How to Recover iPhone Contacts

by David Lipscomb

Your iPhone's contact list can include detailed notes, phone numbers and email addresses and might represent years of careful assembly. Should your iPhone become damaged or inadvertently reset to factory condition, you can recover your contacts. The iPhone's primary methods of storage and recovery are through iTunes and iCloud. Use either of these utilities to get back in contact with your friends and business acquaintances.

iTunes Backup

Connect your iPhone to your computer you normally sync to, using the dock cable. Allow a few seconds for iTunes to launch and mount the iPhone.

Right-click your iPhone's name under the "Devices" list in iTunes.

Click on the "Restore from Backup" option in the list. Choose the latest backup from the dated options. Click "Restore."

Restoring via iCloud

Tap the "Settings" icon on your iPhone. Tap "iCloud" from the resulting list of options.

Enter your iCloud account name, if it isn't listed in the "Account" bar.

Slide the "Contacts" tab to the "Off" position. Tap "Keep on My iPhone." Wait until the "Turning Off Contacts" progress bubble disappears.

Slide the "Contacts" tab back to its "On" position. Select "Merge" from the two options in the pop-up pane.


  • You iPhone's data is backed up every time you sync to iTunes. You can back up data without performing a full sync by right-clicking and selecting "Back up."
  • A Wi-Fi connection is required to merge contacts via iCloud.

Items you will need

  • Apple dock cable

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/ Images