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James
James, Sr. Mac Support Expert
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I just deleted all my contacts on my iphone by mistake and

Resolved Question:

I just deleted all my contacts on my iphone by mistake and cannot figure out how to get them back.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
Hi,

Try to restore your iPhone in iTunes.

Connect the phone to the computer. In iTunes, right-click the phone, and then click Restore. This will restore all your settings, including the address book.

Thanks,

J.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

That was how I deleted them in the first place. Back up a step. I synced to an Xfinity account and ended up with all of my iphone contacts plus about a gazillion of my husband's contacts jumbled together.

 

I logged onto iTunes and selected sync contacts using the computer's contacts thinking I was going to get my last backed up iTunes version of my iPHone contacts. No. It wiped EVERYTHING in my contact file.

Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
Ok - if you resync with the Xfinity account, do you get them all back?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I tried that and it came back with nothing. Let me try again quick..
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
Please go ahead.

J.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
No. That did not return any contacts. Do you have any idea what to try next. Why are they missing from Xfinity now. Grrrr.
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
So now they are not in iTunes, or Xfinity, or the phone?

Let's do the restore in iTunes again - that's the only option to get 'em back.

J.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Shouldn't there be a backup somewhere in iTunes of the iPhone contact list?

 

Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
Yes -

Connect the phone to the computer. In iTunes, right-click the phone, and then click Restore. This will restore all your settings, including the address book.

If they were backed up, they will be restored via iTunes.

J.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Trying that now..
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
Very good, thank you.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Still restoring at the moment....
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
Take your time please.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
..... didn't work ...... It did a complete restore. Please know that I am not the village idiot and this happened quite easily.
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
I understand - it actually happened to a lot of people. I spoke to another 4 people with the same issue in the last 2 hours.

I'm afraid there is no other way to restore the contacts, since they were simply not saved anywhere.

I know this is not what you want to hear and am very sorry to give you this piece of bad bad news, but it would be unprofessional of me to do otherwise. I hope you understand and that you are not going to shoot the messenger...

Thanks,

J.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Seriously?? I am shocked. In Windows you can go back to a point in time to do a restore. Doesn't iTunes have the same capability?
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
Yes, and that's the restore part we tried, however it looks like the contacts were not backed up, so they cannot be restored.

I'm very sorry.

J.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
So, do I still have to pay for the bad news?
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
It is strictly up to you if you want to pay for my time or not!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
OK. So I have pulled up Xfinity on my laptop and see my contacts. How do I get them to my iPhone?
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
You told me you already synced to an Xfinity account - do the exact same thing to get the contacts back.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I did but it didn't work. I exported the contacts from Xfinity to a .csv file which I am importing into Yahoo at the moment just to make sure I have them captured. Then should I attempt to use iTunes to populate the phone using the Yahoo contacts? It has that "one time" replacement option in iTunes.

 

I have no clue why I cannot sync with the iphone app like i did when this whole mess started.

Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
Do you have Outlook on the computer?

I would actually import the contacts from the CSV file into Outlook, and then sync using iTunes. If you don't have Outlook, you can go for the Yahoo option but Outlook would be my first choice.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
I do but it is a dinosaur. Outlook 2003.
Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
Doesn't matter - it will work just fine with Outlook 2003.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

I got them back by using Yahoo. WHEW!!!!

 

I tell you. Apple needs to work on how easy it was to wipe the contacts out. Thank you for bearing with me. I was near tears over this. 2200 contacts. Now I still have my hubby's and mine combined but would much rather weed them out than have none.

 

Have a wonderful evening!

Sincerely,

Andrea

Expert:  James replied 5 years ago.
That's great!

Please don't forget to hit the Accept button for me so I can get credit for my time helping you.


Thanks!

J.
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