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How to recover contacts on iPhone 12, when deleted, lost, missing

There's still hope even when you accidentally deleted iPhone 12 contacts. Discover how easy to recover your deleted contacts (phone numbers, email, etc.)

Lucas Seltzer Updated on Apr 25, 2023 6:18 PM

The convenience of iPhone Contacts app is remarkable. If you lost iPhone 12 contacts, then the phone numbers and other information will also be lost.

One such issue that springs up is recovering deleted contacts from iPhone 12. How many users know how to recover those deleted contacts, and how many of you would simply sit at home, with no idea of where to find the contacts. If you know how to restore lost contacts from an iPhone 12, you will stand a much better chance of getting back the contacts after being accidentally deleted or lost.

The purpose of this article is to introduce a few easy ways that you can follow to recover deleted contacts list on iPhone 12, and some tips for preventing the deletion or loss from happening in the future.

You can recover your important contacts from iCloud backup, iTunes backup and iPhone 12 memory.

  • Which method of restoring contacts should you decide to use depends on where your deleted contacts is backed up to.
  • It's possible to recover deleted contacts to your iPhone 12 through an iCloud or iTunes backup.
  • Third-party software like iOS Data Recovery will find your lost contacts that are potentially in the iPhone, and recover them quickly.

Table of Contents

Way 1 - Restore deleted contacts from iCloud

iCloud is probably the first place where you could restore deleted contacts. You might have two options to do the recovery.

Option 1: Restore archive of contacts in icloud.com

This might obvious, but before you panic, check whether your contacts are set to sync with iCloud. Unless you manually turn off the Contacts sync in iCloud settings on your iPhone 12, it's enabled by default and all contacts are automatically archived in iCloud.

When you've lost or deleted contact information by mistake, go to icloud.com and restore your contacts from an earlier version of your contacts archive.

Step 1: Once you're in icloud.com, sign in with your Apple ID and password.

Step 2: Click Account Settings right under your profile picture.

Step 3: Scroll down to Advanced section at the bottom of the page.

Step 4: Click Restore Contacts.

Step 5: Pick an archive that should preserve your deleted contacts and hit Restore.

Step 6: Click Restore again to confirm your choice and let the restore begins. After the restoration is completed, you'll get a notification and an email to the address associated with your Apple ID.

The process of restoring from an earlier archive of contacts will replace all your current contacts - not just retrieving the missing contacts back to iPhone 12. This means that if you've made any change to your contact list or added new contacts since the date of your last backup, you'll lose anything. But don't worry—iCloud saves your existing contacts before it initiates the restoration with an earlier version, so you're able to get them back if you want.

Option 2: Restore your lost contacts from iCloud backup on iPhone 12

With iCloud backup has been enabled on the iPhone 12, your contacts should be backed up to iCloud over the air before deleting. If so, you can attempt to recover deleted contacts using iCloud backup by restoring your iPhone 12 back to factory settings, and then logging back into your Apple ID account. You iPhone will return to a point where your contacts are there.

Of course, this renders all data deleted in the process. Before you restore iPhone 12 from iCloud backup, you'll need to make sure that you have a fresh backup of all your phone data.

To recover deleted contacts on iPhone 12 with iCloud backup:

Step 1: Open Settings app, tap [your name] at the top.

Step 2: Tap iCloud and select iCloud Backup. Here, check that your iPhone 12 has been generated a backup recently.

Step 3: Return to the main menu and choose General.

Step 4: Scroll down and tap Transfer or Reset iPhone.

Step 5: At the bottom, tap Erase All Content and Settings. Your iPhone 12 will take a few minutes to reset to factory state.

Step 6: When your iPhone restarts, go through the setup process, and you'll have option to Restore from iCloud Backup. Continue to sign into iCloud and access your backups. From the list of iCloud backups, choose which one you want to recover missing contacts from. Make sure the backup you selected to restore predates the time that you deleted the contacts.

