Here’s how to restore contacts on an iPhone from iCloud

Apple iPhone 7
Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Contacts are an important part of your iPhone, especially if you’re constantly making calls, sending emails, or texting friends and family. You may have one long contact list or one that has been meticulously organized and sorted to make navigation easier. Contacts are so integral to staying in touch with others that it is hard to imagine not having that convenient, easy-to-reach list of everyone you will ever need to reach out to.

In fact, it’s so convenient, few of us remember phone numbers or email addresses in our heads anymore. This isn’t usually an issue, but it can become a problem when a particular contact, or multiple contacts, are accidentally deleted or lost during the sync process, or when restoring from a backup. It’s an unfortunate situation to be in, but one that is easily rectified if you know how to recover lost contacts on an iPhone. Thankfully, you only need to use iCloud to do so.

To avoid losing your data and contacts follow our guide on how to backup an iPhone and how to use iCloud.

Recovering contacts using iCloud on your iPhone

If you’ve lost or deleted a contact by mistake, there is no reason to panic. Contacts are set to sync with iCloud by default. You can go to settings and turn them off and on again to let them sync to your iPhone again.

Step 1: Go to Settings > [your name] > iCloud.

Step 2: Turn Contacts off and select Keep on My iPhone.

Step 3: Turn Contacts on and select Merge.

Wait a little while, and you should see the deleted contacts back on your iPhone.

Recovering contacts using

This is another trusted method for retrieving lost contact information — as well as other things like Reminders and Calendar events — and it comes directly from Apple. All you need is a computer, your Apple ID and password, and a bit of time.

Restore contacts using
  1. Go to and sign in with your aforementioned Apple ID and password.
  2. Once signed in, click the Settings icon.
  3. Scroll down to the Advanced section and click Restore Contacts.
  4. You will be shown a list of previously made archives. Find the date of an archive that should still have your contacts list intact and click Restore.
  5. Click Restore again to confirm and begin the restoration process. Once it’s done, an email will be sent to the address tied to your Apple ID.

It should be noted that doing this will replace the contacts currently on your iPhone, as opposed to just adding the ones that are missing. If you added new contacts prior to this process, they will be lost. Thankfully, your current contacts list will be archived before the restore is applied, so you can retrieve them by following these same steps.

To do so, follow the first three steps of this article, but instead of choosing an archive from a previous date, pick the archive made the same day you performed your restoration. You can also do this if you accidentally restore your contacts using the wrong archive.