iOS 5 Contacts Bug - Here's the fix!

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by generuss, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. generuss macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2010
    1) Find the backup file that iTunes made before it installed iOS 5:

    Go to the folder ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup
    and look on the right side of the Finder window for the Date Modified to see which ones were there before you updated. The name of the file will be some sort of hexadecimal nonsense. You open this using a program from the interwebs.

    2) Download a program called iPhone Backup Extractor.

    It’s at (which is surprisingly a real address). I think it’s either free or time-limited trial. Open the backup you selected in step 1 using this program. It doesn’t matter where you put the extracted files, but remember where you put them because you’ll need them for the next steps. You can re-extract as many times as you want if you mess up the process at first.

    There will be a menu with a bunch of different com.somethingorother.appname lines, and somewhere will be iOS Files. Select that one. This will take out all kinds of user information, including contacts.

    3) Get sqlite3, which is a command line program that allows you to examine and modify sqlite databases, and use it to export a csv file from the extracted database. It’s only a step or two.

    In the terminal, navigate to the folder where the extractor program put all the extracted files. If you’re familiar with terminal, you can use the cd command to change directories until you get there. If not, do the following:
    Open the terminal and type “cd “. The space after the cd is important, and don’t hit enter yet. Then open the directory where you stored the backup in Finder and drag the icon at the top of the window into terminal. This will copy and paste the directory. Now hit enter.

    Once you’re in the backup directory, type the following commands (hit enter after each line):

    cd “iOS Files”
    cd Library
    cd AddressBook
    sqlite3 AddressBook.sqlitedb

    Now you should see some lines come on the screen that tell you that you’re running sqlite3, and the prompt will probably now look like this: >>>

    Type the following three commands (I recommend copy-and-paste, but make sure each one is all on one line when you type it in):

    .mode csv
    .output AddressBook.csv

    SELECT ABPerson.First, ABPerson.Last, ABMultiValue.value FROM ABPerson LEFT JOIN ABMultiValue ON ABMultiValue.record_id=ABPerson.ROWID LEFT JOIN ABPhoneLastFour ON ABMultiValue.UID=ABPhoneLastFour.multivalue_id;

    The first two commands mean “output everything to a file called AddressBook.csv and make it in a comma-separated-values format.” The last one gets the names, emails, and phone numbers from the database and stores it in AddressBook.csv . There will be a duplicate for each phone number or email, but it’s much better than not being able to call anyone.

    4) Import the csv file into Address Book.

    On your computer, open the Address Book program. Go to File->Import and select the csv file that was created in the last command. It will be in the same directory as the AddressBook.sqlitedb file. This should import your contacts.

    5) Sync your phone with your computer and check the box that says “Replace Information on this iPhone” on the Info tab in iTunes.

    You should be done! Hope this is helpful, it took me forever to figure it out.
  2. iceterminal macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2008
    Dallas Tx.
    Cool thanks.

    ...but since this is a dev only beta and I'm not a dev I'll gladly wait until its released.
  3. jaseone macrumors 65816


    Nov 7, 2004
    Houston, USA
    What exactly is the iOS 5 contacts bug? I haven't noticed any contact bugs.
  4. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I hope MacRumors Admin is review this. I have no idea but appears to some kind of HOAX. I have not heard of any Contacts bug. I am not having any problems with Contact Sync.
  5. generuss thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 11, 2010
    No HOAX. Just google iOS 5 dont sync contacts. It's really a common issue with iOS 5: the contacts wont sync. I myself know a handfull of people who got this problem. I just hope this will solve the problem for some people, cuz it helped me.
  6. d21mike macrumors 68040


    Jul 11, 2007
    Torrance, CA
    I think if you had first describe the problem "before" suggesting people install a special "iPhone Backup Extractor" on our computers if would have been a little more helpful. Also, you did not say which Contacts are not Syncing. Again, not describing the problem. Now I believe you are talking about iCloud Contact Syncing but still not absolutely sure. Anyway, I am still using MobileMe Contact Sync so maybe I should not be commenting on this tread. Sorry about that.

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