my site searching for iOS lost contacts.  We now have 6 different solutions to restore your contacts.

Thought I’d post something specifically regarding iOS 5, and some solutions that are out there.  Personally I had no problems upgrading, and think losing contacts may just be because the initial “sync” hasn’t gone through yet (remember an iOS upgrade resets your phone to base iOS 5, then imports your information after).

Please post a comment if something works for you (and maybe which iPhone you have, and your carrier).  I’ve found comments extremely useful in determining what does and doesn’t work.

Solution #0 – My Fix Without Trying It

Sorry to throw this in, but I feel the contacts disappearing is just because your phone isn’t done syncing:

  1. Connect your iPhone to iTunes
  2. Click on your iPhone in the left panel under devices
  3. Click “Sync” in the lower right corner.

Please give your phone a chance to restore.  Remember, a new OS means a fresh install, and restoring a backup.  If you interrupt that (as I did) you may not have all your apps, settings, songs, etc.

Solution #1 – The Text Message Fix

This seems to be the most popular solution if you can see your contacts in your text messaging:

  1. Open a recent Text Message
  2. Tap the top of the screen (scrolls to the top of the message)
  3. Tap “Contact”
  4. Edit the contact in some way (add an email, new fake phone number or something, you can delete later
  5. Hit the “Back” button

You should have your contacts back.  Please delete the “edit the contact in some way” if you don’t want it.

Solution #2 – The iCloud Fix

This is probably related to problems with iCloud:

  1. Go to “Settings”
  2. Click on “iCloud” (it’s in the app section if you scroll down)
  3. Turn off your settings
  4. Turn them back on

Again, this probably triggers a “re-sync” with iCloud to force contacts back

Solution #3 – The Import from SIM Fix

This fix relies on you storing contacts in your SIM card most likely:

  1. Go to “Settings”
  2. Click on “Mail, Contacts, Calendars”
  3. Click “Import SIM Contacts”

I wouldn’t rely on this as it may vary based on carrier.

Solution #4 – Reset Your iPhone (Thanks Josh — see comments)

This fix was submitted by a commenter, and it worked for him (basically the same as everything … reset and force a sync):

  1. Make sure you are connected to iTunes and online
  2. Turn off your iPhone
  3. Turn it on again
  4. iPhone should sync automatically (this could take time, don’t interrupt it!)

Hope it works!

Solution #5 – Restore Your iPhone

This fix submitted by Chris (thanks!) in the comments, and seems to work for a few people:

  1. Plug iPhone into Computer
  2. Launch iTunes
  3. After it’s done syncing, right click on iPhone (under devices in the left) and click on “Restore from Backup”
  4. Choose one (it may not be the most recent, some folks have bad backups just before the upgrade)
  5. Let the iPhone restore completely

Solution #6 – Use Windows address book

This solution was submitted by a visitor a few minutes ago (for you, who knows how long ago).  You can read about it on the new post:

iPhone Lost Contacts – Windows Address Book Fix

Keep the feedback coming!  You’ll lose anything you’ve done since that backup, but you should have your information back.

Solution #7 – Sync Address Contacts fix (aka MikeW / Kate Wilson Fix)

Submitted by 2 visitors, this seems to have been working recently.

  1. Reconnect to iTunes
  2. Go to Info screen
  3. Go to Advanced and clickContacts” under “Replace information on this iPhone”
  4. If the option is grayed out, you can check “Sync Address Contacts” at the top
I’d recommend this as a last ditch effort as I think it could create problems for some users.

Solution #8 – The “TamTam” fix (also restoring iTunes from local computer)

A comment by “TamTam” on a similar page, iOS 6 Lost Contacts, has proven very helpful for a number of people, follow these steps:
  1. Connect iPhone to iTunes
  2. Go to iPhone Summary
  3. Switch from “Back up iCloud” to “Back up to Computer
  4. Go to info tab, at the bottom (in advanced settings) “Replace info on this iPhone
  5. Click on Contacts
  6. Sync!

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441 Comments to Help: After iOS 5 Upgrade Lost my Contacts

[...] 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.Related PostsiPhone 4: Signal Frustrations (1)I don't have an iPhone 4 yet.That [...]

October 13, 2011

I did the text message thing ad it worked. Real happy I dont have to reinput it all

October 13, 2011

The iCloud solution worked for me. Thank you!

October 13, 2011

Firstly it took me nearly an hour to find your site. All others i found never dealt with my problem. Thanks alot for this page.

My prblem:
I lost all contacts, emails (incl. all my Email-accounts), videos, songs, everything. Although my upgrade was quite fast (about 35min)
The only error was the problem of backing-up to iCloud after the successful upgrade.
I started to panick when i couldn’t find anyone with the same problem after nearly an hour of googling.

after successfull upgrade, iphone restarted, then you setup everything and found no data as mentioned above.

Solution (what worked for me):
1. Make sure you are connected to itunes and online
2. Turn off your iphone
3. Turn it on again.
4. tada! your iphone starts syncing automatically – itunes on your pc will display how long it will take (my case was 4min.)
5. check your data: email accounts, phone contact… everything is there!

btw: i disabled use of iCloud for now. i just want to get used to this new ios first – without icloud

October 13, 2011

Did the Solution #1 and it worked, thanks a lot forht info :)

October 13, 2011

Thanks You soooo much, the text message fix worked for me, I was panicking quite alot for a while.

October 13, 2011

None of these solutions worked for me. I have no contacts or apps anymore on my phone yet it kept the video and photos. Wish I had never upgraded.

I tried basically all of your solutions. In my messages panel, it shows numbers of previous texts but not names. I have this sickening feeling that all my contacts are lost.

October 13, 2011

If you need, you can “Restore” your iPhone to a previous backup (assuming you have a previous backup). That should restore things for you. The most likely cause of not having any information, is having a failed restore, or a failed backup (hopefully the former is your situation).

Also please consider Google Apps hosting or your contacts / email. Even if I were to lose all my information, my contacts / calendar / emails are all hosted on Google and can just be resynced (this is supposedly what Apple is trying to offer with iCloud).

October 13, 2011

Thank you for providing a one stop location for problems. This greatly helped me get get all my 11 years of accumulated contacts back.
I did the Restore under Devices and then Disabled iCloud during the Phone restart and all was back.
I have now Enabled iCloud and everything works.
Thanky you greatly.

October 13, 2011

i upgraded to ios5 and the text message fix worked for me. crazy.

October 13, 2011

None of your suggestions worked, but I reconnected to iTunes, went to Info screen and went to Advanced and clicks Contacts under “Replace information on this iPhone”.

October 13, 2011

The text solution work. Thanks so much!

October 13, 2011

Thanks for this. Noticed my apps didn’t sync, then read an article about how people were missing contacts, so I checked and mine had gone too. Text message trick did it for me

October 13, 2011

Question about the text message fix. When you open your messages, do you see your contacts name or just the phone number? The fix in this article says to edit the contact, but for me all I see is a phonenumber and the only option is to create a new contact. Is this the way it is for others who have successfully used this fix?

October 13, 2011

Text message fix worked for me!! Thank you so much!

October 13, 2011

The text message fix worked perfectly for me.
Thank you very much!

October 13, 2011

@Jim the same thing happened to me. I have not found a solution yet. None of the above worked. Anyone else find a solution that is not already listed?

October 13, 2011

Text Message fix. Bitching!!! Thanks, I crapped myself.

October 13, 2011

@Chris: so this means you DON’T see your contacts in your text messages, and therefore the fix is not going to work for you

October 13, 2011

The text message fix worked a charm for me! So happy :) did not fancy creating a bloody facebook group asking for numbers again lol

October 13, 2011

The text message solution worked! Thanks so much

October 13, 2011

like chris, i dont see any names, just numbers. i’ve tried all the suggestions and nothing seems to work. pleasssssse somebody help me. im close to tears =(

October 13, 2011

This might be a little strange but i also lost my contacts upgading to ios 5 and retrieved them simply by adding a contact. as soon as i added one contact they all came back into my phone. hope this helps.

October 13, 2011

When I finally figured out how to add the contacts back, thanks to MikeW, it added all my husband’s contacts, not mine??? I have no idea how to fix this!!!! If I do a system restore to original settings, do you think that would help?

Daniel R
October 13, 2011

The solution #2 fixed it. Thanks

October 13, 2011

in the same boat as chris. need help bad!

October 13, 2011

i tried all of these steps but none of them worked.. worked out if you go onto itunes on your pc.. click on your iphone under devices on the left. then click on info at the top next to summary and apps. click on sync all contacts then apply settings =) hope it helps

Sam Campbell
October 13, 2011

Thanks for this. Another variation on #1 solution, sharing the beautiful simplicity and in the case of not having contacts preserved with texts, I edited a contact on one of my other devices in the sync group and then all of a sudden all the contacts synced to the iPhone.

I suppose this works on the premise that it forces a push sync to the dormant iPhone that failed for some reason to sync properly after iOS upgrade. In my case I use MobileMe sync between two macs, and two iPhones, just updated both mobiles to iOS5 but have not yet updated to iCloud, and edited one contact on the iPhone that was working to nudge the other to sync again.

I hope this works for others.


October 13, 2011

Solution 2 worked for me. Had to disable the contact sync option in iCloud, then enable it again (selecting merge). Thanks for this :)

Eyal Sadeh
October 13, 2011

Thanks a lot for this page!
Fix #0 didn’t work for me.
Fix #1 (text message) fixed the lost contacts issue!

Mike M
October 13, 2011

Thanks! fix#1 worked perfectly. much appreciated

October 13, 2011

Text message fix worked first time. Phew. Glad i didnt lose the numbers of all the people i never call!!

October 13, 2011

No contacts here either. Photos, videos, notes and apps all ok but contacts are gone… Texts just show the number and none of the other fixes above helped :( Anyone find anything else yet?? Wish I hadn’t of upgraded…

Kate Wilson
October 13, 2011

Holy Moly….I tried it all! Frustrating that I could see Favorites and text messages phone numbers but not contacts. Finally saw MikeW’s post:(“None of your suggestions worked, but I reconnected to iTunes, went to Info screen and went to Advanced and clicks Contacts under “Replace information on this iPhone”).
Went into iTunes/iPhone/Info under Advanced and Replace Info on this Phone but contacts was grayed out. At top, Sync Address Contacts was unchecked, checked that, Replace Info became un-gray, checked that and synced, got them back! But now in contacts on my phone there are different groups and the icloud group only has contacts I added today. Wonder how to get icloud contacts to include all? Either way, what an ordeal, thanks Mike W!!!

Phil Bone
October 13, 2011

Thank you! Thank you! Fixed mine by adding a new contact!

October 13, 2011

I’ve installed the iOS 5 upgrade and have lost everything, contacts, text messages, voicemails, apps, photos, etc. you name it and it’s gone!

In iTunes I can manually sync my apps and photos, but that’s it, nothing else seems to have been loaded.

When I try solution 4, I get an error message on iTunes that says “An error occurred while restoring this iPhone (-50)”.

Any ideas?

October 13, 2011

The iCloud solution worked for me too…thank you sooo much!

