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After updating an iPad 2 to iOS 5, I lost the ability to do anything contacts-related:

  • The "Contacts" app disappears the moment I start it
  • Composing an email works until I try to select a "To" address, at which point the compose window disappears
  • Opening the "Mail, Contacts & Calendars" section of the Settings causes the whole Settings thing to disappear.

When installing iOS 5, I chose to sync the contacts to iCloud, at which point whatever screen I was using disappeared just like all of the above do.

The only advice I've found so far is "wipe it clean and reinstall". I tried that, but the crash remains. The crash is fixed only if I don't restore the backup.

Is there anything I can try that would not involve me retyping all the contacts and re-configuring all the settings?

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If you've backed up your iPad with iTunes it's not destructive to do as you say: wipe it and clean install." I had a problem with my iPhone 4S after setting it up by migrating my backed up iPhone 4 apps and data from iTunes. I wiped it and redid the migration and it's working perfectly now (even battery life is extended). Unless there's data and new apps on your iPad since you set it up, wipe and reinstall is a good thing to try first. – Richard Nov 6 '11 at 11:51
@Richard This didn't help. – romkyns Nov 9 '11 at 10:36

It sounds like a corrupted contacts file. Restore your iPad from backup, then go into iTunes and tell it not to sync contacts to your iPad. This should remove all the contact data. Now try to open Contacts. If it opens and it is empty, it is good. If it still doesn't open, then this method won't work. Assuming it opened, go back into iTunes, tell it to sync contacts again. This will add all the contacts from your computer back onto your iPad. (This assumes that you store your contacts on your computer in the Address Book app. If not, you probably will lose all your contacts...)

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up vote 0 down vote accepted

The only thing that fixed this was a complete wipe, without restoring contacts from backup. Restoring contacts would make the problem return.

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When I went to Settings -> Mail contacts and turned off contacts for the gmail account, the Contacts app loaded without crashing. But I suspect it is no longer linked to Gmail.

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