1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (39 votes, average: 3.41 out of 5)

This article explains how to extract iPhone contacts from an iPhone backup made by iTunes.

To avoid data loss, we have developed a tool to back up and restore iPhone contacts easily. To find out more about this application, please refer to the following page:

Extract iPhone contacts from iPhone backup

If you Lost your iPhone contacts before backing them up with the above tool, there is still a way to try and recover your iPhone address book.

How to recover your iPhone contacts

  1. Run iTunes and connect your iPhone.

  2. Wait until iPhone appears within iTunes; then click on the iPhone icon. iphone icon in itunes main window

  3. From the “Summary” screen click the “Restore Backup…” button. restore backup button in itunes

  4. If there are more than one backup entries, select the one that you expect contains the contacts and click “Restore”. restore iphone with itunes prompt

  5. Note: Select the iPhone contact entry dated before you lost access to iPhone contact list.

  6. Warning: restoring iPhone contacts from backup via iTunes will delete any media tracks currently existing on your iPhone and will overwrite contents on the iPhone with the contents from the iOS backup file. If you want to avoid overwriting your data, you can restore just contacts from your backup with CopyTrans Shelbee. iphone restore in progress

  7. After the restore is complete, you will have your original iPhone contacts recovered.


  • The steps above describe how to use an iPhone backup created by iTunes in order to recover a previous state of your iPhone contacts

  • The process will restore only the contact entries in the state in which they existed on your iPhone at the time the iPhone backup was effectuated

  • The process might also restore other data you might have previously deleted such as messages, notes, apps, etc.

  • Restoring your iPhone contacts in the way described will delete all iPhone multimedia tracks such as songs, videos and podcasts as well as photos stored outside of the Camera Roll on your iPhone

Restore iPhone contacts from iOS backup without using iTunes

iTunes may unexpectedly back up the iPhone and in the process overwrite the contacts left in the previous iOS backup. This is why we recommend using CopyTrans Shelbee instead of the method above. CopyTrans Shelbee will restore your contacts from the backup iTunes previously made without the need to open iTunes and without the risk of overwriting. To do so, download CopyTrans Shelbee from the following page: Get CopyTrans Shelbee now

  1. Make sure iTunes is not running, start CopyTrans Shelbee and connect the iPhone. Click “Restore” if you want to do a full restore or “Custom restore” if you want to restore just contacts. CopyTrans Shelbee main menu

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

  3. A new window opens with a list of all your previous iOS backups made by iTunes. Select the iPhone backup you’d like to restore. Click on the pencil and choose the backup you wish to restore

  4. For detailed instructions refer to the custom restore guide.

Avatar for carina

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.