October 13, 2011

It’s me Chris again. I got my contacts back. I have an iPhone4 and after updating to ios 5, everything was on my phone except for contacts. The message fix didn’t work, only numbers showed up above the messages. Everything else (iCloud, syncing fixes)didn’t work. So what I did was restore from a previous backup. Plug iPhone into comp, have iTunes up and running, and after it’s done doing any auto-syncing, right click on iPhone under Devices, a drop down menu appears and click on restore from backup. A dialogue box opens prompting you to restore and lists the last date you were backed up. My last backup was the night before, so I knew that it had successfully backed up during the process of installing ios 5. I let the iPhone restore completely, went through the initial process again, BUT this time I said DO NOT connect to iCloud. Contacts are all back. Remember that you’ll lose stuff that you’ve done between now and the restore date. And remember that you want restore from backup, NOT restore to factory settings.

I ended up getting the info to do this from an apple support thread(which I noticed seangw posted this website link to)

October 13, 2011

Solution #1 worked for me, thanks

October 13, 2011


Solution #1 worked for me.

October 13, 2011

Thank you Kate Wilson! That is the only solution that has worked for me!

Angela Matthews
October 14, 2011

Solution #2 worked for me. Thanks alot!!
iPhone 4. Carrier: AT&T

October 14, 2011

Thank you for the text message fix. Worked perfectly well. I was unable to turn on iCloud after I upgraded, but now I could. I have backed up my data using that now! Thank you again!

October 14, 2011

I upgraded to IOS 5 and everything worked fine, it did give me an error at the end saying the there was a problem restoring my phone, but when I checked, everything was there.
My Question is, when I dial a number, it used to store it in my “recents” section on the phone. It doesn’t do this anymore. Even if I phone the number 100 times, it won’t store it. I also can’t see missed calls anymore. Any ideas?

October 14, 2011

uummm, scratch that, I never restarted my phone, my bad, it’s all back now.

October 14, 2011

I used the iCloud solution – got all my contacts back, thanks! x

October 14, 2011

The icloud soloution worked for me.. thank goodness.. thanks for the tips

October 14, 2011

The text message one worked for me! Thanks dude!!

October 14, 2011

if you have a mac you can sync your contacts back from “address book”
have your iPhone connected in iTunes then go to the “info” tab and “sync address book contacts”
this got most of my contacts back. hopefully it helps

October 14, 2011

still no solutions have worked for me. i’ve lost count how many times ive backed up and restored my phone. i think i’ve done it too many times now and can no way retrieve my contacts. PLEASE someone help !!!!

October 14, 2011

thanks so much for yout tips! i tried solution 1 and it worked without a hitch. thank you u are a lifesaver!!

October 14, 2011

Solution #1 text message fix has just saved my life . . . muchos gracias.

October 14, 2011

The text MSG fix worked! Thanks a lot.. Was really worried!

October 14, 2011

Thanks so much – the text message fix method worked a treat for me!

October 14, 2011

Thanks! :)
Text message fix worked for me too!

October 14, 2011

Thanks Chris (October 13, 2011 post). I have the 3GS and nothing worked for me either. Contacts totally wiped out. Tried to sync, waiting for iCloud and nothing worked. I did a restore from backup. Went through set up process again and said NO to iCloud and contacts came back. Thanks for the suggestions from everyone here.

October 14, 2011

I lost my contacts also. I tried the step listed above to add a new contact. I added a new contact and all of my contacts appeared. Thank you!!

October 14, 2011

Thank you so much!

October 14, 2011

Solution #1 worked for me!

iPhone 4 on Verizon

October 14, 2011

Fix #2 worked like a charm and fast, thx.

October 14, 2011

iPhone 4 on Verizon – the text message trick worked for me!

October 14, 2011

Solution #Trythisbeforeanythingelse: Turn off your phone and restart it.

#0 & #1 did not work for me, so I just rebooted and the contacts came back.

October 14, 2011

Thank you very much, the SMS fix worked! And I thought I had lost all my contacts!

October 14, 2011

The text message solution worked for me, except that I did it with a recent call. Thanks so much. I was freaking out.

October 14, 2011

Solution 4 worked for me on an iPhone 3GS with AT&T, although I had to force the sync upon restart.

October 14, 2011

The icould solution (#2) worked for me. Thanks so much!

October 14, 2011

thank you. text solution worked!

Trixy Podds
October 14, 2011

I have 3GS and lost all my contacts.
I tried everything before restoring but with no luck.
Then in iTunes clicked on Info tab and saw that syncing with Outlook was turned off.
I clicked on Sync with Outlook and on apply.
Waited for synchronisation to finish and voila! All my contacts back on iPhone.
Of course I turned off iCloud.

October 14, 2011

The Text message fix was fantastic. No iCloud needed!!

October 14, 2011

the text message fix worked for me. thanks

October 14, 2011

I tried to get contacts, notes, emails and calendars back after update 5ios. No luck to get it working. I did try every steps and nothing helps. I did backup before update ios. I tried to restore it and it keeps asking for password. I did not setup password. I tried to use different passwords which iphone, computer, applestore and emails. No luck to get it work. Please help me with it.

October 14, 2011

If it’s asking for a password, you probably told it to backup and protect with a password in iTunes. I’d try any password you’d use in iTunes to get to the backup.

October 14, 2011

I have an iphone 4 and just updated to the ios 5, and i lost all my contacts.

Just tried the go to a contact txt message thing and it worked perfectly!! thanks soooo much!!

October 14, 2011

Nice work! The text message solution worked for me.I am not surprised–it is Apple. Thanks

October 14, 2011

#0 : nope
#1 : nope
#2 : nope
#3 : nope
#4 : nope
#5 : VICTORY! :) It actually took about 2-3 min to restore from a recent backup and the contacts were all back… what a relief!

Thanks for the post!

October 14, 2011

I tried “Solution #1 – The Text Message Fix” and it worked perfect. Thanks so so much. You’re the champ…

Tyler O
October 14, 2011

The iCloud solution worked for me. It was almost as if it forced a refresh of the contacts. Thanks for the tip!!!!

October 14, 2011

Text message fix worked great! Thanks for this!

Sarah Moore
October 14, 2011

Thanks, Solution #1 worked for me!

October 14, 2011

I used the text message solution. Thanks so much I was trying not to have a nervous breakdown! The world needs people like you!

October 14, 2011

Thank you so much for this website! After the upgrade, I lost contacts, all my other settings, text messages, apps, music, all of it. Looked like a brand new phone. I was able to restore mine back to an older version and got everything back. Thanks for putting everything together here in one handy spot!

Rich Monsoon
October 14, 2011

Restoring worked for me. I updated my aunts phone and it wiped all the contacts. It took a while, but everything is fixed. Thanks.

Enrique Castellano
October 14, 2011

iCloud solution worked for me! i appreciate it thanks a lot!

Janet Martinich
October 14, 2011

ICloud solution worked for me. Thanks!!

October 14, 2011

Have 3GS and text message/edit contact fix worked like a charm

October 14, 2011

Thank You! Text message fix worked great for me.

October 14, 2011

Thanks heaps for this !

Solution #1 – The Text Message Fix = Worked for me

Monica A
October 14, 2011

I tried solution 1 since I saw the names in the text messages, very quick. I got all my contacts back. Thanks!

October 14, 2011

The test message trick worked for me! So relieved, I was panicked. Unfortunately the update also messed with my calendar, all the events are on the wrong dates (a day before the correct date). No idea how to fix this.

October 14, 2011

#1 worked for me, but I did it with a recent call instead of a text message, Thank God :) Thanks for the tip!

October 15, 2011

Love you!! The text message fix worked for me!

October 15, 2011

Does anyone know how to diable icloud? i initially enabled it but i don’t want it anymore for now. i would really like to do it without having to reset my phone. any suggestions?

October 15, 2011

Well after going thru everyone #5 worked yes!!!!!! thank you

October 15, 2011

No 2 worked for me. Thank you! Panic over :-)

October 15, 2011

Hating iphone at the moment… yesterday I couldn’t add anything to my calender…. today I have lost all my contacts which are not on my sim. Something to do with connecting to iCloud… but can’t get anything back… forget being close to tears… I am in tears…. any further suggestions anyone? Please…..

October 15, 2011

THANKS A MIL!!! No 2 worked!! :)

October 15, 2011

I was having the same problem as you (my numbers showed up in my texts but not the contacts) and I restored to backup as you suggested and disabled iCloud. I got all my contacts back–thanks for the suggestion! My question is, now that I’ve got my contacts back, can I then enable iCloud without losing them?

October 15, 2011

My contacts were missing but my favorites where there. I used solution 1 and it worked. TY TY TY!!!

October 15, 2011

Solution-1 worked for me. Thank you so much

October 15, 2011

I used solution #5 and all my contacts are back . So thank you!!!!!

Diogo Atadini
October 15, 2011

Thanks lads,

I fixed doing a similar trick with the Text Messages but instead I accessed my calls then I could edit the contact (couldn’t with the messages) and it’s all back.

Thanks very much for your help.


October 15, 2011

I have a 3GS and The text message solution worked for me. Thank you – I was almost pulling my hair out!

Very disappointed that Apple released an update with so many bugs; my apps all disappeared as well, but I got them back through the App store on the phone.

October 15, 2011

dude!! nice 1 thanks for the help – the text message solution worked.. as for the apps – i thought mine were gone, but you mind find that they have automatically moved all your apps from the last few pages – TO THE last page, just flick thru you might see them at the back sumwer all piled together!

October 15, 2011

Thanks! Solution 2 worked for me!

October 15, 2011

Hi! I too, have lost all of my Contacts, and any and all important information associated with them (Notes, etc.).

I’ve honestly been too afraid to connect to iTunes, as some other threads say not to just yet, and wait a couple of WEEKS?! I don’t know if I can wait that long. I have everything else (Apps, Music, etc.), & i’m so greateful that my iPhone4 didn’t get Bricked, like so many others that decided to wait a day or two before updating to iOS5!

I really feel for everyone. I know worse things have happened, but I REALLY need my Contacts back (Medical Condition/Emergency Contacts), that I cannot just get back by looking them up in a Phone Book!

I noticed some have said that during the update, the Sync Contacts Box in iTunes becomes UNchecked if you choose the iCloud, which is EXACTLY what happened to me!

I also logged into to see if my info was there, and it is for everything but my Contacts.

I find it VERY hard to believe that my 300+ Contacts were simply erased because of an unchecked Sync Contacts Box in iTunes (which I did NOT uncheck!)….Shouldn’t this info be someplace??

Some people have offered suggestions about downloading programs so that a script can run, or C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\AppleComputer\MobileSync\Backup (where AppData is a hidden file by default and have to make these Hidden Folders visible). This is WAY over my head.

I’m almost ready to offer a Cash Reward for someone to solve this. I am pretty stressed and worried, especially since I am not at all computer savvy, don’t know many people here, and have some medical issues…..I really am at a loss. I really think i’ve lost everything associated with my Contacts. :-(

Christy P
October 15, 2011

Thanks so much for the text message fix!! :)) I updated to iOS 5 on my iPhone 4 yesterday and did the iCloud thing yesterday not realizing I wouldn’t be able to access my contacts w/o WiFi .. :( I about freaked earlier when I was looking for a number and there were none!! :-/ I came across this article and your fixes.. As I’m not at home this was the perfect fix!! Thanks do much!! I’m thinking about turning OFF iCloud services.. I don’t need them! And now that I have my contacts back I don’t have to worry bout losing them completely!
Thanks again!
Christy P :)

October 15, 2011

I was upgrading my iPhone 4 to iOS 5 and had the same problem as Chris – the phone numbers themselves were listed in text messages, nothing else. Only solution that worked was restoring the iPhone and NOT activating iCloud. Thank you!@

October 15, 2011

Thanks a lot for posting this, solution 1 worked for me. I was really excited for the iOS5 upgrade but then when I saw my contacts blank I almost had a heart attack lol

October 15, 2011

First off, thank you for taking the time to put this site together.

