[5 Fixes] WhatsApp not Syncing Contacts on iPhone

You need to syncing contacts to WhatsApp before you start to use. However, you may find WhatsApp not syncing contacts on iPhone. Here comes this guide, providing you with 5 useful solutions to fix the issue.

Demi by Demi Updated October 7, 2023
Share this:

WhatsApp contacts not sync with iPhone contacts

When I added a new contact on iPhone, the contact will not automatically sync with WhatsApp. It’s very annoying and not at all efficient. Anyone experiencing this?

- Question from Apple Community

WhatsApp has become one of the most widely used communication apps. As a new WhatsApp user, you may have known that the WhatsApp app relies on your previous iPhone contact list, which means you need to sync iPhone contacts with WhatsApp before start using it.

WhatsApp icon

However, chances are that you will run in problems like WhatsApp not syncing contacts saved on iPhone. It is really a frustrating issue but not difficult to handle it. Keep following this guide, and get rid of the issue.

Why are your iPhone contacts not syncing with WhatsApp?

The most common cause for iPhone contacts not syncing with WhatsApp is that WhatsApp does not have access to your iPhone’s Contacts List.

Besides, other reason may also result in the issue, such as an incorrect phone number format, software glitches, etc. No matter why WhatsApp contacts not syncing with iPhone, let’s troubleshoot the issue and put the things back as they should be in the first place.

5 fixes to WhatsApp not syncing contacts on iPhone

Here are the five effective solutions to WhatsApp not syncing contacts with iPhone. You can try them one after another until your issue gets fixed.

Check contacts permission

As what has mentioned in the last part, the first thing you need to check whether relevant WhatsApp permissions work properly. If you have denied permission to access Contacts during setup, go to iPhone Settings to enable it.

Step 1. On your iPhone, go to the Settings app > Scroll down to locate and tap Privacy.

Step 2. In the Privacy settings, tap Contacts > From here, you need to grant permission to WhatsApp by toggling on the button next to it.

sync contacts to WhatsApp

Enable WhatsApp Background App Refresh

You should know that every app on your iPhone offers a Background App Refresh toggle that automatically refreshes data in the background and keeps your iPhone contacts in sync.

Open Settings on your iPhone > Tap General > Scroll down to locate and tap Background App Refresh > Find WhatsApp and toggle on the switch next to it.

WhatsApp background app refresh

Add phone number in full International Format

If your international iPhone contacts are not syncing with WhatsApp, make sure that you have added the Contact’s phone number in full International Format.

Generally speaking, an international number that saved in the iPhone Contacts should start with a plus sign (+) followed by Country Code and the phone number.

Just for an example, if you have a Contact in the United States with the phone number 408-123-4567, you will put it as +14081234567 in your address book.

Update WhatsApp manually

You need to make sure your WhatsApp is up-to-dated. WhatsApp may failing to show fresh contacts on iPhone because of a recent bug in the previous app version.

Open App Store on your iPhone > tap on the Updates option > If there is a new WhatsApp version available, tap on the Updates next to WhatsApp.

update WhatsApp

Manually add lost contacts to WhatsApp

You can also manually add lost contacts to WhatsApp if WhatsApp not showing all contacts on your iPhone or not adding new contacts on your iPhone. Thus, you can wait and see if the problem goes away on its own, without affecting your normal use of WhatsApp.

Here are how you can manually add lost contacts to WhatsApp on iPhone: Open WhatsApp on your iPhone > Select the Contacts tab from the bottom > Tap + icon > Add the contacts details, and finally, hit Done.

manually add contacts to WhatsApp

Bonus: Backup WhatsApp with ultimate WhatsApp tool

If you have a good backup habit, have you ever thought of backing up your WhatsApp data separately, so that you can keep all WhatsApp contacts, chat history, and media files safe.

To make WhatsApp backup process simple and fast, here you are given a WhatsApp backup tool called FoneTool. Don't worry about the risk of privacy breaches like iCloud, FoneTool stores your backups locally where you want them.

Free download FoneTool, and follow the steps below to know how to backup WhatsApp on iPhone without iCloud.

Download Freeware Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch FoneTool > Connect your iPhone to PC via USB > Tap Trust on your iPhone to let your computer access your iPhone data.

Step 2. On the main interface of FoneTool, click WhatsApp Manager from the left pane > Click Get Started under Backup WhatsApp to start.

backup WhatsApp

Step 3. Optionally, enable Backup Encryption to protect your privacy > Click Start Backup to begin the task.

start backup whatsapp


That’s all for the solutions for WhatsApp not syncing contacts with iPhone. Hope you can get all needed contacts synced to WhatsApp. For your data safety, it is also suggested to backup WhatsApp chat in iPhone. If this guide helps you, please share it with others.


FoneTool - All-in-one iPhone Data Manager

Transfer, backup and manage data on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in an easy way.

  • iOS 17 Compatible
  • iPhone 15 Supported

Free iPhone Manager - FoneTool

  • Full/Selective Backup iPhone
  • Transfer between iPhone and PC
  • 1-Click Transfer iPhone to iPhone
  • WhatsApp Backup & Transfer
  • Fully compatible with iOS 17
Download Free
Download icon

100% Secure

Downloading.com Rating
Android Transfer is Now Supported!

Easiest way to transfer photos, videos, music, etc., between Android phone and iPhone.

Learn More >>