How to Restore iPhone Contacts

If your iPhone crashes and erases your saved contacts and phone settings, don't despair. Use the option to restore your data that iTunes offers, provided you have a backup available. Restoring contacts from a previous backup created in iTunes saves you the time and effort involved in retyping each contact lost from your iPhone.

Rotary card file
Restore your digital contact information.
credit: Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images

Step

Download and install the latest version of iTunes if you do not already have it on your computer (full link in Resources).

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Your email address is required to download iTunes.
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It may take several seconds for the iPhone button to appear.

Step

Connect your iPhone to the computer using the supplied USB cable; if you have a Wi-Fi connection, your iPhone does not require a connection. Launch iTunes if it does not launch automatically. Click the "iPhone" button.

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The Restore button is located near the center of the iTunes window.

Step

Select "Restore" from Summary tab.

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(Image courtesy of Apple.)

Step

Decline the option to make a backup if prompted by selecting "Don't Back Up."

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The Apple logo indicates the iPhone is restarting.

Step

Select "Restore" to confirm you wish to restore your iPhone. Your last backup, including contacts, restores to your iPhone. Your iPhone will re-start and display the Apple logo.

Step

Follow the steps offered by the iOS Setup Assistance for iOS 5 and later to clear the "Connect to iTunes" message. For earlier versions, leave your iPhone connected via your USB or Wi-Fi until the message "iPhone is activated" appears.