I tried all of the fixes mentioned here and my contacts are still gone. I have tried restoring to two different iPhones (AT&T 3GS and 4) with the same results. I am using a Mac with 10.7.2.

When the restore initially completes, I can see names in my favorites for one or two seconds, then the names disappear and only phone numbers remain. My contacts are always empty, although I think they are hidden in there somewhere. Very frustrating!

I have tried with and without iCloud, importing contacts from the SIM on the 3GS… logging into iCloud on the web (no contacts there either).

Any other ideas would be much appreciated!


Dr. Pepper
October 15, 2011

THANK YOU SO MUCH, COMPLETE RESTORE WORKED LIKE A DREAM!!! After an hour of crying it was great to see it work!

October 15, 2011

Fix #5 worked like a charm! Thank you so much!! I have hundreds of contacts and was left with only 35 after my update. SO happy to have them all back!

October 15, 2011

Right On!!!!
been in a panic and your txt message solution (#1) fixed it right away.

October 15, 2011

Syncing my phone after upgrade worked for me. Thanks a lot for all the valuable information.

October 15, 2011

Thank you so very much! Solution #5 saved my phone (contacts)! You’re a life saver

October 15, 2011

Thank you for saving me. Had lost my contacts when I upgraded to iOS5. Solution #5 was the only one that worked for me.

October 15, 2011

I was starting to panic as solutions 0-4 failed, but at last, solution 5 worked for me. The stupid iCloud messed up my contacts. Thanks so much for helping!

October 16, 2011

Solution 1 Text worked for me!!! Thanks a million

October 16, 2011

Tried every solution I found on the internet and none of them worked. Here is what I had to do to get most of my contacts back.
1. I restored from a back up that was a year old.
2. Once restored and set up I turned on iCloud and synced the contacts I just got back to iCloud.
3. I then restored from my most recent backup to get all of my texts, mail, and other stuff back.
4. I then had to toggle off contacts within iCloud
5. Toggle the contacts in iCloud back on.
6. Whamo-bamo there is all my contacts from a year ago. Don’t know why all the backups between a year ago and now didn’t have my contacts. Kinda bullshit.

October 16, 2011

Thank you SO much! Editing a contact worked perfectly.

October 16, 2011

Text Measage fix worked – thanks for posting this and saving many people a lot of trouble!

October 16, 2011

#2 worked for me. Thanks!

October 16, 2011

Thanks, the text message fix worked, saved my trip to apple store and 2 hrs of anxiety.. thx much

October 16, 2011

Thanks so much for these publishing these tips. Solution 5 worked for me :-)

October 16, 2011

The import SIM contacts totally worked for me. Thanks so much!

October 16, 2011

Just backed up iphone 3gs. Phone will not work (to ring out) but does receive calls. contacts does not work. When phone or contacts icons are pressed, they flash up and then it goes back to home screen. Tried syncing with itunes and everything comes up ok expect for contacts it says “could not sync contacts because they are in use on iphone. Close contacts in settings on iphone”. When I go onto settings and click on contacts, mail…, they flash up and then it goes back to home screen. Tried all solutions above. Any other ideas anyone?

October 16, 2011

Solution #0 saved my evening….Thank you

October 16, 2011

You are a life saver. The text method worked for me. Thank you so much!

October 16, 2011

Great page here!!
the text message trick worked for me!
Why does Apple not have all these tricks on their site?

Great work guys, Thanks all


October 16, 2011

I like many have tried every one of the ‘fixes’ i have found on the web to no avail. I updated to iOS5 and all my contacts gone. None of the above work for me – though with restore I have only been able to so far access restore points AFTER the new iOS5 was installed! useful… It seems to me as though when stupidly opting in to the icloud thing it has synced my contacts with nothing totally wiping them, they do not appear anywhere, not in messages, my info, my sim card, outlook, windows contacts – now where. So i am coming to the conclusion they maybe permanently gone, which is frankly a disaster. I have spoken with Apple and fixes are likely to be rolled out – but if the info is gone then it is unlikely to fix this.

really really bad news – have to say this has now caused enough trouble and bad feeling that I am looking elsewhere for my next smart phone.

anyone have anything not listed above you can try – I found the ios4 update in my recycle bin – i wonder if it is possible to restore that (not straightforward) and then maybe accessing earlier restore points?

apple also mention third party recovery programs! any word on that from anyone?

apple, you have just reached Vista, well done

October 16, 2011

thanks! the text message solution worked!

October 16, 2011

THANK YOU! I was totally baffled by losing my contacts but solution number 2 (fairly obvious once I stopped to think about it) solved the issue.

October 16, 2011

i have to say i think this is an unforgivable screw up. Given the volume of complaint in a few days and the variety of problems, I just can’t believe the people testing the upgrade didnt come across something so wide ranging and destructive.

October 16, 2011

Hi, tried everything to fix this and #5 worked – thank you!

October 16, 2011

Solution #1 (Text Message Fix) worked like a charm. Thank you! Thank you! THANK YOU!

October 17, 2011

WTB HELP! My iPhone is not syncing my contacts to the address book. I tried everything: change some data on the iPhone, restart, change some data in the address book etc. Since i usually add/edit my contacts on the iPhone, i would like them to be in sync with address book. But the phone contacts/changes just don’t appear in address book. (system: iPhone 4, OS5, MacPro)

October 17, 2011

Changing the icloud setting got all my contacts back. Thanks a lot

October 17, 2011

I have an iPhone 4 and upgraded to iOS 5 yesterday and lost all my contacts. I just tried Solution #2 with the text message fix — IT WORKED! Got all my contacts back! Thank you!

October 17, 2011

the text message fix, which I thought pretty unlikely but tried anyway … worked!! Thank you so so much :D

October 17, 2011

just wanted to say thank you, you have saved me hours of time messing around with itunes etc. The text message fix worked perfectly for me. thanks again

October 17, 2011

I tried option no.2 and turned off my contacts in icloud. I opted to keep the contacts on my phone when prompted. I then turned the contacts back on again and there they were! Thank you!

October 17, 2011

The text message edit worked for me. MANY, MANY THANKS!

October 17, 2011

The “text message fix” worked for me.

Great, thanks for posting these different solutions!

October 17, 2011

text message fix worked for me, thank you soooo much

October 17, 2011

The text message option worked for me, thanks Sean.

October 17, 2011

Tried many of the listed below and a combination of them worked for me.
1. Turned off ALL iCloud options.
2. Turned of iCloud synching in the Mail,Contacts, Calendar part of the settings on iPhone. Clicked delete all contacts on this phone (which were none so no big deal)
3. Went into iTunes and had to manually check to sync contacts with this computer. Got message indicating it was to sync with iCloud but just closed message and then clicked sync with this computer again.
4. Hit the apply button in bottom right corner of iTunes.
4. Synced phone.

All contact were back. Now I’m a little resistant to use the iCloud at all.

October 17, 2011

Thanks for this post! Solution #2 worked for me!

October 17, 2011

The iCloud fix worked for my contacts! Thanks so much!

October 17, 2011

Solution #2 worked I have the 3GS. Thank you so much. I thought I was screwed.

October 17, 2011

Two separate losses of all contact info, two different solutions…The first time I lost contacts when I upgraded to the iPhone 4S from an iPhone4. The “Restore iPhone” from backup solution worked. (whew!) But then when I did the iCloud thing THE NEXT DAY, I lost all my contacts AGAIN….and the iCloud solution then worked (Solution #2). Just glad to have the contacts back although now I am wondering whether to enable the iCloud backup, or stick with the iTunes backup….

Marcelo Palhares
October 17, 2011

Thanks for all the tips. The one that worked for me was going to Settings -> iCloud and turning Mail off and back on.

October 17, 2011

I have lost my contacts and my daughter also uses the same apple id. She has got hers but all mine have gone. I have done a restore from icloud and for a couple of seconds all my contacts appear and then completely disappear and my daughters appear instead. How on earth do I get mine back they must be there somewhere?? Can anyone help please i just dont know what to do now and have tried all the suggestions, none of which have worked.

October 17, 2011

Have worked my way through all the solutions listed here and in the comments. No luck so far. As some other people have found, my phone isn’t letting me access restore points prior to the iOS5 installation. What a complete screwup on Apple’s part.

October 17, 2011

I have done the upgrade to iOS 5 on iPhone 4 and have no problem with contacts or anything. What I do have a problem with is reply to a text message that has been sent to me from overseas. I have to create a new message to reply. I have checked the numbers and they are all as they should be. A text message will send if I create a new one but I get message failure if I try to reply!!!!! Can anyone help?????

October 18, 2011

The second one (text fix) worked for my iphone 4 perfectly! Thanks very much!

October 18, 2011

Text fix worked for me

Mohamed Ibrahim
October 18, 2011

Thank you so Much. Apple gave us all hard time to get our contacts back after updating to ISO5

My problem was with the Icloud… i believe the default setting for the contact should be OFF from beginning and no need to give us so hard time like that … since morning and i’m trying to get my contact back .. it was awful…

October 18, 2011

None of these solutions are working for me. My contacts are gone on my phone AND my computer and I’m ready to SCREAM.

October 18, 2011

Solution #2 worked for me….yeaaaaa budddy!
Your the best man!

October 18, 2011

Solution One worked for me!!!

October 18, 2011

I hear you Kate. My Contacts are not on my iPhone4,, or my PC Laptop.

I’ve tried ALMOST everything.

Kinda worried about the Restore for fear of losing a lot more than just my Contacts! I’ve been reading a LOT, and a lot of people are a LOT worse off than us.

Speaking of Restore, how is it people are getting to Restore from a previous date to that of the iOS5 Update? I have no list of prior Backups with dates to be able to choose from, only the latest backup that was done!?

October 18, 2011

Solution #1 worked for me. Thanks. I lost a few heart beats when i saw no contacts…..

October 18, 2011

@Julian…Have you heard anything? What’s very interesting alos, is that I called Apple Support the day of the Update to tell them what happened, and they told me that I was the first person they’d heard of having this Lost Contacts issue, and it was someone at my home who deliberately erased them, or MY SCREWUP, for UNchecking the Sync Contacts check-box (which I did NOT!). “Oh well, so sad”….

I then hobbled over to the Apple Store a few days after the iOS5 Update, and spoke to some “kid” who didn’t seem to care or give a rat’s behind about my issue, saying once again, “I haven’t heard oif anyone else having this issue. I did two of my friends’ iPhone4 without any problem”. WRONG THING TO SAY TO AN APPLE CUSTOMER!

Is Apple being Told NOT to admit guilt and to say each case of this is the first they’d heard of it? Sure seems like it. What exactly has to happen to your iPhone to be able to phsically see the people at “Genius Bar”? And I do use the term “Genius” LOOSELY!

I’m SO SCREWED….I haven’t a clue what to do!

