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The disappearance of contacts from your iPhone does not always mean that you deleted them yourself. It could have happened because you updated your iPhone to a newer iOS version or just because of some small nasty bug. Fortunately, there are several ways to restore iPhone contacts from an iPhone backup, and each of them comes with its pros and cons.

Choose what you like best:

Restore iPhone contacts from iCloud

For this method, you will need your Apple ID and password. The downside is that the archived contacts you download from iCloud will replace your existing iPhone contacts. If you are OK with that, follow these simple steps:

  1. Go to iCloud.com.
  2. Log in with your Apple ID and enter your password.
  3. enter your Apple ID and a password

  4. Go to “Settings”.
  5. go to settings

  6. Scroll down until you see the section with Advanced settings. Then click on “Restore Contacts”.
  7. scroll down to advanced settings

  8. You will see a list of previously created archives, sorted by date. Choose the archive you need and click “Restore”.
  9. choose an archive and click on restore button

  10. Click on “Restore” again.
  11. click on Restore button

  12. Wait a little bit…
  13. wait a little bit

    That’s it!

    that's it

Restore iPhone contacts without iTunes

Sometimes, however, iTunes may pull a dirty trick on you by making an unexpected backup (surpri-ise!). If it does so after you contacts have been deleted, it will overwrite the backup, making it an empty file instead. Besides, upon restore iTunes will overwrite all the data on your Phone, basically throwing you back to the time of the backup, and that is not always a welcome change.

If you want a program that will allow you to make full backup but custom restore (and also validates the backup on completion to make sure it is not corrupt), use CopyTrans Shelbee. It will make sure none of your data gets replaced, except for contacts.To get your contacts download CopyTrans Shelbee from the following page: Download CopyTrans Shelbee

  1. Run CopyTrans Shelbee and connect the iPhone. Select “Custom restore”. CopyTrans Shelbee main menu

  2. Click the green pencil button. Choose full restore of iPhone from backup

  3. In the window that will shortly appear, look at the list of all your previous backups made with iTunes. Select the backup file you would like to restore from. Click on the pencil and choose the backup you wish to restore

  4. Choose “Contacts” and click “Next”.Click on "contacts" and click "Next"

For detailed instructions, please refer to the custom restore guide.

Restore iPhone contacts with iTunes

    If you still want to use iTunes, then follow these steps:

  1. Run iTunes and connect your iPhone.

  2. Wait until iPhone appears within iTunes; then click on the iPhone icon. Open iTunes

  3. From the “Summary” screen click the “Restore Backup…” button. Click on "Summary" and then on "Restore backup"

  4. Disable the “Find my iPhone” feature if necessary. Read here how to do that.disable find my iPhone if if necessary

  5. If there are more than one backup entries, select the one that you expect contains the contacts and click “Restore”. choose a backup and click restore

  6. After the restore is complete, you will have your iPhone contacts recovered from the backup you choose.

  7. iphone restore in progress

Extract iPhone contacts without iTunes and iPhone

Use this method in case:

  • you don’t want any of your data overwritten;
  • you don’t want to use iTunes;
  • you don’t have an iPhone (because, for example, it was lost or broken).

This method requires a PC with any type of iPhone backup on it and CopyTrans Backup Extractor. In case you don’t know how or where to search for backups, download CopyTrans Backup Extractor and it will do all the work for you.

  1. You can download CopyTrans Backup Extractor by clicking on the button below:

    Download CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  2. After the download, install and run the program: it will automatically start a “backup hunt”. When the search is finished, you will see the list of all the backups available on your PC. Select the backup you need.
  3. All backups in CopyTrans Backup Extractor

  4. Click on “Contacts” and press “Next”.
  5. click on "contacts"

  6. Select the destination folder. All your contacts from the iPhone backup will be extracted there.

These are the 4 main methods to get your contacts from a backup. Use the first three to restore and overwrite. Use CopyTrans Backup Extractor if you would rather avoid overwriting or no longer have the device.

And most importantly: now that you know better, do not forget to regularly back up your iPhone!

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By carina

Carina is part of team CopyTrans since 2008 and is always happy to share her passion for web marketing, graphic design & social media. With coffee running through her veins, she enthusiastically dives each day into the depths of the Internet searching for new cool stuff to be shared with you and her team.