[2024 Guide] Fix iPhone Contacts Missing after Update

Why iPhone missing contacts after update and how to fix? Now you can easily solve the problem from the 11 useful methods in this detailed post. Please read it without worry!

Kathy by Kathy Updated March 6, 2024
Share this:

After iPhone update contacts missing.

I recently updated iPhone 12 to iOS 17. Phone contacts now are missing but as per photos, contact names still come up in call record. Any ideas regarding recovery of contacts? Cheers!

- User's Scenario

Why are contacts missing from iPhone after update?

The sudden disappearance of contacts from your iPhone after update can stem from various causes. There are some primary reasons:

⛔ iCloud sync: When upgrading iOS, if contacts were synced with iCloud, it's possible for contacts to temporarily vanish. This often occurs if the user had not previously synced data with iCloud before the update.
⛔ iPhone Jailbreak: Jailbreaking an iPhone to customize or access specific services can significantly elevate the risk of data loss or contact disappearance.
⛔ Cold Start: Frequent force restarting may potentially impact your iPhone's data and cause contacts missing.
⛔ Random Restart Issue: Sometimes an iPhone reboots unexpectedly during data input or while the device is idle and such occurrences may lead to contact loss.

How to fix iPhone contacts missing after update

Now you can keep on reading to get how to solve iPhone missing contacts after update issue. You can try to fix the error directly, restore the missing contacts from iTunes/iCloud backup or recover your contacts without backup using MyRecover for iOS.

Method 1. Restart your iPhone

Restarting your iPhone can often serve as an effective remedy for a variety of iPhone and iPad issues. Simply press and hold the power button to power off the device, and then hold it once again to restart the iPhone.

Method 2. Sign in to iCloud again

When all contacts have been lost on your iPhone or some contacts are greyed out on iPhone, it’s probably because you’ve logged out of your iCloud. Please sign in it again to recover them: Go to Settings app > Click on Sign in to your iPhone at the top of the page > Log in with your Apple ID.


Method 3. Turn off and turn on iCloud Contacts

To solve iCloud sync problem, you can re-sync contacts to your iPhone to get the missing data: Open Settings app on your iPhone > Tap on your Apple ID and click iCloud > Scroll down and locate Contacts to toggle it off, then turn on it again.


Method 4. Get iPhone contacts back using iMessage

If you haven't lost a significant number of contacts or if you require immediate access to reach out to someone before attempting any of the solutions, there's a trick you can employ to retrieve at least a portion of your contacts.

Step 1. Turn on the Message app on iPhone > Enter the name of the person you are seeking.


Step 2. If you have engaged in previous text exchanges with the desired contact, their information will appear. Simply tap on their name and click on the audio icon to reveal the associated phone number. Then you can save the contact to your contacts list.

Method 5. Check all groups in the Contacts app

An additional workaround to consider for resolving this issue is to adjust the settings for contact groups: Turn on the Phone app > Contacts > Groups > Deselect All iCloud and click on Done to confirm the action.


Method 6. Import contacts from SIM

If there are absent contacts stored on your SIM card, you can import them from your SIM to the iPhone: Open Settings > Contacts > Choose Import SIM Contacts to make it.

Method 7. Select On My iPhone as a default

iOS provides the flexibility to select a preferred account for your contacts. To ensure a seamless experience, confirm that you have selected "On My iPhone" as the default account within the Contacts settings.

Now check it: Go to Settings app > Choose Contacts > Click Default Account > Check if On My iPhone is selected, if not, choose it.

Method 8. Reset all settings

Did every method above have no use? Now try to reset all settings on your iPhone: Open Settings app > General > Select Transfer of Reset iPhone option at the bottom of the page > Click Reset and choose Reset All Settings, then enter your password and follow the onscreen guidance to finish the process.


Reset all settings just reset all system settings on iPhone to default settings, it doesn’t erase any data on your phone.

Method 9. Restore contacts stored in iCloud

If you have backed up all your data before the update, you can choose to restore contacts from iCloud backup: Launch Settings > General > Reset > Click Erase All Content and Settings > Select Restore from iCloud backup > Choose the latest backup that includes your missed contacts and hit on Restore.

Method 10. Restore contacts from iTunes backup

If your most recent iTunes backup includes the lost contacts, you can recover them from the iTunes backup. And here's how to fix iPhone contacts missing after update issue via iTunes:

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to the computer > Open iTunes.

Step 2: Click on the iPhone icon > Go to the Summary page > Click Restore Backup and select the latest backup, then click Restore to start the task.


Method 11. Recover contacts without backup

Except for iCloud/iTunes, MyRecover for iOS is also useful for you to recover contacts. It can help you restore them without backup. You can download them on your computer and follow the steps below to finish the process.

Step 1. Connect your iPhone to the computer and trust the computer on your iPhone.

Step 2. Launch the app and click Scan Now to scan the iPhone.


Step 3. Choose Contacts and then click Recover in the top right corner to get your missed contacts.

Better iTunes/iCloud alternative to selectively backup contacts

For some people who don’t want to lose their own iPhone data, iPhone backup seems more necessary. Then the professional iPhone data backup software - FoneTool can be your best choice. It offers two efficient ways to selectively or fully back up your iPhone on a Windows PC.

Compared with iTunes/iCloud, FoneTool can be a more powerful app to manage your iPhone data.

yes Fast backup speed: Enjoy super data transfer speed between your iPhone and PC, surpassing the speed of iTunes/iCloud.
yes Preview and selective backup: You can preview all files on the computer to decide which file should be transferred to your PC.
yes Easy to use: FoneTool offers a user-friendly interface that allows users to finish data management tasks within a few simple clicks.
yes No data loss: FoneTool keeps your all files in original quality in the transfer process rather than overwrite your data like iTunes.
yes Widely compatible: FoneTool supports a wide range of iPhones (from iPhone 4 to iPhone 15 series), iPad, and iPod Touch and would be perfectly compatible with the latest iOS 17/16.

Now click the button to download and install FoneTool. Follow the steps to back up your contacts.

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

Step 1. Open FoneTool and connect iPhone to computer using a USB cable.

Step 2. On the home screen of FoneTool, choose Phone Backup > Selective Backup > Get Started. (If you need a full iPhone backup, please choose Full Backup.)


Step 3. Click the Contacts icon to select the contacts you need to back up and click OK to continue.


Step 4. Then select a destination by clicking Backup Storage Path to choose where to store the backup, and tap Start Backup.


After the backup, you can choose My Backups > Click Restore dot to restore the contacts to your iPhone.

restore my backups

Note: For people who want to know how to transfer contacts from one Apple ID to another, FoneTool can also realize the process efficiently.


For how to fix iPhone contacts missing after update issue, there are 11 ways for you to get the missed contacts. You can choose to solve the problem, restore them from your iTunes/iCloud backup or recover them without backup using MyRecover for iOS.

Besides, it has to say that FoneTool will be a better iTunes/iCloud alternative to backup and transfer your iPhone data between Windows and iPhone. And it can help you transfer data from iPhone to iPhone with different Apple IDs. Hope you can have a great experience with it.

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 >>