I can’t believe Apple told you that Fixes would be rolling in when I have spoken to them via Phone, in Person, and my Mobile Provider (TELUS MOBILITY CANADA), and no one admits to taking the blame.

We here complaining are only a very small percentage of those with actual problems…Most people just read and don;t bother to jump in with their own thought/comments.

Like you said, even with a fix, whats it going to Fix when nothing’s there?

There was an update today just awhile ago (iCloud Managment), but it did nothing.

I did a Restore from the only date I am able to do one from….One backup done a 1/2 hour before this Restore! Where are the rest of them?? ARG!

Joe Baranowski
October 18, 2011

My iPhone4 lost its name after upgrading to ios5. In itunes, its just a blank space after the icon. Everything still works, but it is annoying. My two ipod touches did not experience this after their upgrades.

October 18, 2011

text message fix worked for me as well…. thanks a bunch…. screwy shit

October 18, 2011

Thank you sooo much!!!! The iCloud thing worked for me! : )

October 19, 2011

All my phone numbers are there, but no names at all. None of the above suggestions work, and as some people say I tunes only lists the last backup not any previous ones.

Only thing I can do is work through texts received and work out who is who. Really annoying any help would be appreciated.

October 19, 2011

Champion!! Option #5 works a treat! Thanks

October 19, 2011

Thank Sean…,Solution #1 works for me and quite simple!

October 19, 2011

I did the text fix and it worked like a charm! Thank you sooo much!

October 19, 2011

The iCloud fix worked for me.

October 19, 2011

i lost my contact!!!help!!! i try all the solution,but cant fix my problem…but b4 i try the solution,i sync movie,song and app already

October 19, 2011

Thanks for this. Solution 1 sorted out the problem of seemingly lost contacts. The contacts list was empty but names were showing in the SMS list and in the list of recent calls

October 19, 2011

help!!!!! after i upgrade ios5,everything gone…i hope my contact back to me,other than is ok but i try all the solution,nothing happen,how??? and b4 i try the solution,i hav sync the movie,song,photo and app,restore…..1 more pro,b4 i upgrade ios5,i format my pc few days ago,so i dun hav any back up….very big problem,anyone can help

October 19, 2011

Thank you for this website, you saved me big time!

October 19, 2011

i use itouch4,my wife iphone4,after upgrade ios5,everything gone,the problem is my wife phone contact is inside my itouch,but i dun know my wife phone contact is gone,and i delete already,what can i do to get it back…pls help

October 19, 2011

Did #1 with the text message. It worked. THANK YOU !!!!!

October 19, 2011

thank you for the use of your blog…helpful helpful helpful!!! I followed the advise of JOSH to restore all my music and it worked. I turned my phone off while it was plugged in to my computer and iTunes and then brought it back on and hit the sync button and it worked!!! Thanks again!

October 19, 2011

I’ve tried all of these and none of them have worked. Are there anymore suggestions? Can you just disable iCloud? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

October 19, 2011

Iphone 4 5.0 up contact solution

I went to info tab scrolled down to advanced settings. check the contact box and then sync. It restored all of my contacts in less than 5 seconds

October 19, 2011

Restored Contacts lost on upgrade 5.0 by going to the info tab on my Itunes. Scrolled down to advanced setting and checked the contacts box. Then I sync with my phone. My contacts were restored within seconds.

Natividad Salamanca
October 19, 2011

I did solution #1! Thank you!!

October 20, 2011

same as Frank, during the sync it comes up with an error saying the contacts folder is being accessed and to close and re-sync!! the contacts folder is not being accessed so no idea where that is coming from!! it also goes back to the “home” page after trying to access any names in the contact list – of which i dont know if there are any numbers connected to the names that are there. If i try to do the text message by editing the conatct – it just throws me back to the ‘home’ page again!! help please!!!

October 20, 2011

i did option 2 and it worked perfectly. thank you!!!!

October 20, 2011

Thanks a lot really helpful. the text message thing didn’t work, but turning the contacts setting off with the cloud and then turning it back on again worked perfect. Make sure when you turn the contact setting off you don’t delete the existing contacts.

Darin F.
October 20, 2011

Solution #2 “iCloud fix” worked for me…

October 20, 2011

The text message thing worked like a charm. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

October 20, 2011

Solution #1 text message worked Perfectly and Quickly and Easily. Thank you!!!

October 20, 2011

That text message fix was genius! I was so annoyed that I could see my recent texts and calls with my contact names but didn’t have any of my contacts listed anywhere. That was the best and easiest technology solution I have found and used anywhere. Thank you!

October 20, 2011

Hmm, did my previous comment go through?

October 20, 2011


for some reason my long previous post didn’t go through. I can’t rewrite it right now, but just so you know:


> put this up in the blog post, Sean

But it’s a bit technical and a bit of work. It’s the only thing that got me my contacts back. If they’re really important, go this route. Basically the idea is to find an iPhone backup that is from before you updated your phone (so contacts are still there, but you can’t restore cuz it’s not an iOS 5 backup), open that backup, extract the contacts, and import it back to iCloud. Look for it here: “/Library/Application Support/MobileSync” (Mac), look in your backups/timemachine if necessary. There are free applications that can open the backup files. Check the folder timestamp so you know it’s form before you upgraded to iOS 5. Inside of it there’s a file called AddressBook.sqlitedb. Open it with some SQLite browser (like RazorDB). There are some tables inside of it. Run this SQL query: “select ABPerson.prefix, ABPerson.first,ABPerson.last, ABMultiValue.value from ABPerson,ABMultiValue where ABMultiValue.record_id=ABPerson.ROWID”. Export that to a csv file and import it in Address Book (or gmail, or whatever that syncs with iPhone). You’re done. :)

October 20, 2011

I was just writing up a step by step on doing that a few hours ago, thanks for posting it!

October 20, 2011

Solution 1 worked perfectly. Thank you very much.

October 20, 2011

thanks ..solution 2 works for me !

Paulo Martins
October 21, 2011

Help….contact names not showing iphone 4 after update to iOS 5…only numbers…:((

October 21, 2011

Is there a solution to Frank’s problem yet? I have the exact same thing as him and I just cannot fix it.

October 16, 2011

Just backed up iphone 3gs. Phone will not work (to ring out) but does receive calls. contacts does not work. When phone or contacts icons are pressed, they flash up and then it goes back to home screen. Tried syncing with itunes and everything comes up ok expect for contacts it says “could not sync contacts because they are in use on iphone. Close contacts in settings on iphone”. When I go onto settings and click on contacts, mail…, they flash up and then it goes back to home screen. Tried all solutions above. Any other ideas anyone?

October 21, 2011

Thank you in the name of sweet baby Jesus and all that is holy. Now I am off to figure out a way to save my contacts somewhere not controlled by apple.

October 21, 2011

Solution #1 (text message fix) worked for me. Thanks for the post!

October 21, 2011

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Editing a contact in text messages restored my contacts. Phew.

October 22, 2011

I have found another way!

This requires a Mac and a pre-iOS5-backed-up Time Machine, mind, so if you don’t have it, it won’t work.

ALL of the above failed when I updated to iOS5, and I’ve spent the last five hours or so looking for alternatives. Here’s what worked.

When your iphone backs up, it creates a file that you can find by going into Finder/Users/[yourname]/library/application support/mobilesync/backup

What you need to do is this:
- allow your iphone to sync with itunes so that it’s now idle but linked to it.
- go into Time Machine and find a pre-iOS5 backup
- go into the mobilesync/backup file described before
– open one of the files in there (they have very long names like ‘baf5acb9c21cde3007c7d6c98bb854d96b0f5765′) Open it and find a file called ‘info.plist’ which you should then open with text edit and check the date of. If it has the same name listed as your ipod has (like ‘Bern’s iPod’ or whatever you’ve called it) and it has a date pre-iOS5-crapola, you’re good to go.
- go back to your ‘now’ files, open the mobilesync/backup folder and delete everything in it (yes, this sounds drastic, but I tried it a few times without doing this and it didn’t work. If you’re worried about doing this and having no actual point of backup post-iOS5, then make a new Time Machine backup before you do this.)
– now go back into Time Machine and find that old file we liked in mobilesync/backup, and then ‘restore’ it into the ‘now’ version of the ‘backup’ folder.
- now go back to itunes, and ctrl-click on the ‘[yourname's] iPod’ on the left in the ‘Devices’ area. Select ‘Restore from Backup’, and then choose what should be now the only option – the one you’ve restored from the past.
- disallow iCloud in the final restore menu that comes with the new iOS (I disallowed EVERYTHING just in case)
- wait while it restores…and then open your contacts with baited breath. In my case, I found them fully restored (thank all sorts of gods).

I’m no expert, and I’m not sure how best to not have to go through this hassle again (should I actually use iCloud once and then disable it for normal syncing, just so that I have the option of backing up from it again another time this happens?) or if this will work for everybody, but I hope it helps somebody! Please do let me know if it does – I feel like I’ve achieved something today!


October 22, 2011

PS: forgot to say: once had restored iPhone, I quite itunes before the iPhone had turned itself on again. Think it helped. :)

October 22, 2011

Next thing to do: my backup was from months earlier, so it meant I lost all my recent messages and apps. So, here’s what I did:
– create a new backup, just in case
– sync contacts with Address Book (can’t believe I hadn’t done that before!) and check they’re all in the Mac Address Book and that Address Book is then quite before continuing.
– go into Time Machine and find the post-iOS5 backup and repeate the process of restoring it to the ‘now’ folder
– restore iPhone from backup as before, this time using the newer file
– iPhone opens to reveal that – again – contacts are missing
– this time re-sync, using ‘syn with address book’ and they come back! In the meantime, so do all your newer messages and apps! Hurrah!

I really hope this helps someone!

October 22, 2011

One last thing: I completely neglected to mention that the reason I had to do all of the above was because *my phone refused to show an ‘backup’ points earlier than the one created by the update to iOS5 and my Address Book was suddenly empty*, either through being overwritten or through my negligence. I realise that my long explanation might look a bit like an overreaction to Solution number 5 above, but instead is actually a continuation of it.

That’s it now, hopefully. Sorry to keep posting messages!

October 22, 2011

Nothing has worked…. I wanna cry

October 22, 2011

I think it is because it doesnt automatically back-up before updating, therefore your technically restoring and “backing up” with nothing. What a fucking hassel apple!

Randeep singh basson
October 23, 2011

please help..i lost all my contacts after updation from 3gss software to IO5, cant retrieve all contacts ( only few i could retrieve through the address book back up from my macbook) rest all gone, Also lost my text messages…. so no way i could use the solution # 2… Please help somebody!!!!!

October 23, 2011

Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

Ms B
October 23, 2011

Solution #2 worked like a charm for me. Thanks so much!

October 23, 2011

Solution #1 did it for me. Thanks so much!

October 23, 2011

I had a similar problem, and found an alternate solution. I have a 4G iphone. I upgraded to OS5, said yes to icloud, had an issue with my iphone memeor being over capacity. I figured it was icloud, and so deleted the icloud account. After that my memory was fine, so I thought all was well.
I actually had my contacts on my phone that evening. I then connected my iphone to my macbook the next day, and itunes resynced, and my contacts had dissappeared. I tried a number of the above suggestions, including restores, to no avail. My restores were only showing as far back as this morning. I had given up, and thought I would try a wild card. I recreated my icloud account, essentially entering my apple account information, and turned ON the contact syncing. and huzzah! Instantly it started repopulating my contacts.
I hope this is helpful to those out there. I understand your pain.

