How do I get erased contacts back?

Having your contacts erased can be frustrating, but there are several ways you can try to recover them. In this article, we’ll go over the main methods for retrieving deleted contacts on both iPhone and Android devices.

Recovering Deleted Contacts on iPhone

If you’ve accidentally deleted contacts on your iPhone, here are some steps you can take to get them back:

  1. Check Recently Deleted folder – Go to Settings > Account Name > Delete Account > Recently Deleted to see if your contacts are still there. They remain for 40 days before being permanently erased.
  2. Restore from iCloud – If you had iCloud backups enabled, you may be able to restore your contacts from a previous backup. Go to Settings > Your Name > iCloud > Manage Storage > Backups to see available backups to restore from.
  3. Restore from iTunes – Connect your iPhone to a computer with iTunes installed. You may be able to restore from an iTunes backup which would include your contacts.
  4. Use third-party software – Software like PhoneRescue for iOS can scan your iPhone and recover deleted contacts even without a backup.
  5. Import from SIM card – If you stored contacts on your SIM card, take it out and insert it in another phone, then export those contacts to your computer.

The sooner you act after deleting contacts, the better chance you have of recovering them using these methods. Don’t add any new contacts yet or you risk overwriting the deleted ones.

Recovering Deleted Contacts on Android

If you’ve accidentally deleted contacts on your Android phone, here are some ways you may be able to get them back:

  1. Restore from Google – If you had contact syncing enabled with your Google account, you may be able to restore your contacts from Google’s servers. Go to Settings > Accounts > Google to sync contacts again.
  2. Recently deleted – Some Android phones have a ‘recently deleted’ folder that retains deleted contacts for up to 30 days. Check your phone’s contacts app for this option.
  3. App recycle bin – Apps like Truecaller keep deleted contacts in a recycle bin for several days before permanent deletion. Reinstall the app to access those contacts.
  4. Restore from backup – If you backed up your Android phone through your computer or cloud storage, you may be able to restore that backup to retrieve deleted contacts.
  5. SD card – If you stored contacts on your phone’s SD card, remove it and insert it in another phone to export contacts to your computer.
  6. Third-party software – Software like FonePaw for Android can scan and recover deleted contacts even without a backup.

Act quickly if you want the best chance of getting your deleted contacts back. Avoid adding new contacts before recovering them.

Preventing Deleted Contacts in the Future

To avoid losing contacts again in the future, here are some helpful tips:

  • Enable automatic syncing – Turn on contact syncing with services like iCloud or Google to have them automatically backed up.
  • Export contacts periodically – Every so often, export a copy of your contacts and save it somewhere safe like an external drive.
  • Back up your phone – Regularly back up your iPhone or Android phone to have a fallback option if contacts go missing.
  • Double check before deleting – Always verify you are deleting the right contacts before confirming the deletion.
  • Add email addresses – Include the email address along with phone numbers for your contacts to make them easier to find again.

Losing your contacts can be stressful, but in many cases you can recover deleted contacts or have a backup to restore from. Enable backups and exports to avoid permanent data loss.

Common Causes of Deleted Contacts

Some of the most common reasons contacts may get erased include:

  • Accidental deletion – It’s easy to accidentally delete contacts by swiping away entries or selecting the wrong ones to remove. Always exercise caution when deleting.
  • System crashes or failures – A software crash, hardware failure, or disruption during a system update could cause contact files to be lost or corrupted.
  • Syncing issues – If something interrupts the sync process between devices and services, contacts can fail to transfer and get erased.
  • Device resets – Restoring an iPhone or Android to factory settings will wipe all locally stored contacts unless you have backups enabled.
  • Malware or viruses – Malicious software sometimes deletes or encrypts files like contact databases to corrupt the system.
  • Transfer errors – Mistakes can happen when transferring contacts to a new device which leads to losses.

Understanding why contacts may disappear can help you take steps to prevent it. Enable backups and syncing, avoid malware, and be cautious when deleting and transferring data.

When Contacts Can’t Be Recovered

While there are many options for recovering deleted contacts, sometimes they are permanently erased and unable to be retrieved. This can happen if:

  • No backups exist anywhere including cloud services, external drives, or your computer.
  • Too much time has passed since deletion, like over a month for iPhone’s Recently Deleted folder.
  • Devices have been restored to factory settings, overwriting deleted contacts.
  • New contacts have been added that take up the space of old ones, removing traces of them.
  • You’ve switched to a new phone and didn’t properly transfer contacts.
  • Contact files have become corrupted from system errors and crashes.

As soon as you realize contacts are missing, stop adding new ones and act quickly. The less time that passes and activity on the device, the better chance of recovering them.

Tips for Rebuilding Contacts

If your contacts are permanently gone, you’ll need to gradually rebuild your contact list from scratch. Here are some tips for adding back missing contacts:

  • Check all email correspondence and text/chat history to find contact info that may have been communicated at some point.
  • Ask friends, family, and colleagues to share their contact info like phone number and email again.
  • Search through social media friends lists to find names that may be missing.
  • Look back through old documents or paperwork that may contain business cards, letters, invoices etc. with contact data.
  • Search the phone numbers that you regularly dialed to try identifying the contacts they belonged to.
  • Use tools like Truecaller and that aggregate contact info from public sources.

While rebuilding contacts takes time, you’ll get back to a complete contact list faster using these methods. Make it a habit to back them up going forward.

