How to Recover Contacts from iCloud on iPhone or Mac (6 Ways)

Connie Wisley
December 27, 2023 Preview 2.5K Preview 0
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In this digital age, our mobile phones have become more powerful than ever, we can do a lot of thing easier today on our phone, including managing thousands of contacts on an iPhone. However, this won’t stop us from accidentally deleting a contact or losing contacts for unknown reasons. Luckily, Apple users have iCloud backup that provides a couple of firm options to restore contacts to iPhone or Mac.

With a couple of settings on our devices, we will be able to restore the deleted contacts from iCloud, and, this is what we will cover in this guide. Besides this, you can also learn several tools to restore contacts from iCloud to your iPhone or Mac, no matter the contact is recently deleted or permanently deleted from your device or in your iCloud account.


How to Restore Contacts from iCloud on iPhone or Mac?

Unlike Photos, Notes, Pages, etc., there is no recently deleted folder created to store the trashed contacts when you delete a contact in your iCloud account. However, we can find a Data Recovery tool from iCloud’s dashboard, it allows iCloud users to restore deleted files from iCloud Drive, also recover contacts, bookmarks and calendars.

It may take up to 24 hours for the restored contacts to appear in your iCloud or on your devices, and this is why the recovered contacts won’t show up immediately after the recovery .

  1. Log into, sign in.
  2. Go to iCloud, or click iCloud in the top left corner.restore contacts icloud 01
  3. Go to Data Recovery > Restore Contacts.restore contacts icloud 02
  4. Choose a contact and click Restore, then confirm to Restore.restore contacts icloud 03
  5. Once the restoring finishes, the contact will appear on all your devices within 24 hours.restore contacts icloud 04


Recover Contacts from iCloud to iPhone via Sync

In the case that you’ve deleted the contacts on your iPhone but have a backup there in your iCloud account, you can pull back the deleted contacts by syncing iCloud contacts to your iPhone again. The process is quite straightforward, just toggle off and toggle on the Contacts button to discontinue and continue the sync on your iPhone.

  1. Open Settings app on your iPhone. Tap your Apple ID.recover contacts sync 01
  2. Go to iCloud.recover contacts sync 02
  3. Tap Show All and find the list showing all the apps using iCloud.
  4. Turn off Contacts and tap Keep on My iPhone.recover contacts sync 03
  5. Then toggle Contacts ON and tap Merge. The deleted contacts will be recovered back to your iPhone via sync.recover contacts sync 04


Restore Contacts on iPhone from iCloud by Manually Import

If you just want to restore several contacts from iCloud to your iPhone, instead of having a complete sync up with your iCloud backup, you can manually import and restore specific contacts from iCloud. But you have to export the contacts from iCloud as VCF file first, then import on your iPhone.

  1. Log into your iCloud account.
  2. Go to Contacts.restore contacts manually 01
  3. Select the contact you want to recover to your iPhone, click on the Share icon and choose Export vCard.restore contacts manually 02
  4. Send the vCard file to your iPhone via email or other apps.
  5. Tap the vCard on your iPhone, open with Contacts.restore contacts manually 03
  6. Then Save it to your iPhone Contacts app and you can edit as you like.restore contacts manually 04


How to Recover Recently or Permanently Deleted Contacts from iCloud?

Cannot find and recover the deleted contacts from iCloud using above methods? Maybe your contacts are permanently deleted from your iCloud account or from your device. But relax, we have a solid option to recover both recently and permanently deleted contacts, as long as you once have a iCloud backup or local backup on your Mac. It is Cisdem Data Recovery.

It is mainly designed to restore files from Mac internal and external hard drive, no matter the file is deleted by accident, formatted by mistake, lost after system crash, update, downgrade, power off, virus attack, even damaged due to bad sectors, system corruptions and so on. With its new feature of iCloud recovery, Cisdem Data Recovery becomes more powerful now. This new iCloud recovery feature will help users with recovering files from iCloud via iCloud account or via iCloud directory, including files on iCloud Drive, data in Notes/Contacts/Pages/Keynote/Numbers app and Photos.

If you are not able to recover a contact from iCloud, you can scan your Mac drive that stores the contacts, and let Cisdem to dig and recover the deleted contacts via a previous backup.

Main Features of Cisdem Data Recovery

  • Restore files from both internal and external hard drive
  • Recover files from iCloud directly (contacts, notes, photos, etc.)
  • Recover 1000+ types of files: video, audio, photo, document, email, archive, etc. 
  • Recover unsaved office documents
  • Repair damaged videos, photos and documents
  • Create disk backup
  • Preview files before recovery
  • Recover files to local folder, external hard drive or cloud platforms.

Steps to recover recently or permanently deleted contacts from iCloud on Mac

  1. Download and install Cisdem Data Recovery on your Mac.
    Free Download macOS 10.9 or later
  2. Go to Data Recovery > iCloud, choose to recover from iCloud account, click Next.recover contacts cisdem 01
  3. Sign in with your iCloud account, you need to enter the verification code.restore contacts cisdem 02
  4. Choose Contacts from the category list and click Next.restore contacts cisdem 03
  5. Check the contacts information and select those you want to restore.recover contacts cisdem 04
  6. Click Recover and choose a location to restore.restore contacts location
  7. (Optional) If you cannot find the deleted contacts, go to Home > Hardware Disk and start the scanning process to recover contacts via local backup on your Mac. The deleted contacts will be saved in VCF format.recover contacts cisdem 05
  8. Open the recovered contact with Contacts app on your Mac and click Import. restore contacts cisdem 06


How to Restore Contacts on iPhone from iCloud Backup?

If you feel OK to erase and reset your phone for a performance boost, there is another way to restore contacts from iCloud backup. This process may take a longer time, but it is well worth to fix existing issues on your iPhone and start it over.

  1. On your iPhone, tap Settings > General > Transfer or Reset iPhone.restore contacts erase 01 
  2. Tap Erase All Content and Settings and Continue.restore contacts erase 02 
  3. Enter your Apple ID password.
  4. After some time, the device will restart and you can Restore from iCloud Backup on the Apps & Data screen.restore contacts erase 03 
  5. Sign into iCloud account.
  6. Choose an iCloud backup to restore. 


Use iPhone Data Recovery Program to Recover Contacts from iCloud to iPhone

If are not ready to erase and reset your phone at this moment, there is an alternative way to recover contacts directly on iPhone from iCloud backup, by using an iPhone data recovery app.

PhoneRescue is a dedicated program to recover deleted personal/media/app data on iPhone from iOS device, from iCloud backup, also from iTunes or other backup, including contacts, notes, photos and so on. It can run on a Mac or Windows PC, and let users recover the deleted data to iPhone directly.

  1. Download and install PhoneRescue on your Mac or Windows PC.
  2. Choose Recover from iCloud.restore contacts iphone 01
  3. Sign in with iCloud account and enter the verification code.restore contacts iphone 02
  4. Select Contacts.restore contacts iphone 03
  5. Preview the contacts and recover to your device.restore contacts iphone 04



Checking above 6 solutions will ensure a higher chance of restoring your deleted contacts from iCloud, also you can recover on a Mac then transfer the contacts to your iPhone if you meet the rules. In fact, it is pretty simpler than you think to get back a deleted contact from iCloud. While the main way to restore deleted contacts or other data is extracting the backup from iCloud, you should always backup your data via iCloud.

Connie Wisley
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Connie has been writing for Mac productivity and utility apps since 2009. Each review and solution is based on her practical tests, she is aways energetic and trustworthy in this field.

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