October 23, 2011

the SIM fix worked for me. I think I may have still lost a few, but I know I got the majority back. THANK YOU!!!

October 23, 2011

The icloud option worked for me, except the only one I reset was the actual calendar option and it worked, thanks!

October 23, 2011

Your solution #5 is working for me. Been upgraded from iOS4 to ios5, and lost all my contacts, music, pics and videos. But after I try #5, it restore all my contacts, music, pictures and videos back. Thank you so much :)

October 23, 2011

#1, the text message solution worked for me! Thanks soooooo much!

October 23, 2011

It was EXTREMLY helpful, thanks!

October 23, 2011

I thought I was going to have a heart attack… Solution #5 worked for me!! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!!

October 23, 2011

Thankyou SO much – the text message solution worked perfectly! So glad to have come across your site, as I was awfully worried about having to reinput all my contacts again!

October 24, 2011

Thank you so much! The Info>Advanced>Replace Contacts option worked for me. I was really starting to freak out!!!

Raoul Teeuwen
October 24, 2011

A friend of mine with an iPhone4 and iOS5 reported to me he could not find some contacts in the address book. When i used the spotlight-page (swipe in the homescreen so you get to see the screen to the left of the homescreen) COULD find the contacts. So the contacts where there, but the Address Book just wouldn’t show them! I am still looking for a fix for this, but i wonder if this is also a problem for more people finding this page…

October 24, 2011

i have lost contacts(no names in texts) some photos, and my apps. got the apps back, photos and contacts still gone.
this has ruined my day, and makes me angry at apple. i have lost all trust in apple. it seems as though none of this is going to work. i told it to do the backup i was prompted for before the update. it apparently didnt. my last update was too old to help. i know i should have had a better backup or had my contacts synced, etc, but its not like i lost my phone. i simply did what the update told me to do, now business numbers, family, friends who dont text, etc.. all gone. also gone are photos i had taken of my GF that i didnt have anywhere else. beautiful cute photos of her napping on the couch and others that meant alot to me.

i feel like i need to access the individual files in the address book and updates as others have described in the comments, but i do not have a mac, so i dont know how to do so on a pc, or if i even can.

October 24, 2011

You can find the backup information in your profile in the C:\Users\[InsertUsernameHere]\AppData\roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup folder. I haven’t gone through myself to verify, but all your backups are stored in GUID named folders inside there.

October 24, 2011

i have lost contacts(no names in texts) some photos, and my apps. got the apps back, photos and contacts still gone.
this has ruined my day, and makes me angry at apple. i have lost all trust in apple. it seems as though none of this is going to work. i told it to do the backup i was prompted for before the update. it apparently didnt. my last update was too old to help. i know i should have had a better backup or had my contacts synced, etc, but its not like i lost my phone. i simply did what the update told me to do, now business numbers, family, friends who dont text, etc.. all gone. also gone are photos i had taken of my GF that i didnt have anywhere else. beautiful cute photos of her napping on the couch and others that meant alot to me.

that didnt work. said it couldnt find it. but im now searching for it. thanks.

October 24, 2011

I tried all the options above and nothing worked. I cannot restore my contacts.

October 24, 2011

The I Cloud option worked like a champ and I fell whole once again. Thank You

October 24, 2011

all of my text messages have been erased after the upgrade
All of my contacts/Favorites have been erased
Retore from SIM did not work.

On hold with Apple support right now. Hopefully, the level one support rep will be able to help me

October 24, 2011

APPLE SUCKS!!!!!! They know this is a known issue, but are not helping people out.

October 24, 2011

Thanks! The text trick worked perfectly. Now I am trying to figure out how to open my facebook and how to get my custom ringtones back. Any ideas?

October 24, 2011

This seems to be the most popular solution if you can see your contacts in your text messaging:

1.Open a recent Text Message
2.Tap the top of the screen (scrolls to the top of the message)
3.Tap “Contact”
4.Edit the contact in some way (add an email, new fake phone number or something, you can delete later
5.Hit the “Back” button
I do not see a “Back” button. I see a cancel button

[...] I used the "Text Message Fix" described here and all my lost contacts magically returned…hopefully they'll stick around this time. Thanks for [...]

October 25, 2011

Dude thank you so much, I nearly lost it when my contacts weren’t in my phone. The text message worked for me.

Matt M
October 25, 2011

I had the same problem after I updated to ios5. My wife’s phone pulled the contacts fine, but mine were missing. I knew they were there because they were showing up in my text messages and in my Vonage Extensions app. So I did solution #1 and edited a Contact through a text message and it worked like a charm. I can see them all now in my Contacts. Thanks!

Drucilla Jimenez
October 25, 2011

The text MSG thing work. Thanks:)

basili alukos
October 25, 2011

I’m very disappointed with Apple. Seems like the company has truly messed this one up big time; don’t you think?

October 26, 2011

THIS IS GREAT!!! I was really upset to lose all 160 contacts and have to visit the apple store, but thought I would google my problem. I edited a text, and voila!!!! All my contacts have returned. Thank you eternally!

October 26, 2011


I just tried the second option and it worked like a DREAM :) I panicked a little bit. Thank you again.

stacey a. keith
October 26, 2011

i am at work so icouldnt do the first two options, but a quick fix for me was to go into the icloud app and turn off contacts… this put all of my contacts back on my iphone.


October 26, 2011

I used Solution #1 turn iCloud contact off and turn it back on and it worked. I have the iPhone 4 from AT&T. I thought it was weird that I had my favorites, recents calls with peoples name and voicemails but my contacts were completely empty. Thanks again you saved me alot of grief.

October 26, 2011

Thank you! Nothing worked until I followed Chris’ instructions (Oct 13). All is well in my world again!

October 26, 2011

Thank you!!

Fix #1 – Text Message fix, solved my missing contacts!!

October 26, 2011

NOTHING worked for me. Finally @Will’s suggestion worked!

Turn off iCloud. Then follow @Will’s suggestion…

October 13, 2011
i tried all of these steps but none of them worked.. worked out if you go onto itunes on your pc.. click on your iphone under devices on the left. then click on info at the top next to summary and apps. click on sync all contacts then apply settings =) hope it helps

October 27, 2011

Thanks for the info. The text option worked for me..

October 27, 2011

Thank you so much! The text message fix worked for me, so grateful to you for posting this!

October 28, 2011

MikeW’s solution worked for me. Apple wanted $29.99 for a one-time ticket, AT&T was useless (as usual), so this webpage and solutions was very, very helpful. THANK YOU!

October 28, 2011

The text message fix worked for me. Thanks a bunch! Upgraded to iOS5 from iOS4.3 on 8GB iphone 4

October 29, 2011

Thanks!!!!! #5 worked for me! I am soooo happy to have all my information back. Very proud that after an hour I came across your post. Thanks!

October 30, 2011

The SIM solution worked for me thank goodness!
This website was much more useful than Apple’s support pages. Thanks so much!

October 30, 2011

Solution #0 did not work for me. I did not try #1. Solution #2 worked. Thank you for posting this information!!!

October 30, 2011

nothing is working for me, please help me, i really need my contacts back it’s very important

October 30, 2011

Thank you, the iCloud/settings option worked for me.

October 30, 2011

HELP I AM DESPERATE BECAUSE I HAVE TRIED ALL OF THE ABOVE. Only I have continued to get an outlook error message and when I try to do a restore from a previous backup now it tells me that it FAILED. I originally messed up because I had my 3 year old DELETE MY CAMERA and I had to put that back in my darn phone (SHOULD BE PROTECTED BY APPLE)Even though I never used outlook to sync my phone I thought all of this stuff was saved to my sim. I fear that the initial time after my SYNC when I first started that because I did a factory reset and not a restore from an older version I may have screwed it up. I need someone to help me as I do not want to do anything further without someone who knows better than me.

I lost my camera a few days ago No ability to take pics. Never backed up contacts to outlook. Because there was a big update I looked up info on getting camera back and saw that I had to restore my phone. Instead of doing from previous I did it from factory. It said I would be able to load back in. However when I tried to do that it kept giving me an outlook error message. When I turned phone back on after update was done I had my camera, apps and photos but all texts and contacts and notes were gone. I could not get passed the WIFI I cloud issue to get phone on so I said I was setting new IPHONE since I had everything on ITUNES I was not worried. I did try ALL of the above as far as turning ICLOUD off and import from SIM. I AM READY TO CRY.

NOW I try to restore from older backup and it says fail


I fear

October 31, 2011

I had tried all the solutions listed several times and had no luck. Every time I sync to iTunes it would look like something was loading but apps never changed back to my settings. I decided to give it one more try before going to bed didn’t bother to connect PC to wi-fi since I figured last try would be useless. I did option #5 and it gave me a message iPhone needs to finish updating this time. I let it do it’s thing and wha-laaa! My lost photos, emails accounts, contacts and all my text messages were back! Thank god! So maybe having no Internet connection on PC (laptop) let my original back up files sync instead of the upgrade version…. Dunno but hope it helps!!!

October 31, 2011

solution # 1 is perfect!

Maria Peagler
October 31, 2011

Thanks for this fix. The Text message worked perfectly for me. Not sure why this happened, but appreciate the fixes to get my Contacts back!

November 1, 2011


I lost my contacts, photos, notes n messages but managed to locate the backup file as per below guide;

You can find the backup information in your profile in the C:\Users\[InsertUsernameHere]\AppData\roaming\Apple Computer\MobileSync\Backup folder. I haven’t gone through myself to verify, but all your backups are stored in GUID named folders inside there.

Some of the files can be opened (like photos n some like notes). Majority are not able to be opened.

How do I make use of the backup files to restores the contacts, notes, messages n photos?


November 1, 2011

Solution #1 worked perfectly, thanks so much for the tip, this was real lifesaver!!!

Dan R
November 2, 2011

I updated my gf’s phone and all the contacts were gone. I tried all the above (several times) and nothing worked. In the end I managed to get them back but Ive had to manually install them. However it only works if you had the Viber app sorry. I downloaded ibotbackup from cnet and this allowed me to see everything that had backed up on my pc – on the main apple contacts the file was empty, however I went into the viber app and checked the contacts file in that and it was all there – even though not all the contacts had viber it still showed them all. It took a bit of figuring out as there stored on different pages and linked by codes but eventually I got it sorted.

Dan R
November 2, 2011

that was an iphone 3GS

November 2, 2011

Thank you so much. I got my contacts back using the text message tip. Now, I just need to figure out my songs. Thank you!!!!!

November 4, 2011

I tried all suggestions except for the restore, b/c there seemed to be an issue with my back up.

Instead, after realizing my contacts were not on my phone nor in iCloud, I did the following:
1. Imported my contacts from on Outlook to my current PC (got a new pc recently).
2. Switched off iCloud for Contacts (Settings)
3. Connected my phone to iTunes and went to the info tab.
4. Checked the ‘Sync Contacts’ and selected Outlook from the drop down
5. Synced my phone

I’m missing newer contacts, but otherwise all my contacts are now available on my phone again.

November 6, 2011

Thank you!! The second option worked for me!

Jill Q
November 6, 2011

Thanks so much! Option #1 worked for me!

