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iPhone Contact Recovery

How to Recover Deleted or Lost iPhone Contacts

"I need some help !! Is there some people know that how to recover iPhone contacts?
I felt so sad that my iPhone 4S was stolen, but my contacts are so important for me. Now I hope to restore my contacts without my phone. Fortunately, I synced my iPhone to iTunes constantly on my computer, but I had to switch to another phone, since I could not afford another iPhone. I don't know whether is it possible to recover contacts without iPhone?"

The answer is: You can recover your contacts without iphone! You can extract your contacts from the iTunes backup when you lost your iPhone. iTunes can automatically back up your iPhone contacts and update it every time when you sync it. So you really have a big chance to recover contacts from iTunes backup.

How to recover contacts with or without your iPhone

We will now discuss how to get contacts from the backup file. You need an iPhone contacts recovery tool, and you can have my recommendation here: iPhone Data Recovery (Windows) or iPhone Data Recovery (Mac). Besides recovering contacts from iTunes backups, both of the software can also help to scan and retrieve contacts directly from your iPhone 6s/6s Plus/6 Plus/6/5S/5C/5/4S/4/3GS, if you didn't lose your iPhone.

You can download the free trial version below to have a try.

Download Win Version Download Mac Version

Let's check detailed steps with the Windows version of iPhone Data Recovery.

Part 1: Extract iTunes backup to recover iPhone contacts

This iPhone contacts recovery program enables you to recover contacts on iPhone from the backup files on iTunes, no matter you are using iPhone 6s, iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPhone 5S, iPhone 5C, iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, or iPhone 3GS, or you just lost it, iPhone Data Recovery can help to find the contacts back on your computer. Besides contacts, it also can help you to recover previous SMS, Call History, Notes, Calendar, as well as lost photos and videos, etc.

Step 1: Scan the backup file

No matter you just lost your iPhone or you still hold it in your hand, don't connect or sync it with iTunes after you lost your contacts, to prevent the backup file from being updated and replaced by the contacts on your iPhone now.
If you have synced different iDevices with iTunes before, there will be more than one backup files, after you click "Recover from iTunes Backup File" on the top of the primary window. Choose the one for your iPhone and click "Start Scan". Then move further.

extract iTunes backup

Step 2: Recover your iPhone contacts

Easily, the scan only take you a few seconds. All the contents from the backup file will be displayed in details. You can read the content right now, no matter from the Contacts, but also from the Messages, Call History, Notes, and you also can preview the photos & videos contained on your iPhone.

To recover the contacts, check the box in front of the Contacts and click the "Recover" button, then you can save the content on your computer. You also can recover the other data, if you have a need.

recover iphone cantacts

The contacts you find in the scan result contain those existing in the backup file and those deleted from your iPhone before you made the backup. Both of them have their own color. You can use the button on the top to separate them: Only display the deleted items.

Note: If you want to import recovered contacts back to your iPhone, you can use iPhone/iPad/iPod Manager to do it in a few clicks.

Download Win Version Download Mac Version

How iTunes backs up your iPhone contacts

As an iPhone user, who tends to manage the content of iPhone with iTunes, must know that iTunes backs up everything of your iPhone first when you sync with it. This will be the warmest thing when you lost your contacts from iPhone. The bad point is that the backup file is not regular file type, but a SQlitedb file, which is not allowed to preview, even access. Sometimes it's encrypted, just for private safe.

Part 2: Directly scan and recover deleted contacts from iPhone

Step 1: Connect your iPhone to the computer

If you didn't lose your iPhone, you can also use this way to recover your contacts. Connect your iPhone and run the iPhone Data Recovery program on your computer.

Ⅰ. For iPhone 6S/6S Plus/6 Plus/6/5S/5C/5 or iPhone 4S users, you'll see the main window as follows.

After connecting your iPhone, you only need to click the "Start Scan" button to scan your iPhone. You'll see this scanning window immediately after clicking the "Start Scan" button.

Ⅱ.For iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS users, you can choose to go to the Advanced Mode to get a deeper scan for your iPhone. Just click on the button at the lower right-corner.

Step 2: Enter the device's scanning mode and scan it

iPhone 6S/6S Plus/6 Plus/6/5S/5C/5/4S users don't need to do this step. You only need to click "Start Scan" to directly scan your iPhone for deleted contacts on it.
For iPhone 4/3GS users, you need to follow the steps below to enter the device's scanning mode to scan it:
1) Hold your device and click the "Start" button.
2) Pressing the "Power" and "Home" buttons at the same time for exact 10 seconds.
3) Then release the "Power" button, but keep holding "Home"  for another 15 seconds until you get the message of successfully entering.

Whatever the device you use, the program will automatically begin scanning your iPhone for lost contacts after you doing the steps accordingly.

Step 3: Preview and recover iPhone contacts

When the scan is finished, you can preview all found data before recovery. Choose "Contacts" to preview, mark it and click "Recover", you can save all the contents on your computer with one click.

recover iphone photos

The data found here includes deleted data and those still on your iPhone. If you only want back your lost ones, you can refine the scan result by using the slide button on the top to only display the deleted items.
Note: If you want to import recovered contacts back to your iPhone, you can use iPhone/iPad/iPod Manager to do it in a few clicks.

Download Win Version Download Mac Version

Authoritative Reviews

Computer World

"Dr.fone for iOS provides powerful, practical, reliable and secure technology that allows iPhone users to retrieve lost data, no complicated process, recommended to all iPhone users." - Sheri Mah | Computer World

Software Informer

"Dr.fone for iOS is available for Windows and Mac platform, it provides three mode for iOS user to get lost data back, simple to use, have a good effect, suitable for all iOS devices." - Moon Jana | Software Informer


"Not only has a user-friendly interface, Dr.fone for iOS also provides a powerful feature to fix ios system, iPhone users no longer need to worry about the phone stuck at reocvery mode, apple logo, etc. It is a very useful feature." - Tina Bule | TopTenReviews

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