How to restore contacts on your Android or iPhone

Probably one of the most valuable things in our mobile phone is the contact list. Work contacts, friends and family can sometimes be accidentally deleted. A software problem, broken screen maybe some of the causes.

In this article, you’ll learn how to recover contacts on the Android system and Apple’s iOS system that may have been lost or deleted.

Recover contacts on Android

If your Android device is synchronized with your Google account, the chances of recovering lost contacts are in your favor. Gmail has an interesting feature that allows you to restore a backup of all your contacts, Google Contact.
You can access Google Contact, and in the menu, you’ll have options like “Export” and “Import” contacts. When you select the “Export” option, Google will give you all the necessary steps to recover your contacts.

Once you find your contacts backup, you can re-sync your device with your Google account and the contacts will be transferred to your smartphone.

If your contacts are appearing in Gmail, but not on the phone, try to sync your Google accounts again.

All this procedure is done from Google Contacts.

If this does not work, we recommend that you start backing up your contacts, media, and everything you find essential for you. Nowadays, the system allows synchronization to be made in the background, without disturbing its use.

Learn how to export or back up contacts on Android

Export Contacts

  1. On your Android device, search for the Contacts application.
  2. On the More-Settings-Export button.
  3. Select the accounts where you want to export the contacts.
  4. Choose Export to.VCF file.

Enable or disable automatic backup

  1. When you set up your Google account for the first time, you’ll be asked if you want to back up your data. If you did not, you can now change.
  2. You should go to System Settings.
  3. System Backup option and “turn on” the sync option with Google account and Google Drive.

Restore contacts from backups

  1. You should go to System Settings.
  2. Google Option.
  3. Search for “Services”, and select “Restore contacts”.
  4. If you have multiple Google accounts, choose which account to restore.
  5. Choose which contacts to copy.
  6. Select the “Restore” option and wait for the final information.

To restore contacts from other applications, such as Outlook or WhatsApp, you need to install them.

Access contacts database on Android (root required)

If the phone has not yet been fully formatted or deleted, there may be a chance to recover lost or deleted contacts, checking the old contracts database may be a solution.

Depending on the manufacturer and version of Android, the location of the contacts tends to be different, usually, the final”path” of the contacts is this:


You are looking for the “providers.contacts/databases“. To access this folder directly, install aSQLiteManager on your smartphone, in order to open .db files.

If you find the folder empty, it means that all data has been permanently deleted. This process requires root, we do not recommend this process, but in case of extreme need, it can be a viable solution to recover all your contacts.

The root method requires more advanced knowledge, advised for an advanced utilizer, where you have access to all the files and folders on your Android. With root, you can change settings, folders, files and even “modify” the system.

This process ceases the warranty of your equipment, there are exceptions, but most brands choose not to watch your equipment if you have done root to it. Samsung, for example, to alter it or doings root system it triggers a “violation” of the warranty from Samsung Knox.

He opts for this method as a last resort. You may lose the warranty of your equipment or even damage the proper functioning of the equipment.

Recover contacts on iOS (Apple)

One of the easiest ways to recover lost contacts is through iCloud, since using the service, of course. With this service, Apple offers the possibility to restore contacts, calendars, reminders, among others.

To recover the contacts you must:

  1. Access iCloud on your Mac or PC and sign in to your account. On the page full of icons, select Settings.
  2. At the bottom of the page, you should have the Advanced option, in this list, you have the option to restore contacts.
  3. A pop-up window will appear. The records are organized by date, so choose the one that contains the most recent contacts and click Restore.
  4. You will be prompted for confirmation, accepted by clicking Restore, once again.
  5. ICloud will replace the contacts. Due to the”ecosystem” of the iCloud service, contacts should appear”magically” when you open Contacts on iPhone.

Restore contacts from iCloud or iTunes backup

If the data in our iCloud does not include all contacts or other information is missing, you can choose to install one of your backups from iTunes. For this, you should keep periodic backups and keep them in your computer, for a future situation.

Restoring from iTunes may be a more drastic step because all the information that is given to your device after the backup date will be deleted. We advise you to make a new backup before starting the process, in case you need any additional information that is present in the current version.

  1. Installs the latest version of iTunes.
  2. Open iTunes and connect your device to your computer.
  3. If you receive a message requesting the device code or asking if we can “Trust this computer”, you should follow the steps indicated on the screen.
  4. Select your iPhone, iPad or iPod when it appears in the listing in iTunes.
  5. Just click “Restore Backup”.
  6. If you have a password and do not know the password, remember that there is no way to recover iTunes backups without it.
  7. When the process is finished, you will receive the message that the backup was successfully completed on the Summary screen in iTunes. Just look under “Latest backups” to find the date and time.

Learn how to make automatic backups with iCloud

With iCloud, you can access contacts from iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, Mac, PC. When you make a change to a device or computer, Contacts are updated automatically. For this, the safest is to keep automatic backups, for any inconvenience.

To allow iCloud to automatically back up your device every day you need:

  1. Make sure iCloud Copy is enabled in Settings – [your name] – iCloud – iCloud Backup.
  2. You should connect your device to the power outlet.
  3. The same has to be connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  4. The device screen must be locked.

This is a process that operates by itself, after being active. No need to worry, the work is all done in the background.

There are applications for data recovery

If iCloud or iTunes did not work, there is another way. The same goes for Android, if the options provided by Google are insufficient, there is a solution. Data recovery applications can scan the “disk” of your device thoroughly, and search for data that has been deleted.

There are some known tools that are reliable, are PhoneRescueCoolmuster Android Recovery, Wondershare Dr. Fone for Android and Android Data Recovery.

You should be aware that even these solutions may not work perfectly. The memory may have been erased permanently.

Usually, these applications to work cost money, in some cases a lot of money. With the free versions you can access the data, but you can not retrieve them. If you’re willing to pay for this tool and it’s extremely helpful to you, we advise you to get it.

If you need help, have doubts or concerns, do not hesitate to leave a comment in the comment box below and we will try to help you as soon as possible!

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