[2024 Updated] Fixes to iPhone Contacts Search not Working

iPhone contacts search not working after updating iOS? Read on this guide to see how to fix the “Contacts search not working on iPhone” issue with no effort.

Demi by Demi Updated December 28, 2023
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Having a robust contacts search function on your iPhone is crucial for managing your personal and professional contacts efficiently. However, some users may encounter issues with their iPhone contacts search not working as expected. This can be frustrating and hinder the smooth functioning of your device.

iphone contacts search not working

In this article, we will explore the possible reasons why the iPhone contacts search may malfunction and provide effective fixes to address this issue. Whether it's a software glitch or a minor setting misconfiguration, we've got you covered with practical solutions to get your iPhone contacts search back on track.

Why iPhone contacts search not working?

Before diving into the fixes, it's essential to understand the potential reasons behind the iPhone contacts search not working. Several factors could contribute to this problem:
• Software Update Glitches: Updating your iPhone to the latest iOS version may sometimes cause conflicts with existing applications, including the Contacts app, leading to search malfunctions.
• Corrupted Cache: Cached data in the Contacts app may become corrupted over time, affecting its functionality and search feature.
• Indexing Issues: The iPhone's contact database relies on indexing for efficient searches. If this index becomes corrupted or outdated, it can hamper the contacts search function.
• iCloud Sync Problems: If you use iCloud to sync your contacts across devices, syncing errors or issues can disrupt the search functionality.
• Spotlight Search Configuration: Spotlight Search is interconnected with the Contacts app, and if there are any misconfigurations in its settings, it can impact contacts search results.
• Limited Search Settings: In some cases, the iPhone's search settings may have unintentionally limited the scope of contacts search, resulting in incomplete or inaccurate results.

Now that we have a clearer understanding of the potential causes, let's move on to the solutions to fix the iPhone contacts search not working issue.

Fixes to iPhone contacts search not working

This part will show you possible solutions to the issue when search contacts not working on iPhone. You can try them one after another until your issue gets fixed.

Restart your iPhone

To turn off your iPhone, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button until the slider appears on the screen. Then, drag the slider from left to right to power off your device. Wait for a few seconds, and to restart your iPhone, press and hold the Sleep/Wake button again until the Apple logo appears on the screen. This process will effectively shut down and restart your device when needed.

Reconfigure Spotlight Search settings

Spotlight Search is closely linked to the Contacts app and may impact its search results. To reconfigure Spotlight Search settings:

Go to Settings on iPhone > General > Tap on Spotlight Search > Scroll down phone screen and find Contacts to ensure it.

spotlight search

Update iOS to the latest version

Apple regularly releases iOS updates to address known issues and improve device performance. Ensure that your iPhone is running on the latest iOS version by following these steps:

Go to the Settings app on your iPhone > Tap General > Select Software Update > If an update is available, tap Download and Install.

ios software update

Clear cache for the Contacts app

Clearing the cache for the Contacts app can eliminate any corrupted data that might be hindering the search function. Unfortunately, iOS does not provide a direct option to clear app-specific caches, but you can delete and reinstall the Contacts app to achieve a similar effect.

Step 1. Press and hold the Contacts app icon on the home screen until the x appears on the corner of the app icon.

Step 2. Tap the x to delete the app > Go to the App Store and reinstall the Contacts app.

Rebuild contacts index

Rebuilding the contacts index can resolve any indexing issues that might be affecting the search function. To do this: Open the Settings app on your iPhone > Scroll down and select Contacts > Short Name > Toggle on the Short Name option. This will force the contacts index to rebuild.

contacts short time

How to recover deleted contacts from iPhone/iPad

To efficiently recover all deleted contacts, we highly recommend AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS, a trusted data recovery tool used by millions of smartphone users. With AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS, you can effortlessly retrieve your valuable contacts in just a few minutes, even without a backup. The software allows you to directly recover the contacts to your Contacts app for immediate use.

In addition to contacts, AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS supports the recovery of deleted photos, messages, videos, and other essential files on your iPhone or iPad. One of its significant features is the ability to preview and select the contacts you wish to recover. Let's explore its simple recovery steps below.

Step 1. Click icon below to download AOMEI Data Recovery for iOS > Connect your iPhone to computer with USB > Tap Trust on your iPhone to let it readable.

Download Software iOS 10 and later
Secure Download

Step 2. Launch the software, and click Scan from the left pane > Click Scan Now to begin.

start scan now

Step 3. Wait for it to scan all your lost files > Click Contacts to preview and choose the contacts you’d like to recover > Tap Recover from upper-right corner to confirm.

select contacts click recover

Wait for the recovery to finish, and you can view these contacts on your iPhone.


Encountering issues with the iPhone contacts search not working can be frustrating, but there are several effective fixes to resolve the problem. From basic restarts and software updates to more in-depth solutions like rebuilding the indexing database or checking for third-party app conflicts, each fix addresses specific potential causes.

By following these troubleshooting steps, you can restore the smooth functioning of your Contacts app and enjoy seamless contact searching on your iPhone once again.

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