November 7, 2011

How frustrating…I too lost all my contacts and tried all of the above solutions to no avail…but did try the sync with windows contacts (recommendation in recent threads) and that worked…I am still not happy with the glitches in ‘I’ products, this simply should not happen! But sooo grateful for these blogs…thankyou for saving my sanity :)

November 7, 2011

Option #1 Worked like a charm! I just went to a recent text message, Selected “Contact info” in top right, selected “edit” and added a period to someone’s name; erased it, added again (just to make sure). Then I opened “Contacts” and at first it wasnt’ there, (I might have just been impatient) so I closed it and reopened “Contacts” and they all came back!! Wonderful! Thanks so much for your help!!

iPhone Sheep
November 8, 2011

Insanity…..baaaaaaaa! Apple suxass

November 8, 2011

I love you. I did the text message fix and it worked too. Love you. Love you. Love you…

November 9, 2011

During the upgrade to io5, apparently there was an issue with the backup and it didn’t fully register. So I have my current apps and Notes, but no contacts, texts, or photos from the last several months (since the last registered backup). Since some info from my phone loaded onto iTunes during the backup process, I know the rest of it must be somewhere! Now how to retrieve recent contacts/photos/texts? Frustrating!
Using Windows Vista, iPhone 4.

November 9, 2011

Thank you for these solutions! Text message fix worked wonders.

November 9, 2011

Thanks you Trixy Podds from way back on Oct 14th!
Worked on my 3S. Contacts back.

November 10, 2011

None of this has worked at all for me! I am livid with Apple get me my bloody contacts back!

November 10, 2011

The text message fix worked. THANK YOU!!!
iPhone 4, AT&T

November 11, 2011

I have my contacts and everything
I just can’t see the contact names on my messages and my calls :(

November 11, 2011

Wow, the text solution worked! Thanks!

November 11, 2011

I tried everything and still no Contacts. Major iheadache

November 11, 2011

Thanks for the info! The iCloud fix worked for me.

November 12, 2011

Solution #2 – The iCloud Fix

This was my issue & I would like to add,
Click on “iCloud” (it’s in the app section if you scroll down)
Turn off your setting for Contacts
Choose option to delete from iPhone (since there are none)
Turn contacts back on
Go back into Contacts and wa-la…

This triggers a “re-sync” with iCloud to force contacts back…

I had all of my contacts previously backed up in Outlook, however after checking in iTunes where I could sync with Outlook it gave a warning that this could cause duplicate contacts… so before I went that route I did what I’ve outlined above and it worked perfectly… no need to sync w/Outlook.

November 12, 2011

Fix #3 (SIM) worked for me!
I updated both my and my wife’s (3GS) phones to iOS5; for some reason her phone lost the contacts but mine didn’t.
Now I’m not in trouble anymore! :) Thank you!

Julie Dominguez
November 12, 2011

I have the iPhone 4 and updated my phone to ios 5 last week with no problems. A week later, i find my contacts missing. I tried the text solution and it worked. Thanks.

Shannon W.
November 13, 2011

Solution #2 worked great, super fast and easy! Thanks so much!!

Shannon W.
November 13, 2011

Oh sorry, I meant #1, the text message fix. Worked great!

November 14, 2011


Recently i did two things to my phone.
Upgraded to IOS 5.1 and turn on iCloud.
For some reason, all my groupings in my contacts are gone and all the events in my calendar are gone too.

I’ve tried all the above methods and have yet to see any restoration of any kind.

Is all hope lost?

November 15, 2011

Text message thing worked for me. Thank god… I almost had a heart attack.

Anthony Pilkington
November 17, 2011

Upgraded iPhone3 to version 5.0 – nothing missing but some, about 30%, of the text messages have lost their Name so just show the number. Can’t see any pattern to it. These all exist as contacts with that mobile number. Tried adding to the existing contact but does not fix it. Any ideas?

November 17, 2011

Solution #1 – The Text Message Fix
WORK!!!! Thks…

November 18, 2011

The Text Message Fix…magic! I will never understand how this works, but that was pretty easy!

November 20, 2011

Solution 3 works perfectly for me. Great job.

November 20, 2011

iCloud solution worked for me Thanks

November 21, 2011

i only see one backup. is there a way to find earlier backups? i just need to go one back so i can restore my contacts (lost with 5.0)

jon trier
November 22, 2011

Quick fix for mac users that have lost their contacts, assuming that they are still on your laptop. On the laptop, create a new email addressed to yourself. Open up address book from the dock (not the address book icon in Mail). Click a contact than cmd+A to select all. Drag them into the email as an attachment and then send it to yourself. When you open it on your iPhone, it will ask you if you want to import all the contacts. This is tried and tested, hope it works for you.

November 24, 2011

One Word – ROCKSTAR…. the text message edit worked perfect!!

November 26, 2011

My girlfriend lost all her contacts when she upgraded to the new iOS 5.. I tried the text solution and her contacts came back.


November 26, 2011

Thanks, Sean! I was freaking out because I couldn’t get my contacts back. Found your site and, ultimately, step #3 – Import from SIM worked for my 3Gs w/AT&T. I appreciate the clear instructions!

Kristen Snyder
November 26, 2011

The icloud fix worked for me immediately. I didn’t even have to resync. Thanks!

J E Garrett
November 27, 2011

My wife no longer has a computer. So she asked me if I could update her iphone 3GS on my laptop, because her apps and operating system were so out of date. I did so, and before it started the update to iOS 5, I was prompted to backup contacts, messages, photos, etc. I did that. The update for “Sherry’s phone” started. After the update was done, all her contacts, messages, photos, etc., are gone. When I try to roll back the update, or sync from a backup…iTunes thinks her phone is my phone. So it keeps wanting to backup from the wrong phone. Everything for “Sherry’s phone” seems to have disappeared. Now what? I’ve tried everything listed above, I believe, without success.

Cathy B
November 28, 2011

The text message option worked for me, and stopped me panicking! Thank you!!

November 29, 2011

Solution number one actually works! I have no idea why but it does. Thanks so much!

November 29, 2011

Thank you so much. The Solution #1 is working on my iPhone :)

November 30, 2011

Complete restore worked.

November 30, 2011

good work mate!
worked brilliantly!

Donna Samulowitz
November 30, 2011

Solution #2 was the trick!

Marcus Adams
November 30, 2011

Thanks, I too lost all contact after upgrading to iOS5. I really appreciate your fix (tried editing the contact via recent text and it worked instantly).

December 5, 2011

Text message fix worked here!!

Great job! Thanks!!

December 5, 2011

RESTART and RESTORE work for me!

i was so nervous at first, but lucky i found your article and your solutions is awesome!
**i think most of the users have wrongly selected the option (restore from iCloud backup) during the start up (in my case).
The correct way of selecting is “restore from iTunes Backup”

Great job by the way!

December 6, 2011

Thanks – the text message thing worked to restore all my contacts, and I did something similar to get my calendar entries back: just made a new event then deleted it. The slight subtlety is that that my calendar was synced from gcal, but all works now. Thank you so much!

Shawn Marie
December 6, 2011

Tried the text message suggestion and that totally worked!!!! Thank you SO much!

December 7, 2011

BLESS YOU! The text message method was a miracle!

December 9, 2011

iPhone 4G and iCloud solution has worked for me…now just need to work out what iCloud is!

December 10, 2011

Don’t know how, but all backups deleted and no contacts. Had to use undelete utility to access backup files, then sqlite browser to extract tables. Even though contacts were there, other 3rd party backup extractors said no contacts available. Maybe that’s what iTunes thought when it was restoring data after upgrade. Not very impressive. If you’ve lost contacts, get access to you deleted backup before they get over written. Then don’t give up. Your contacts are still there.

If you haven’t started yet, do a backup and then copy it to another location.

Good luck!

December 11, 2011

Panic over. Solution #2 icloud fix worked. What a life saver

December 16, 2011

So I was doing this upgrade on my phone worked great so went to do it on my husbands and I have lost everything on him. I feel awful hope you can help!! So the problem is apparently the last time he synced his phone was never! But there was somehow information about his phone number from when he first got the original iPhone and plugged into iTunes so when the upgrade didn’t go well so I hit restore and it but his original iPhone info on there wrong numbers only two contacts no pictures no messages nothing. How can I go backwards here he had a lot of work info on there..?

December 17, 2011

I have iphone 4 and lost all of my contacts after the upgrade. I tried several of these ideas and the one that worked for me was solution #4 RESET YOUR IPHONE!! All of my contacts are back just like that. Thanks so much!!

December 21, 2011

The text solution worked for me too, thank you soooo much!!! Whew

December 21, 2011

Solution #5 worked!!!! THANK YOU. The folks at AT&T kept telling me everything was gone and all of the info was erased from the SIM as well. You totally turned my day around!

December 23, 2011

Solution #6? I appreciate your help. My wife was not happy when I upgraded her phone for her yesterday and lost all her contacts. I tried all your options. Nothing worked. iCloud contacts online were empty. Unfortunately we are verizon so we don’t have SIM. Replace information on this iPhone was greyed out. We are on Windows XP. Unfortunately she doesn’t use Outlook. She uses hotmail, but most of her contacts were not in her WindowLive/hotmail contacts. iCloud contacts were empty. There was nothing in her contacts, text messages were all numbers. There were no restore files in iTunes probably because she had been using her iPhone all this time without ever syncing to iTunes. I finally succeeded when I tried this:
1) iTunes -> Devices -> My phone -> Summary tab-> I believe I first changed [ ]back up to iCloud to [x] back up to this computer;
2) iTunes -> Devices -> My phone -> Info tab ->
[x] Sync contacts with Windows address book (even though she has never used Outlook Express!) -> apply/sync -> success! After that I was able to uncheck this box and then also change back to [x]back up to iCloud without any problem.

[...] – Windows Address Book Fix Friday, December 23rd, 2011 | Business Many people have visited my iPhone Lost Contacts post (5 solutions to the problem) from a few months ago.  Apparently everyone still has iPhone [...]

Dawn G
December 28, 2011

Solution #1 – The Text Message Fix
AMAZING it worked thank you!

December 30, 2011

Thanks for the GREAT information. My wife iphone 4 was having a problem with lost contacts after the upgrade to iOS 5.x.

Solution #2 with the resync worked with the iCloud option. I just turned off the iCloud Contacts sync and then turned it back on. Within 15 seconds I had all my wife’s contacts back. Saved my butt cause she would have not been happy.

Thanks again for the GREAT site.

December 30, 2011

Thank you sooooo Much, solution 5 worked for me:)

December 30, 2011

Thanks.. solution #4 worked for me.

Russ M
December 31, 2011

Thank you do much! I used solution #1 and it worked flawlessly. What a lifesaver! I about died when I found all my contacts gone. I had upgraded my phone right before leaving on vacation and struggled without all my contact information.

January 2, 2012

Thanks!!!! Solution 5 worked! Restore from a previous backup and contacts came back
Somehow iCloud seemed to fail completely…

January 3, 2012

Thanks so much! I lost all my contacts after the iOS 5 update. I was able to get them all back instantly with Solution 1: The Text Message Fix. Thanks again!

January 4, 2012

The contact thing worked for by simply adding a new contact and all of them showed up so as previous stated this works

January 4, 2012

Thanks to all who have submitted on this page. #1 worked for me, gotta luv Google that’s how I found your page.