Common Contact Recovery Myths

There are some common misconceptions when it comes to recovering deleted contacts. Here are some contact recovery myths:

  • Myth: Deleted contacts are gone forever after 30 days. Reality: Contacts may still be recoverable after 30 days with data recovery software.
  • Myth: I just need to call or text a missing contact to get their info again. Reality: You need their actual contact file restored to sync correctly across devices.
  • Myth: My phone provider stores all my contacts. Reality: Providers only temporarily store contacts used for calls/texts.
  • Myth: Backups are automatically enabled on phones. Reality: You need to manually enable contact syncing with services like iCloud.
  • Myth: Deleting contacts on one device wipes them everywhere. Reality: Syncing services retain copies unless you selectively delete.

Understanding the truth about recovering and backing up contacts can save you from permanent data loss. Don’t rely on stopgap measures and make sure syncing is enabled.

When to Seek Professional Help

In some cases recovering deleted contacts is beyond the abilities of everyday users. It may be time to seek professional help if:

  • No contacts are showing up at all due to serious system errors.
  • Your device won’t power on properly, preventing access to contacts.
  • You’ve tried all conventional recovery methods without success.
  • Your device is encrypted and you can’t remember security passwords.
  • Your phone has physical damage that interferes with data access.
  • You need contacts recovered from a very old device or backup.
  • There are hundreds of contacts to recover making it very time consuming.

Professionals have data recovery tools and technology that gives them the best chance of restoring even severely damaged or corrupted contacts. It can be worth the cost for business users and large contact lists.

Contact Recovery Services

If you need to turn to professional contact recovery, some options include:

  • Device repair shops – Many local repair stores offer contact and data recovery services.
  • Recovery specialists – Companies like iBackor specialize only in contact restoration services.
  • Phone manufacturers – The device maker, like Apple or Samsung, may provide contact recovery tools and services.
  • Computer technicians – Professionals who work on retrieving computer data may be able to extract contacts.
  • Online services – Some data recovery companies work remotely over the internet to restore contacts.

Research different services carefully in terms of their capabilities, pricing, and guarantees. Read reviews from past clients as well.

Questions to Ask Recovery Services

When evaluating professional contact recovery services, some important questions to ask include:

  • – What phones and operating systems can you recover contacts from?
  • – How likely is it you can recover all missing contacts?
  • – Is physical access to the device required or can you work remotely?
  • – How long does the recovery process normally take?
  • – What guarantees do you provide if contacts aren’t recovered?
  • – Can you recover contacts even if the phone won’t turn on properly?
  • – Do you have security measures in place to protect personal data?
  • – What certifications do your technicians hold?
  • – Can you provide references from past satisfied customers?

Understanding the ins and outs of the recovery service will give you confidence they have the skills and capabilities to restore your valuable contacts.

Cost Considerations for Contact Recovery

Contact recovery costs vary widely depending on your specific situation and the service used. Some cost factors include:

  • – Number of contacts to recover – More contacts means higher costs.
  • – Device type and condition – Difficult devices cost more.
  • – Experience level of technicians – Those with more expertise often charge more per hour.
  • – Data recovery methods – Advanced techniques are typically more expensive.
  • – Location and availability – Less competition means higher prices.
  • – Reputation of the service – Well-known, reputable services come at a premium.
  • – Guarantees offered – Services promising 100% recovery will charge accordingly.

While costs can run over $100 or more for recovery services, getting back important contacts is often worth the money spent. Be wary of services charging an exceptionally high or low price compared to competitors.

Protecting Yourself When Using Recovery Services

When turning to professional contact recovery, keep in mind these tips to avoid being taken advantage of:

  • – Get an estimate in writing before approving work.
  • – Don’t pay 100% upfront and withhold some payment until finished.
  • – Perform a background check on the company.
  • – Make sure there is a satisfaction guarantee.
  • – Ask about data privacy measures.
  • – Get regular status updates during recovery process.
  • – Review the recovered data before final payment.
  • – Don’t sign overly broad liability waivers.
  • – Pay by credit card for purchase protection.
  • – Avoid companies contacting you out of the blue.

Do your due diligence to feel confident the service will treat you fairly and responsibly. Recovering contacts shouldn’t put your personal or financial data at risk.

Alternatives to Professional Recovery

If you want to avoid the cost of professional contact recovery, some alternatives include:

  • – Try all DIY recovery methods yourself first.
  • – Ask tech savvy friends/family to attempt recovery.
  • – Post on tech support forums outlining your situation.
  • – Carefully research recovery software tutorials.
  • – Look for coupons and discounts to lower costs.
  • – Offer referrals/reviews in exchange for lower fees.
  • – Only recover most critical contacts to lower fees.
  • – Search online for free contact recovery tools.
  • – Compare prices from multiple providers.

While professional services offer the highest chance for recovery, exploring lower cost options could save you money. Just be cautious about permanently losing contacts due to inadequate methods.

Key Takeaways

Here are some key tips to remember about recovering deleted contacts:

  • – Act quickly using phone recycle bins and backups before contacts are completely overwritten.
  • – Enable auto-syncing with cloud services like iCloud and Google to make restoring contacts easier.
  • – Avoid adding new contacts before recovering deleted ones to prevent overwriting.
  • – Use professional recovery services for complex cases involving lots of contacts or encrypted devices.
  • – Ask detailed questions when evaluating contact recovery companies.
  • – Back up your contacts manually on a regular basis.
  • – Carefully research do-it-yourself recovery methods before attempting them.

Losing contacts can be a frustrating experience. But being prepared with regular backups, understanding recovery techniques, and acting fast improves your chances of success. Protect your valuable contact data properly going forward.