How to get lost iCloud contacts back on your iPhone

Whenever I sign out of iCloud and back in on my iPhone, some of my contacts will inevitably disappear. Given enough time, most of them restore (it takes a few minutes for iCloud to sync). But, sometimes, my contacts don't reappear. If you've had this problem, don't stress out. There is a way to fix it!

Note: This guide is for people that sync their contacts in iCloud. If you sync with Google, Microsoft, or something else, this isn't for you!

How to reset your contacts to sync with iCloud on your iPhone

If you've recently signed out of and back into iCloud, you're going to have to manually change your default account settings for the Contacts app.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Contacts.

  1. Tap Default Account.
  2. Tap iCloud.

How to see if any contacts are not synced in iCloud

If you've changed your default account settings for the Contacts app to iCloud, you may notice that some contacts that were stored on your iPhone are now missing. You can find them and manually add them to your Contacts app. Then, when iCloud backs up your iPhone again, those contacts will be added and saved.

  1. Launch the Phone app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Contacts.
  3. Tap Groups.

  1. Tap All iCloud to uncheck it.
  2. Tap All [iPhone name] to select it.
  3. Tap Done in the upper right corner of the screen.

You will see a list of contacts that are synced directly to your iPhone. Find any missing contacts. Then, add them to your iCloud Contacts list.

How to add unsynced contacts back into iCloud

  1. Share the contact with yourself through Messages.
  2. Close the Contacts app.

  1. Launch the Message app.
  2. Tap the Contact card.
  3. Tap Create New Contact.
  4. Add any additional information you want to the contact card.
  5. Tap Done in the upper right corner.

Any questions?

Do you have any questions about syncing your Contacts with iCloud? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.

Lory Gil

Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books.  If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).