iCloud contacts missing on iPhone? Here are 8 solutions to get them back

Have you lost your contacts on your iPhone and now you’re wondering how to get them back? This tutorial shows you how to restore missing iCloud contacts and get them back on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. 

Restore missing iCloud contacts on iPhone

Check out this related post if you lost some or all contacts on Mac.

How to recover missing iCloud contacts

Before doing anything, I suggest you visit iCloud.com, log in with your Apple ID, and go to the Contacts section. Make sure you have the contacts there. Obviously, if you don’t have any contacts in iCloud, you won’t be able to bring any of them back to your iPhone.

Here are the solutions to get back your missing iCloud contacts inside the iOS Phone and Contacts app.

1. Make sure you’re signed into iCloud

First, you must check that you’re signed in to iCloud. To do that, go to iPhone Settings and if you see your name at the top, that means you’re signed in. If you’re already signed in, move on to solution 2. If you’re not signed in, sign in with the same your Apple ID you use on your iPhone.

Sign in to your iPhone in the Settings app

2. Ensure iCloud Contacts is enabled

  1. Go to iPhone Settings and tap your name from the top.
  2. Tap iCloud.
  3. Under iCloud settings, make sure the Contacts toggle is on. If it’s not, switch it on. In case your contacts still aren’t coming back, continue to the following step.
  4. In iCloud settings, turn the Contacts toggle off. You will be asked whether you want to keep or delete previously synced iCloud contacts. Choose delete. Don’t worry about losing anything since it will only delete the contacts that are locally stored on your iPhone or iPad. It will not delete contacts that are stored in iCloud.
  5. Now, turn the Contacts toggle back on.
Turn on iCloud Contacts on iPhone to restore missing or lost contacts

This trick should do it, and all your iCloud contacts that were missing should now be restored. As with any troubleshooting, your mileage may vary and if this didn’t work for you, follow the remaining solutions below.

3. Enable iCloud in iPhone Contacts

Although your iCloud contacts might already be on your iPhone, they could have been accidentally hidden. Here’s what to do if that is the case:

  1. Open the Contacts app or the Phone app and tap Contacts.
  2. Tap Groups from the top left.
  3. Make sure All iCloud (and your other added accounts like All Gmail) are checked.
  4. Tap Done, and in a while, you should see the missing contacts.
Show all iCloud contacts from contact groups on iPhone

Note: If you don’t see Groups in step 2, that’s because you have not added two or more accounts (like iCloud, Gmail, Outlook, Yahoo) or have not created any contact groups. In this case, you can skip the above steps.

4. Connect your iPhone to the internet

For iCloud contacts to sync and show up on your iPhone, the device must be connected to Wi-Fi or cellular data. If you’re facing slow or poor internet speeds, restart your Wi-Fi router. If you are using a VPN, try turning it off.

5. Restart your iPhone

At times, the above changes may not come into effect and fail to restore the missing contacts unless you restart your iPhone. Before moving forward, turn off your iPhone, wait for 30 seconds, and turn it back on.

6. Update your iPhone

If iCloud contacts are missing due to software bugs, updating your iPhone to the latest version of iOS should fix the issue. For this, go to Settings > General > Software Update.

7. Sign out of Apple ID and sign in again

When you sign out of your Apple ID or iCloud on iPhone and sign back in, it refreshes everything. While doing so, you’ll be asked if you want to keep a copy of the contacts. Make sure you choose to delete them. Once you’re signed out, sign in again, and this will resync all the iCloud contacts, including the missing ones.

8. Reset all settings

Finally, if nothing helps, reset all iPhone settings. Once that’s done, follow the first method explained here and make sure the Contacts toggle is enabled in iCloud settings. This should most likely fix the lost contacts issue on your iPhone.

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