How to get my contacts back?

Discussion in 'iOS 10' started by Subjective-C, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. Subjective-C macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2013
    I upgraded my dad's iPhone 4S to iPhone SE a couple of weeks ago. Now that he has the new iPhone SE, he thought he could delete his contacts on his 4S. So he did, now his contacts in iCloud is empty, and then to his surprise his iPhone SE's contact list has also become empty because he does not know how the whole iCloud thing works.

    Fortunately, I do have a backup of his iPhone 4S in iTunes which I did a couple of weeks ago when setting up his new iPhone SE. So, I performed a restore from the backup via iTunes. All good, his contact list is back! Unfortunately, as soon as he logins to his iCloud on the new iPhone SE, contacts becomes empty.

    I understand because the iOS system is sync'ing with the iCloud where the contacts is indeed empty.

    So, what is the solution? I do not want to manually enter the contact list into the iPhone SE. Any idea? Thanks.
  2. wacky4alanis macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    Since he doesn't know how iCloud backup works, it seems like it is doing more harm than good. You could just turn it off...
  3. Subjective-C thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2013
    Are you suggesting there is no way to get the contacts back on the phone even though I have an iphone backup in iTunes?
  4. wacky4alanis macrumors 6502a

    Mar 18, 2009
    No - I don't use iCloud myself, so I have no clue how to solve your problem (other than what I already said). Hopefully there is a way. Good luck!
  5. Subjective-C thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 24, 2013
    Thx. Anyone else? Any suggestion? Thx.
  6. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    You can potentially restore from the backup with contacts being there and then perhaps backup contacts separately (there are some apps for that or it could be done via iTunes I believe) and then use that backup to import contacts into iCloud using the iCloud website at and hopefully that will make the contacts stay.
  7. 844957 Suspended

    Sep 16, 2013
    Can't you just restore the new phone from 4s backup

    That or signout of icloud on the new phone, restore the 4s and sign in to iclould. check online to see if the contacts are updated and sign back in on the new phone
  8. rjcchan macrumors member

    Sep 23, 2015
    Restore from iTunes after signing out from icloud. when you sign in to icloud again it should ask whether you want to synch contacts. Say no. then if you want to use icloud to synch contacts, you can flip the switch in settings and it should ask whether you want to merge. I believe yes is the correct answer. I had a similar problem. As I recall that is how i solved it.
  9. alex.houston macrumors member

    Oct 14, 2016
    It should be possible to restore deleted contacts by logging into the on your computer and using "Restore Contacts" option in the Settings app on icloud. See the article "How to Recover Files, Contacts, Calendars and Reminders in iCloud"

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