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How to restore contacts on iPhone from iCloud - 2 easy options

iCloud does you a favor to recover missing or deleted contacts on an iPhone. Here's how to restore contacts from iCloud with simple & effective solutions.

Lucas Seltzer Updated on Jan 16, 2024 5:56 PM

I need to restore iPhone contacts. Some of my important contacts were lost from my iPhone. So I logged into icloud.com, selected Data Recovery, clicked on Restore Contacts and I was told "No archives available." Any info would be greatly appreciated guys!

It is very common for us to include contact numbers on iPhone's Contacts app to keep in touch with our family and friends. However, contacts are not always secured and they will get missing from iPhone: Maybe you accidentally deleted the contacts in the address book, or perhaps you lost contacts during iCloud sync, iPhone backup restore, iOS update, or whatever.

In order to get contacts back on iPhone, the easiest way is to walk through Apple's route of restoring lost contacts from iCloud. This post will explain how to restore iPhone contacts from iCloud, which involves restoring a previous archive of contacts to the iPhone via icloud.com linked to your Apple ID and password, or turning iCloud Contacts off and on for syncing contacts to your device.

You will also get a bonus tip to recover contacts on iPhone without iCloud by using a powerful tool - iPhone Data Recovery, and you will not lose your new contacts.

You have several simple methods to make iCloud restore contacts that were deleted or lost.

Table of Contents

Way 1: How to retrieve contacts from icloud.com

As an Internet-hosted backup system, iCloud automatically archives your contacts in its sever, and keeps more than one version of contacts safely. Any time you delete or lose a single contact or multiple contacts, you can go to icloud.com and select an archive to restore your contacts to your iPhone.

All you need is a PC or Mac and your Apple credentials for accessing your iCloud account. Here's how you can try to recover contacts from iCloud.

  • First log on to icloud.com site using your Apple ID and password on the computer.
  • On the opening menu, click Menu icon at the top right corner, and you'll be taken to a list, from which click on Data Recovery.
  • Choose Restore Contacts for retrieving your lost contact information from iCloud. You should find a list of archive copies you've created in the past.
  • From the pop-up window, identify the backup that may include the entire contacts list based on the date and time, and then click Restore.
  • To confirm the restoration of contacts from iCloud, hit Restore again to start. During the process, any change you make to the contacts will not be saved.
  • When finished, the restored contacts should reappear in your iPhone.


  • The steps of iCloud restoring your contacts from an earlier version will replace all current contacts on the iPhone. It's an all-or-nothing bath operation, so you cannot recover just a few contacts you want.
  • The contacts you've added to the phone after the date of that backup might be naturally wiped out.
  • Thankfully, iCloud first archives your existing contacts before triggering the restoration, so you'll be able to retrieve them if you wish to. Just choose the most recent archive to restore your new contacts using the steps above.

Way 2: How to retrieve contacts with iCloud Contacts on iPhone

Another bit of advice you'll hear to restore contacts from iCloud is by turning Contacts in iCloud off and on within iPhone's Settings. Unlike icloud.com restore contacts, you will not lose current contacts this way.

By default, contacts on iPhone were synced to iCloud. When you've accidentally deleted or lost contacts, do the following to retrieve iPhone contacts from iCloud.

1. Go to Settings app in iPhone.

2. Tap [your name] > iCloud.

3. In the APPS USING ICLOUD, tap Show All, and find Contacts from the list.

4. Switch off the toggle next to Contacts if it's on, and choose Keep on My iPhone.

5. Wait for a while and turn Contacts back to ON condition. You then get a notification and select Merge to sync contacts to your iPhone from iCloud, with the existing ones staying intact.

With this done, all contacts details are returned to address book on the iPhone where you could look up the phone numbers, email addresses or other information.

[Related Article: How to Fix iPhone Security Lockout]

Bonus: How to restore lost contacts on an iPhone without iCloud

If you cannot recover contacts using iCloud, chances are that your contacts have not been set to sync with iCloud. The good news is that you have two options to get your lost contacts without iCloud.

Option 1- Using iPhone Data Recovery tool

Thanks to iPhone Data Recovery software, recovering lost contacts on an iPhone without iCloud backup has become easier than ever before. It's a cross-platform data recovery tool specifically designed for finding the lost contacts as well as other data files in the phone memory and then restoring the items safely.

Download Now!

for Windows | for MacOS

A feature unique to other utilities is its built-in scanning engine, which is both fast and effective, making recovering contacts list from iPhone's storage quickly and efficiently.

How to restore iPhone contacts without iCloud

Download iPhone Data Recovery utility and install it on either your PC or Mac. Then do this:

Step 1- Launch the program, and choose Recover from iOS Device mode.

Step 2- Connect your iPhone to your computer and click Start Scan button.

Step 3- When the entire scan is done, choose "Contacts" from the left sidebar to display the full contact list that can be recovered.

Step 4- Choose the lost contacts you want to restore, and hit Recover to Device button. This gets your contacts back without iCloud, and saves the contact info to your device.

[Further Reading: How to Transfer Contacts from iPhone to Computer]

Option 2- Retrieving contacts from Finder/ iTunes backup

You could also have your contacts restored to iPhone without iCloud by restoring Finder/ iTunes backup. The guide demonstrated below applies only to situation when you have already backed up your iPhone with Finder or iTunes before losing or deleting contacts by mistake.

1. Once you open iTunes or Finder, plug your iPhone into your computer.

2. Locate your iPhone.

  • In Finder, click [your device's name] under Locations on the left side bar, then click on General at the top of the right pane.
  • In iTunes, click the tiny device icon location at the upper-left of the window, then click Summary from the left column.

3. Hit Restore Backup.

4. Choose a backup containing the contact list and click Restore.

Keep in mind that the process wipes the iPhone and put it back to the state when the backup was made. You will lose any new contacts since the backup you choose to restore. This is the same thing could happen when your iPhone restores contacts from iCloud.

Tip: If the contacts are only saved on the iPhone before missing, instead of synced with iCloud or backed up via iTunes/ Finder, you should resort to the tutorial on recovering contacts on iPhone without backup.

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