Contacts let us make phone calls and send messages with others, which are indispensable for everyday use. However, you just suddenly find that iPhone deleted contacts by itself and randomly, with no reasons. Actually, you are not the only one meet this iPhone randomly deleting contacts issue,
Q: Contacts deleted randomly.
Hi, today I noticed a lot of my contacts have been deleted on my iPhone 6. Only settings I recently changed was I set up my new email address on the mail app.
Any help would be much appreciated, Thanks. – A User from Discussion.Apple.com
To help you fix this problem, we need first to figure out what leads to it, so we can prevent it from happening again.
Why Is My iPhone Deleting Contacts Randomly?
Well, there is no exact answer from the Apple official, even though some of the users having this problem have written to Apple for help. But base on the information that we collected from the forums and the users we have, the most probable suspect is turning on contact syncing for both e-mail account and iCloud contacts. If you have mail contacts set to sync, then they could be creating a conflict with your iCloud contacts. Besides, sometimes, when you remove or delete the email account from the iPhone, there would be a high risk for contacts missing, too.
If you are just in such a situation, then the first practical solution must be turn off the contacts syncing for the email. But please not remove or delete the email account, because it could help us get back the missing contacts. More information about this would be talked about in the following.
However, most times, only with such operation is not enough, and the deleted contacts cannot come back. But you have no need to worry about it because you can try the following methods to totally fix this issue and get back the missing contacts, after turn off the contacts syncing option for the email account.
Fix iPhone Deleted Contacts Randomly with iCloud Sync
If you have enabled iCloud sync, all your contacts will be uploaded and stored in iCloud. If you disable this feature by accident, you will find contacts deleted from iPhone. So please go to Settings to have a check and turn Contacts Sync on.
Step 1. Open iCloud to confirm.
Go to Settings > Your name > iCloud > Turn off Contacts if it is on, and then tap Keep on My iPhone to confirm.
Step 2. Fix contacts deleted from iPhone.
Turn on the contacts again and tap Merge, wait for a while and the lost contacts will appear on your iPhone.
Fix iPhone Deleted Contacts Randomly with iCloud.com
Just as same as the method above, if you have turned on the iCloud Contacts sync option, you can also directly visit the iCloud.com to get back the deleted contacts online.
Fix iPhone Deleted Contacts Randomly with iCloud Backup
If you have backed up your iPhone to the iCloud, there is also a chance for you to find the deleted contacts.
1. Reset your iPhone. Go to Settings > General > Reset > Erase All Content and Settings.
2. Set up your iPhone. Follow the onscreen setup steps until you reach the Apps & Data screen, then tap Restore from iCloud Backup > Sign in to iCloud with your Apple ID > Choose the backup you want.
3. Wait for the process of completing. Stay connected and wait for a progress bar to appear and complete. Depending on the size of the backup and the network speed, the progress bar might need a few minutes to an hour to complete. If you disconnect from Wi-Fi too soon, the progress will pause until you reconnect.
Fix: Contacts Deleted from iPhone Checking Your Email Accounts
Even thou we have turned off the syncing option for the email account, the contacts saved before are still there, and we can get them back there.
For iOS 10 and earlier users: Open Settings app > Tap Mail > Tap Accounts > Tap your account > Turn Contacts on.
For iOS 11 and later users: Open Settings app > Tap Accounts & Passwords > Tap your mail account > Turn Contacts on.
How to Fix: iPhone Is Deleting Contacts with iTunes Backup
Similar to iCloud backup way, if you have backed up the iPhone to iTunes, then you can also try iTunes restoring to recover deleted contacts.
- Connect your iPhone with the computer you usually sync it with and open iTunes.
- When your iPhone appears in iTunes, click the Summary option.
- Click the Restore Backup option. If this option is grayed out, you may need to change your backup preferences from iCloud to Computer. You can always change this back after you have restored your iPhone.
- This process can take a while. Wait for its finishing, and then you will see the missing contacts in your Contact app again.
How to Fix: iPhone Is Deleting Contacts with Some iPhone Data Recovery
If the above methods cannot help you get lost contacts back, PhoneRescue – iOS Data Recovery is the last workable solution. It will scan your iPhone and find your lost contacts in minutes. More than anything, unlike restoring from iTunes or iCloud backup, PhoneRescue for iOS allows you to recover only contacts category without erasing any existing data on your iPhone. There’s no need of a blind full restore, no need of erasing anything before recovery. Now, let’s check the steps to recover deleted contacts on iPhone.
Step 1. Connect the iPhone and choose recovery mode.
Download PhoneRescue (choose iOS Data Recovery), install and launch it > Connect your iPhone to the computer via USB cable > Choose Recover from iOS Device > Click the Right Arrow to confirm.
Step 2. Scanning the contacts on your iPhone.
Uncheck Select All option and then check Contacts only > Click on OK button to scan the deleted contacts on your iPhone.
Step 3. Select the contacts to recover.
Preview and select the contacts you want to recover > Click Recover button on the bottom right corner to get them back.
If you have backed up your iPhone in advance, it can also help you export only contacts from iTunes and iCloud backup, so you don’t have to do a full restore of your device. Just refer to the guides below to make it.
How to Restore ONLY Contacts from iTunes Backup without Erasing >
How to Restore ONLY Contacts from iCloud Backup without Erasing >
The Bottom Line
Hope this guide can help you fix the iPhone lost contacts issue. If you have any other method, just share with us in the comment section. It may help other users here. At lastly, PhoneRescue is 100% safe software without virus. Since its release, PhoneRescue has successfully saved over 5,700,000 users from data disasters. Just download it to help you get lost contacts back.