iPhone Contacts Missing or Disappeared After iOS 15 Update? Here’s the Fix!

Right from day one, iOS 15 has proven to be incredibly buggy. Issues like rapid battery drain, ill-functioning personal hotspot, and the disappearance of iPhone contacts have replaced excitement with a nightmare. The good thing is that there are several viable workarounds to fix the iPhone contacts missing or disappeared issue after the iOS 15 update. So, if you have found yourself on the wrong end of this terrible issue, there is no need to panic. Check out the seven best tips and tricks to recover your lost iPhone contacts.

7 Best Ways to Recover Lost iPhone Contacts (2021)

To get started, let’s first delve into why your iPhone contacts could have gone missing. If you are familiar with this, jump straight into the possible solutions to recover disappeared contacts on your iPhone.

Why Did My iPhone Contacts Disappear?

Frankly speaking, there is nothing new about the disappearance of contacts on the iPhone. The issue has existed for years on almost all the iterations of iOS. As it’s a common iOS problem, many of us have come across it at some point or the other.

Talking about the reasons why the Contacts app looks blank – missing the saved contacts, well, it’s mostly due to iCloud syncing issues. Besides, a sluggish internet connection also plays a spoilsport by preventing the contacts from syncing faster.

As someone who has been on this messy road a few times, I would recommend leaving your device in complete peace after the software update. This way, all of your data, including your photos, videos, music, and contacts, will sync faster. Also, do ensure that your device is connected to a stable internet connection, which will go a long way in speeding up the syncing process.

The time iCloud takes to sync your essential data entirely depends on the amount of data and your internet speed. Generally, iOS 15 (just like any other software) will take a while to settle in. That’s why issues like rapid battery drain and even overheating tend to crop up right after the software update.

As for the solutions, force-killing the Contacts app and resetting iCloud Contacts have proven effective for iPhone users on several occasions. Besides, there are other equally viable tricks that help recover missing contacts on iPhone.

Tips and Tricks to Recover Missing iPhone Contacts

1. Force Kill Contacts App

While this solution may sound basic to some, this has worked for me quite a few times. That’s the reason why I suggest you try this tip and bring back all your disappeared iPhone contacts. Since it hardly takes a few seconds and doesn’t affect your data, there is no harm in giving this hack a try.

  • On iPhone with Face ID: Swipe up from the bottom of the home bar and hold along the middle of the screen. After that, swipe up on the Contacts app card to kill the app.
  • On iPhone with Touch ID: Double-press the home button to bring up the app switcher and swipe up on the Contacts app card to force quit the app.
iPhone Contacts Missing or Disappeared After iOS 15 Update? Here’s the Fix!

Next, wait for some time (around 5-10 minutes) and open the Contacts app once again. All of your missing contacts should be back now. If you can see them now, you are good to go!

2. Hard Reset Your iPhone

At times, all you need to do to fix a common issue like the disappearance of contacts on an iPhone is to hard reset (also known as force restart) the device. Don’t worry, as it won’t delete any personal media or data and has the knack of fixing miscellaneous software glitches. So, it is worth a shot.

Force restart iPhone 8 or later
Image courtesy: Apple
  • On iPhone 8 or later: Press and quickly release the volume up button. Then, press and quickly release the volume down button. Next, hold down the side button until the screen goes black and the Apple logo shows up.
  • On iPhone 7/ 7 Plus: Press and hold the side button and the volume down button simultaneously until you see the Apple logo.
  • On iPhone 6s/ 6s Plus: Hold down the home button and side button simultaneously until you see the Apple logo on the screen.

Once you have hard reset your iPhone, go back to the Contacts app to check if you have been able to fix the missing iPhone contacts issue.

3. Turn Off/ On iCloud Contacts

Another pretty reliable solution that you should try to recover missing iPhone contacts is to turn off/on iCloud contacts. As it has helped me on many occasions, I can vouch for its efficiency to fix the iPhone contacts missing issue. Follow the steps below to learn how it works:

1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone and navigate to your profile -> iCloud.

