Understanding the Problem

After updating your iPhone to a new iOS version, you might notice that some or all of your contacts have disappeared. This issue can be distressing, especially if you rely on your contacts for personal and professional communication. Several factors can contribute to this problem:

  • iCloud Sync Issues: Sometimes, the update might temporarily disrupt the synchronization between your iPhone and iCloud, causing contacts to disappear.
  • Settings Reset: Updates can sometimes reset certain settings, including those related to contacts and accounts.
  • Software Bugs: New updates might introduce bugs that can interfere with the contacts app.
  • Account Configuration: If you have multiple accounts (e.g., Google, Exchange) syncing contacts, the update might affect their configurations.

iPhone contacts missing/disappeared after iOS update

Download special tool to recover the data

Tenorshare UltData is a comprehensive data recovery tool designed for iOS devices. It can recover a variety of lost data types, including contacts, messages, photos, and more. Whether the data loss is due to accidental deletion, system crash, iOS update, or other issues, Tenorshare UltData can help retrieve it. To recover lost contacts, users simply need to connect their iPhone to a computer, run the software, and follow the on-screen instructions to scan the device. UltData will then display recoverable contacts, allowing users to restore them easily with just a few clicks.

Download Recovery Tool
  1. Download and install UltData on your computer from the Tenorshare website. Once installed, launch the program.
  2. Connect your iPhone to your computer using a USB cable. If prompted, enter your passcode and trust the computer.
  3. Once your iPhone is detected, click on Recover from iOS Devices from the main interface, choose Contacts or/and any other data you need, and then click on Scan.
  4. The program will start scanning your iPhone for deleted contacts. Once the scan is complete, you will be presented with a list of recoverable contacts.
  5. From the displayed list, select the contacts you want to recover and click on Recover to Device. You can choose to recover the messages directly to your iPhone or to your computer.
  6. Wait for the program to complete the recovery process. Once done, you should be able to see the recovered contacts in the location you selected.

Step-by-Step Instructions to Fix Missing Contacts

  1. Check iCloud Contacts Sync

    1. Ensure iCloud Contacts is Enabled:
      • Go to Settings.
      • Tap on your name at the top to access Apple ID settings.
      • Select iCloud.
      • Make sure the toggle next to Contacts is turned on.
    2. Force iCloud Contacts to Sync:
      • Toggle the Contacts switch off and then on again.
      • When prompted, choose to keep the contacts on your iPhone, then merge them when you turn it back on.
  2. Check Other Accounts

    1. Verify Account Settings:
      • Go to Settings.
      • Select Mail (or Passwords & Accounts on older iOS versions).
      • Tap on each account (e.g., Gmail, Exchange) and ensure the Contacts toggle is enabled.
    2. Re-add Accounts:
      • If toggling contacts on and off doesn’t work, try removing and re-adding the accounts.
      • Go to Settings > Mail > Accounts.
      • Select the account and choose Delete Account.
      • Re-add the account and ensure Contacts is selected during the setup process.
  3. Restart Your iPhone

    A simple restart can often resolve temporary glitches:

    1. Restart iPhone:
      • For iPhone X and later: Press and hold the side button and either volume button until the slider appears. Drag the slider to turn off, then press and hold the side button again to turn on.
      • For iPhone 8 and earlier: Press and hold the top (or side) button until the slider appears. Drag the slider to turn off, then press and hold the top (or side) button again to turn on.
  4. Check Contacts App Settings

    1. Set Default Account:
      • Go to Settings.
      • Scroll down and tap Contacts.
      • Tap Default Account and select iCloud or your preferred account.
  5. Restore Contacts from iCloud

    If the above steps don’t work, you can restore your contacts from an iCloud backup:

    1. Restore from iCloud Backup:
      • Go to Settings > General > Reset.
      • Tap Erase All Content and Settings.
      • Follow the prompts to erase your iPhone. This will wipe all data, so ensure you have a recent backup.
      • When setting up your iPhone, choose to restore from an iCloud backup that contains your contacts.
  6. Use Third-Party Recovery Tools

    There are several third-party tools available that can help recover lost contacts:

    1. Popular Tools:
      • Dr.Fone – Data Recovery (iOS): This tool can scan your iPhone for lost contacts and recover them.
      • Tenorshare UltData: Another reliable tool for recovering various types of data, including contacts.
  7. Update iOS and Apps

    Ensure your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS and that all your apps are up to date:

    1. Update iOS:
      • Go to Settings > General > Software Update.
      • If an update is available, tap Download and Install.
    2. Update Apps:
      • Open the App Store.
      • Tap your profile icon at the top right.
      • Scroll down to see pending updates and tap Update All.


Missing contacts after an iOS update can be a frustrating experience, but by following these steps, you can often restore your lost contacts. Start with checking your iCloud sync and account settings, then move on to more advanced steps like restoring from an iCloud backup or using third-party recovery tools if necessary. Keeping your iOS and apps updated can also help prevent such issues in the future.

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James Kramer
Hello, I'm James. My website Bugsfighter.com, a culmination of a decade's journey in the realms of computer troubleshooting, software testing, and development. My mission here is to offer you comprehensive, yet user-friendly guides across a spectrum of topics in this niche. Should you encounter any challenges with the software or the methodologies I endorse, please know that I am readily accessible for assistance. For any inquiries or further communication, feel free to reach out through the 'Contacts' page. Your journey towards seamless computing starts here