Way 2 - Restore deleted contacts from a backup using iTunes or Finder

This is also an Apple approved route to recovering deleted contacts. As long as you've backed up your iPhone 12 to computer, you contacts should be stored in the iTunes backup even if any contact data on your phone has been lost.

You can easily recover your contacts by restoring iPhone 12 with iTunes or Finder. Remember that you will lose existing data that has not been backed up, but at least, your contacts are back after restoring.

Step 1: Plug your iPhone 12 into your computer and open iTunes or Finder.

Step 2: In iTunes window, click device icon at the top-left corner and choose Summary from the menu on the left; while in Finder, select your phone under Locations in left sidebar and click General tab on the right panel.

Step 3: Click Restore Backup.

Step 4: When asked, turn off Find My iPhone feature on iPhone 12. You can't restore an iTunes backup if it's already enabled. In Settings app, tap iCloud > Find My, then tap on Find My iPhone and switch it off.

Step 5: On the pop-up dialog box, you will see your backups created before. Select the backup you wish to restore from and hit Restore.

Wait for the process to finish, and your deleted contacts will reappear on your phone. Likewise, restoring iPhone from iTunes backup enables you to do a full restore, which will overwrite all current data on the device and replace with the file in the backup.

Way 3 - Recovering deleted contacts on iPhone 12 without backup

If previous method of recovering the deleted contacts from iPhone backups didn't work, or you don't have a backup from before the time when you deleted the contact, don't worry; there's another way to get back deleted contacts information without using backup.

Unlike the recovery of deleted contacts on iPhone 12 with an iCloud backup or local backup, you can access your phone memory and see if the lost contacts are still there by using iOS Data Recovery. The software is able to scan through the flash memory of iPhone 12, and find any contacts that you may think they're deleted forever. You can quickly locate your old contacts from the scanning results as the tool displays the recoverable contacts once found.

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The process doesn't require a backup, and better still, it won't result in data loss. So first, download iOS Data Recovery program on your Mac or PC, and install it. Then follow these simple steps to recover a deleted contact on iPhone 12 without backup.

1. Launch the software, and choose Recover from iOS Device from the left menu. For those who have a backup saving the lost or deleted contacts, choose other two options instead, to extract the contacts you need without restoring an entire backup.

2. Connect your iPhone 12 to computer using a USB sync cable. When its detected, click Start Scan button.

3. The software is now searching for your contacts on your phone. Wait for the scan to finish.

4. To recover lost contacts, click Contacts on the left panel, then pick the contacts you're going to retrieve. You can view the details of each contact on the window such as name, phone number, company, email. This is nifty feature that the iCloud and iTunes lack. In case you can't find your contacts, it's more likely that the data you've deleted has been overwritten. To avoid the overwrite of the deleted content and enhance the chance of recovery, you have to stop using your iPhone and close any app in the background.

5. Click Recover button to recover your deleted contact data without losing any data. Once done, the recovered contacts will be saved to computer.

Way 4: Recover iPhone 12 contacts via Google Contacts

If you've ever synced your contacts to Google account before they were deleted, use these steps to restore contacts to iPhone 12. It's easy to operate.

1. In Settings, tap Mail, then tap Accounts.

2. Tap your Gmail.

3. Turn on the toggle for Contacts to download contacts from Google server.

4. Wait for a while to see if the missing contacts appear in Contacts app.

The Bottom Line

Regardless of where you back up your iPhone and how long ago your contacts have been deleted or lost, you've got four easy ways of restoring contacts on iPhone 12 (Pro, Pro Max, Mini.)

If your iPhone 12 were backed up through iCloud or computer, and the last successful backup occurred before the moment when those contacts were deleted, you can use that backup to restore deleted contacts. Be sure to know that you'll need to erase your phone first.

All hope is not lost - even if you never have backup in place. iOS Data Recovery claims to let you restore lost or deleted contacts on your iPhone 12, only if the contacts stay intact in the flash storage.

Of course, you can obtain and recover old contacts by asking your friend to send you the disappeared information. This may become time-consuming if you lose dozens of contacts.

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