January 5, 2012

Hey there, iv got a iphone 3gs running ios5, been jailbroken and unlocked properly, but when i go to text or receive a call, none of my contacts will show up and only the numbers will. iv tried The Text Message Fix and it didnt work, iv tried everything. iv gotten it re jailbroken and unlocked and still didnt work. tried everything everyone posts up to do and still dont work. iv tried adding the contact in the message it self, didnt work. iv even had some people say to add the contact in as +64 and then there number, still dont work. any other advice you could give to help me?
Thnaks Johnno

January 5, 2012

Just upgraded (yes, I know i’m very late in the game) and contacts were missing. Text Message fixed worked for me!

January 7, 2012

None of the easier solutions worked, had to restore from backup. Thanks for the posts, this info isn’t anywhere else. Um, Did Apple even QA the upgrade or just ship it.

January 7, 2012

I had this issue after the update. I tried #1 no avail as i figured the restore had completed. Tried number one but made the change in one of the recent calls contact, sure enough as soon as the edit was finished ALL the contacts were back where they belonged.

thanks for the help!

January 8, 2012

it worked thanks a lot !!!1:)

January 8, 2012

SIM synch worked like a charm. Thank you so much!!!

Krystal Smith
January 9, 2012

Thankyou thankyou thankyou, the “Ïmport from Sim” suggestion worked for me! I am over the moon!

January 10, 2012

Thank you so much! Solution #1 worked for helping me retrieve my contacts! I love google :)

January 13, 2012

I used a solution similar to solution #1 “The Text Message Fix”. Since I don’t use texting often, I simply used my Recent Calls that have contacts associated with them. I clicked the little arrow on the right to view the contact, then edited it and clicked done and all of my contacts have been restored. I am on a 16GB iPhone 3GS.

January 16, 2012

I Tried all the above and nothing worked – then tried Will’s suggestion “i tried all of these steps but none of them worked.. worked out if you go onto itunes on your pc.. click on your iphone under devices on the left. then click on info at the top next to summary and apps. click on sync all contacts then apply setting” and it worked perfectly! Phew

January 17, 2012

Thank you so much., I did Solution #1 – The Text Message fix and it worked perfectly, first go :-)
You are a champion!

January 18, 2012

Yesssssss! Solution #1 (Text message fix) worked instantly and perfectly. Thanks so much!

January 21, 2012

@ will….tried a bunch of options…only yours worked..THANKS!!!!!!!

January 21, 2012

I updated my wifes phone and all her contacts were lost and the text message fix totally worked!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

January 22, 2012

So glad I found this page. None of the reset/sync solutions were working for me, but the edit contact within a text message did work.
Thanks very much!

January 23, 2012

Thank you SO much, was freaking out and the apple support website didn’t have much info that I could follow. The text messages fix worked for me. THANK YOU! :D

January 27, 2012

SO weirdddd! #1 solved the issue. By the way it also works to edit the contact from recent calls.


January 28, 2012

I have done the solution #1 that editting the contact from messages and it’s working now ,,, i have all my contacts back … thanks genius ;)

January 29, 2012

Thankyou ! I lost all my contacts and the easiest option was Solution #3 – The Import from SIM Fix.

February 1, 2012

Thanks so much, I was in a panic. Tried solution #2 (text) and it worked like a charm. You are a genius (or I am an idiot)

February 1, 2012

None of the options worked for me, I upgraded my 3GS phone with new OS, I lost all the contacts. This was a new laptop and there was nothing synced on this laptop and itunes did not allow functions initially until I installed the OS and after install it became a brand new phone. No contacts no music lost everything..Please suggest

February 3, 2012

I NEED HELP PLEASE ! I got the new iPhone 4S tonight. I synced it with everything from my old iPhone . My mom also has an iPhone and iCloud , along with me now . All of my contacts were synced to her phone & all of her contacts were deleted and are now no where in site or anywhere on itunes. PLEASE HELP !

February 4, 2012

Lost your contacts while upgrading?
TURN YOUR PHONE OFF and ON again. And BAM there they are!!!

February 8, 2012

Text message fix worked for me. Rarely reboot my phone, but I reckon that probably would have done it also.

Thanks so much – my heart sank when I went to look up an address and it was EMPTY, aargh!

February 17, 2012

I’m still too chicken to upgrade…

February 19, 2012

Thank you so much. Re-syncing did not work, but the text message fix did. I had been putting off upgrading as I had heard of this problem so was dismayed when all my contacts disappeared – phew!

Paul Murphy
February 21, 2012

Txt worked for me too. Isn’t the Internet fantastic, gets any problem fixed.. Cheers to you Sean, what a star.

Prabhakar Kasi
February 21, 2012


February 21, 2012

thank you so much
solution number 5 worked for me

trevor smith
March 2, 2012

icloud solution worked!!!
brilliant advice

March 5, 2012

THANK YOU! The iCloud trick worked!

March 11, 2012

I had a heart attack after the upgrade. I tried the first 4 with no luck and with my heart sinking, tried #5. Thank the stars, it worked!

March 13, 2012

You all are awesome. The iCloud fix above for retrieval of Contacts list after iOS 5.1 upgrade worked like a charm. However, wanted to mention, that I also selected “Keep on My iPhone” when prompted after turning off iCloud Contacts. And, then turned Contact option back on. Not sure if this prompt selection makes a difference for retrieval of the Contacts list, but wanted to mention. Thanks again.

March 14, 2012

THANKYOU! Have been trying to fix for over an hour through different sites (amongst a lot of tears.. who knew i was so attached to photos and contacts!) Turning off and on to force a restore worked for me! Thank you so very much! Heaven-sent advice :)

March 15, 2012

i did tried all the above but did not work, i upgraded my iPhone from OS4 to OS5

even when i restored an older backup !

i noticed that i can see all my contacts from my Mac using DiskAid

it worked when i backed it up again with IS5 on my iPhone and restored it ! all my contacts appeared again !!

March 16, 2012

Nothing worked for me, all my contacts are gone. Apple should put a disclaimer on this update. I went into an Apple Store and they acted like they never heard of this problem. Hard to believe. I’m pissed.

March 20, 2012

Thank u so much ur a life saver!!x

March 21, 2012

Thank you!! Thank you!!

I had tried to get my husband hooked up to iCloud and through the process, all his contacts were completely deleted!!! YIKES!! He was not happy! However, after great diligence in searching for an answer, after these posts, I finally fixed it!! :-)
I turned off all the settings on his iPhone in iCloud to off. Then I hooked the phone to iTunes, went to Info and to Advanced & checked contacts and then sync at the lower right hand corner. The sync didn’t take long at all and voila!! all contacts, names on texts, etc. were restored!!

thanks again!! ~sslove

March 25, 2012

#5 worked for me…. Thank god because my husband was pissed lol. He didn’t want me to update his phone in the first place. Would just like to note that I restored 3 times but always turned on iCloud during initial setup. His contacts only came back after I restored AGAIN and chose not to use iCloud.

Michael Jacombs
March 27, 2012

You are brilliant. Solution 1 did not work but the iCloud one did – probably because the problem occurred after I had installed iCloud on my PC. Where are you Steve?
Thank you very much

March 28, 2012

None of the solutions worked for me. I am extremely upset and frustrated. I will go to Apple store tomorrow morning. If I do not get my contacts back, I will sue in small claims court for damages and distress and see what happens.

April 9, 2012

#2 worked straight away! Thanks :D

April 13, 2012

the text message worked a treat. didn’t work if u just saved it, had to add something for it to save and worked a charm.


April 14, 2012

Thank you so much for this site! I don’t know what I would do without it. After loosing my contacts I used the text message fix, Solution #1 and I recovered them, there is only one thing, my text messages from this last week are gone. I know I might asking too much but is there a way I can recovered those texts?

April 14, 2012

None of the options didn’t work for me either. What is also frustrating is that there are calendar entries from birthday data stored from my contacts but the contacts aren’t showing. ARGH!! FML

April 14, 2012

Even my grammar has gone out the window. Meant none of the options worked for me either….

April 27, 2012

Solution 5 worked for me. I worked my way down, getting more and more discouraged as I went along. LOL Finally, #5 worked (restore) and I am SO LOVING THIS SITE! THANK YOU!!!

April 27, 2012

my friend plugged my phone into hers and i lost everyting, contacts pictures etc how do i get this back?

April 29, 2012


May 1, 2012

ty so much!

May 3, 2012

thanks for solution 1, it helped! but I’ve found if I have syn with icloud, itunes doesn’t recommend us to syn with our computer because it will duplicate the contact, but I want to sync with my computer to keep a copy of the data too, how can I do this?

Simon Murray
May 17, 2012

Thanks very much, used the edit contact fix and all my contacts have come back :-)

May 19, 2012

None of these worked for me. Should have either saved my contacts before upgrading on NEVER upgraded. THANKS APPLE..!

May 22, 2012

Thanks a million! The #2 the iCloud fix worked perfectly. Fixed in under 10 seconds. Great job.

John/Grassroots Mobile
May 23, 2012

I Just wanted to say thanks for the solutions your provided to recovering contacts when updating to ios5 on the iPhone.
I’m not a big fan of jumping on to new platforms just because they’re there, especially when what I’ve got is doing just fine…
But with a lot of apps requiring upgrades to more recent versions of ios ( was still running 4.1), I decided to take the plunge.
I woke up this morning to discover my contacts were gone so off to google land I went…
For no other reason than your listing was in the crucial demographic top rankings, and your page title accurately fit what I was looking for, I clicked through…
After reading ‘Solution #1 – The Text Message Fix’, that seemed to be a pretty non-invasive, inventive way to see if the information was there, just not being accessed somehow, so I gave it a try and it worked like a charm for me!
Much Appreciated,
Grassroots Mobile

May 23, 2012

Glad people are still finding this post useful

May 30, 2012

The “Don’t do anything” fix worked. (Number 0) I didn’t have to do anything. And it worked. I like the sound of that… Do nothing and it works. Hmmm. maybe a new slogan in the works…

May 31, 2012

I tried solution #0 after restarting my phone (ordinary restart holding sleep/awake button) and it worked! I got my contacts back.

June 1, 2012

Wow! Thanks for fixing the contact issue. Pheww.

June 2, 2012

Thanks soooooo much for this website #1 worked for me…. you have no idea how usefull this was!!! :D:D

much appreciated!! :)

June 4, 2012

I unfortunately upgraded last night, lost everything but my music, texts gone, contacts gone, pics gone, ringtones gone. Tried all of the above and the only thing I got back was my pics but still no contacts or ringtones that I HAD on itunes. Guess I will have to start from scratch-greatly frustrated and aggravated. If anybody knows of anything else before I start this LONG process of trying to re-do everything manually please let me know. Thanks

June 9, 2012

Text message thing worked for me – cracking – thanks for the help!

June 12, 2012

#0 did nothing.
#1 … My texts do not have contact names, only numbers.
#2 did nothing, as i already had icloud deactiated and have never used it.
#3 did nothing.
#4 did nothing.
#5 did nothing.
#6 Did nothing.. Only backed up my own number.

June 12, 2012

I’ve also tried creating a new contact to see if mysteriously the rest of my contacts would appear… but nothing happened.

Carey Jernigan
June 13, 2012

#3 was the Winner! Thank you. I imported my SIM contacts to my mobile me address and voila!