2. Turn off the toggle located next to Contacts. Now, you will get a pop-up saying, “What would you like to do with the previously synced iCloud contacts on your iPhone?” The pop-up offers two options:

  • Keep on My iPhone: It allows you to keep all the previously synced iCloud contacts on your iPhone.
  • Delete from My iPhone: It deletes all the previously synced iCloud contacts from your iOS device.
Turn off/on iCloud contacts on iOS 15

3. Select Keep on My iPhone and restart your device. After your iOS device has restarted, return to the iCloud settings and turn on the Contacts toggle.

Now, be patient and give enough time to the iCloud contacts to sync. Then, go to the Contacts app to check if your missing iPhone contacts have been restored. If they have, it’s time to rejoice.

4. Ensure iCloud is Selected As Default Account

If your lost contacts haven’t returned as of yet, make sure you have selected iCloud as the default account for contacts sync on your iPhone. If not, follow the steps below:

To get that done, head over to Settings -> Contacts -> Default Account. Finally, choose iCloud as your default account. Now, restart your iPhone. After your iOS device has rebooted, head to the Contacts app to see if you have managed to solve the issue.

Make sure iCloud is selected as the default account - iPhone Contacts Missing

5. Factory Reset Your iPhone

I can’t remember how many times a simple factory reset has helped me in fixing unexpected and common issues like this missing contacts one on my iPhone. For those unfamiliar, it erases all of the existing settings, including location data, Wi-Fi, and VPN, among other things. However, it doesn’t harm any media or data on your device. To Reset All Settings on your iPhone running iOS 15, follow the steps below:

Reset All Settings in iOS 15
  • Navigate to Settings -> General -> Transfer or Reset iPhone -> Reset. Now, select Reset All Settings from the pop-up menu.
  • After that, you will be prompted to enter your device passcode. Finally, tap Reset All Settings again to confirm.

6. Sign Out of Apple ID and Sign Back In

No luck yet? Well, don’t worry, as we still have another reliable solution to restore your lost iPhone contacts. Now, we are going to sign out of Apple ID and then sign back in.

  • To do that, open Settings -> your profile. After that, scroll down to the bottom and tap Sign Out.
  • Next up, you will be asked to keep a copy of your data. For additional security, turn on the toggles for each option before signing out of your Apple ID. Up next, use your Apple ID and password to sign back in.
Sign Out of Apple ID and Sign Back In

Again, we suggest you wait for some time to let all the essential data sync in the background. After that, open your Contacts app to find out whether or not your contacts are still missing or not.

7. Use Third-Party Data Recovery Tool

Based on my personal experience, I can assert that you may not have to go as far as using third-party software in most cases. However, we have all encountered scenarios where even the most trusted things tend to behave unexpectedly. So, if none of the above-mentioned tricks have worked in retrieving your disappeared iPhone contacts in iOS 15, try out these third-party data recovery tools.

For this purpose, I would recommend checking out the following third-party tools. They include the option to recover your contacts from iCloud, so use the software that suits your needs and fits your pocket.

iMobie PhoneRescue

Recover Missing or Disappeared iPhone Contacts

So that concludes our guide on how to recover missing contacts on your iPhone running iOS 15 (or iOs 14, as most of the solutions work on older versions of iOS as well). In most cases, solutions like resettings iCloud contacts and signing out of Apple, and signing back in usually fix the issue. And if nothing works, in some rare cases, third-party data recovery tools are always there to help you out. That said, which one of these solutions worked for you? Make sure to let us know in the comments below. Besides, if there is any reliable solution that helped in retrieving your lost contacts on iOS, be sure to tip us about it as well.

comment Comments 2
  • Dan says:

    #1 worked for me and my contacts had been missing for several months. Thanks so much!

  • Elaine says:

    Thank you so much – #3 worked for me to restore all contacts – appreciate it!

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