June 14, 2012

Thank you sooooooooo much for the help! Text solution did wonders to my phone in restoring the contacts…. Phew!!! I was panicking that I lost all my contacts and wasnt even sure if I can get all of them back. Thanks a lot again for the quick fix:):)

June 17, 2012

nothing of those suggested options could help me ;-(

June 17, 2012

none of those suggested options could help me ;-(

June 20, 2012

Solution #1 worked instantly for me!! Thanks!!

June 22, 2012

import sim fix :D

June 25, 2012

The text message option is awesome .. it worked in a flash and saved me the effort of hour long sync process.. Thanks a lot !!

June 28, 2012

Thank you very much for this information. I tried the easiest solution, the text message, and it worked. :-)

June 29, 2012

You are a savior! I had to send my thanks.

Julie and Kate
July 4, 2012

Thank you so much! After almost two hours of freaking out worrying we finally stumbled upon your blog. We tried restoring it, downloading special recovery software, basically everything anyone had to offer, with no success. When we found this blog we knew it would be helpful, maybe not to us, but with so many options we knew it was setup well. Luckily the solution number 3 worked. Thank you so much!

Iphone 3gs
Carrier: Att

C Roper
July 5, 2012

Solution 5 worked like a charm – big thanks to the blog and to the posters!

July 7, 2012

Thank you SO much for the help. I did the “RESTORE TO PREVIOUS BACKUP” and got all my contacts back. WHEW!

Nadia Aronson
July 9, 2012

Can’t try text fix because all if get is “copy” if I double click the top line of a previous text. Please help.

July 13, 2012

I upgraded the phone but the problem is I mistakenly synced my iPhone again after losing my contacts so now the backups don’t have the contacts. What can I do. Please I need help.

July 13, 2012

I tried all of the methods above but the problem is I mistakenly backed up my phone again with the empty contacts list. So now my the backup has no contacts either. Can somebody please help me.

July 15, 2012

None of the options worked for me except the suggestion to go to iTunes/Info/Advanced. Once there, I had to check the Sync Contacts With checkbox at the top of the window and then I was able to check the Contacts checkbox under Advanced at the bottom of the window. Contacts were restored in about 2 minutes.

July 24, 2012

Updated an iPhone 3GS to 5.1 yesterday and lost all contacts. Text messages only had numbers and no contact names. Right clicked on the phone name in iTunes and restored from the backup I made before the update. Still no contacts! I had read elsewhere that it took three times of restoring from a backup for it to work for one guy. So, tried again and after the second restore from backup they were back!

August 3, 2012

I tried all of these methods and I still cannot restore any of my contacts. Why does iTunes have to be such a pain in the ass? I initially had Backup Assistant as I’m a Verizon customer, so transferred all my contacts from my previous phone through VZ contact transfer. However, that app no longer works, and since I didn’t sync my phone with my previous contacts, I can’t recover any contacts. Any help would be appreciated, though it appears that I am just screwed. I think DAE1 will agree when I see F*#@ Apple!!!

August 3, 2012

None of the methods work for me because I didn’t have my contacts backed up before syncing. All I have is Vz contact transfer from when I originally got the iphone4, but that doesn’t even work. What a pain in the AS%! F$%& Apple!!!

Yuval K
August 24, 2012

DUDE!!! Awsome TIP!!! SOlution #1 fixed it right away!
Thanks a bunch!!!

August 29, 2012

None of these options worked for me because my PC crashed, with my last version of iTunes on it. My last last resort (thankfully) was to go to gmail and recover the contacts, because they are backup up there if you have gmail account linked to your phone.

August 31, 2012

Kate Wilson – THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! I am one VERY relieved girl tonight! Got them nack when nothing else worked.

Lloyd Christmas
September 8, 2012

Kate Wilson – Now that you’ve saved my contacts, let’s make sweet love.

September 11, 2012

Solution #5 – Restore Your iPhone worked for me! iPhone 4, upgraded to OS 5.1.1

September 17, 2012

Thank you! I used solution #1 because I could still see the contacts i=on my text messages.
Solution #1 – The Text Message Fix

This seems to be the most popular solution if you can see your contacts in your text messaging:

Open a recent Text Message
Tap the top of the screen (scrolls to the top of the message)
Tap “Contact”
Edit the contact in some way (add an email, new fake phone number or something, you can delete later
Hit the “Back” button

I couldn’t found the “Back” button, so I tap “Done” and then I go to back to contacts.

I got all my contacts back!!!! thank you, thank you!

iOS 6 Lost Contacts
September 19, 2012

[...] some people visiting my site asking about iOS 6 lost contacts issues.You should check out our extensive post on lost contacts in iOS 5.  All the same approaches still apply in iOS 6 (if you let me know if it helped, I’ll mark [...]

Allyson P
September 19, 2012

I used option #7 after updating to the new iOS 6 and it worked perfectly! Thank you so much, I was scared I had lost all my contacts for good!

September 19, 2012

I was pretty pissed that this happened given that I backed my phone up before I upgraded. Anyway, none of the above worked for me, so I read through the comments and did what Kate WIlson (10/13/11) suggested and now have them back! Best. THANK YOU ALL.

September 20, 2012

Solution #7 – Sync Address Contacts fix (aka MikeW / Kate Wilson Fix)

Worked like a charm for me, thank you so much! (iOS 6)

September 20, 2012

#5 worked for me, after signing up to iCloud upon installing iOS6 today, and lots of panic after losing all my contacts! Thankyou very much, I’m sure 7 would have worked too!

September 20, 2012

I used #5 for my iOS-6-upgrade-terrible-feeling-in-my-chest-lost-all-numbers-in-my-contact-list-debacle 2012 and it worked like a charm. Thanks so much!!!

Khalid Ahmad
September 22, 2012

I lost my contacts (90%) or actually disappeared after performing IOS 6 upgrade directly from the iPhone 4S without being connected to the iTunes on my computer and I haven’t made any backup on iTunes.
Are my contacts recoverable? Is it possible resides on iCloud? If it is on iCloud, how shall I retrieve it?
Plz it is urgent as I have no other source to get these contacts once more.

September 22, 2012

I tried several of the above options but option #7 was the one that worked for me. Thank you thank you thank you for posting this.

September 23, 2012

I think these are all suggestions IF you made a backup on iTunes or iCloud before upgrade to ios6. But what if you did not make any backup, like me? I lost all my Contacts. I did #0, 2, 3, 7….nada! I don’t want to try the Restore option because I fear it would lose all data. Please help!

September 24, 2012

Thank you SO much for this page! I had upgraded my OS, iTunes, and added iCloud all in one week and thought my contacts were gone for good! #7 worked! Hallelujah! You ROCK!

VZ relief
September 25, 2012

I did not make a backup on iTunes before the iOS6 upgrade and lost my contacts. I was not sure if I lost them by trying to use iCloud for the first time or the upgrade. I use Verizon and previously used Back up Assist (on an old phone a year ago). I downloaded the VZ Contact Transfer from the App Store and was able to use the VZ Contact Transfer application to get my year old contacts. Better than nothing.

September 26, 2012

Solution 2# iCloud fix worked for me!!!!! Friggn excellant!!!!! To easy…. Icloude stole my contacts.. Only had to go into settings.. Turn off contacts.. Turn on.. Merge.. There u go.. There all back :-) life saver

September 27, 2012

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!! After hours of stressing out and trying to fix it on my own, I found this website and Tip #1 saved the day.

September 27, 2012

I have upgraded my iPhone to iso6 and I lost my contacts and I have no backup anywhere I need help please.

Helen Trevaskis
September 29, 2012

Thank you!! Solution 3 worked for me. You saved the painful thought (and act) of having to reenter them all again…phew!

October 1, 2012


found all my contacts with a “Restore” of a previous backup and… NO iCLOUD activation. Actually that was the problem and that’s what screwed everything up.

Take Care

PS: iPhone reputation saved and enforced… yeaaaaa

Atiq Warraich
October 5, 2012

You are the best, thank you so much… got all of my contacts back pheeeeeeeeeeeeeew….

October 11, 2012

Text fix didnt work, so I went to settings, iCloud, turned off iCloud on my contacts, it then asks if you want to delet iCloud contacts or keep to phone. I kept them, then waited a few seconds and turned them back on. And there they are.

October 19, 2012

A million thanks to who ever it was that provided solution number 5 (restore your iPhone)
I have been really angry with Apple all week having updated my software and lost my calendar & contacts (all gmail driven)
When I got a new iPhone, I didn’t have to do anything, it just had everything on it that the previous model had, so you can imagine how frustrating it was to pick up the same piece of hardware & suddenly find it not working

October 21, 2012

Solution #1 worked for me. I have an iPhone 3 with AT&T. Makes me wonder though, what other info may need to be sync’d that I’m not yet aware of. I can’t express enough my gratitude to you for taking the time to post all of these solutions!!!

November 4, 2012

Here is what worked for me (Iphone 4S, upgrade to iOS6, Windows 7). Nothing of the above worked. Go inside the iTunes backup folder (…Apple Computer/MobileSync/Backup) and use Windows 7 “restore” function (right click on the folder) to restore the backup to the date before you upgraded to iOS6. Then from iTunes restore the device from this backup, using the backup with that date….. And do not forget to switch off the automatic sync of the device, because this is what makes this mess: you choose to use iCloud for back-up (and never used before), so your contacts synced to empty iCloud, then you connect to iTunes, which automatically sync your backup to your “new” contact list. And here you are lost contacts in the Iphone and its backup ;). If no previous backups are available with Windows “restore”, you have probably never synced in iTunes, so most possibly your contacts are gone forever….

November 5, 2012

I lost all contacts when I upgraded ro ios6. I plugged into computer and opened itunes. I clicked on my iphone device in itunes and then went to info which is the second tab. I went through each section of the contacts and checked the ones i thought would retrieve my contacts. i think I clicked on the icloud section too. It worked!!

November 23, 2012

I have tried everything. The only thing that works was downloading the VZ Contact Transfer app that VZ Relief posted on September 25, 2012. (I believe this only works if you have Verizon). It restored all the contacts that I had when I got my iPhone a year ago. I haven’t been able to recover the newer ones (yet) but so far this is better than losing them all!

[...] you’re having issues with contacts, I encourage you to check out these potential solutions. My issue was far simpler, it seems. One of the joys of being a loyal Apple customer for three [...]

[...] you’re having issues with contacts, I encourage you to check out these potential solutions. My issue was far simpler, it seems. One of the joys of being a loyal Apple customer for three [...]

[...] you’re having issues with contacts, I encourage you to check out these potential solutions. My issue was far simpler, it seems. One of the joys of being a loyal Apple customer for three [...]

March 26, 2013

Solution #7 worked for me! I’ve been searching for an answer for over a week and am so thankful for your help!

David Nugent
June 17, 2013

I got the contacts back by Settings>Import SIM Contacts>From iCloud

July 22, 2013

Thanks guys

I was loosing some of my contacts all the time and got it back by resetting my phone.
Well done and many thanks!!!


iOS 7 and Losing Contacts
September 18, 2013

[…] If you lost your iOS 7 contacts, I have organized a list of potential fixes for previous iOS problems (these are likely to apply to iOS 7 as well), iOS5 Lost Contact fixes. […]

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