I upgraded to iOS 7 yesterday. Today, all my contacts suddenly vanished. They were working in iOS 7 this morning, but have since disappeared.

I'm not syncing contacts with an external system (Exchange, iCloud, Google, etc.). All of the contacts were on my phone only. They are still in my computer's Address Book, but when I sync to the phone and check the Contacts box under "Replace Information on This Phone," no contacts show up on the phone.

Phone favorites and text messages still exist, but as numbers only.

I could manually reenter them, but if there's an underlying problem, I don't want to spend the effort and then lose them again later.

Most Googling has returned no help for the current version. And solutions are to use things like iSync, which doesn't exist on Lion.

3 Answers 3


Finally found the solution. If this happens to you, try turning on (or turning off/on) the iCloud contact syncing, even if you don't think you're using it.

I turned it back on (I never realized it was on) and all my contacts came back. I guess the phone was using iCloud to sync contacts all along and I wasn't aware of it.

  • 1
    Issue has been present for as long the iCloud existed as described here: iphone-contacts.over-blog.com/…. Indeed, turning off and on the iCloud sync (i.e. resetting the iCloud connection with your iPhone) resolves the issue in the vast majority of cases. Commented Nov 20, 2013 at 14:36
  • If nor of above works for you. Go to icloud.com, sign in with your iCloud account. Open Contacts. You need to make a change in the contacts in order for your iPhone to recognize that a change was made and it will fetch the contacts from the iCloud. So just add a new "Contact" and than try to open the contacts on the iphone and tap on the "refresh" button. this should work now!
    – arty
    Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 23:15
  • This worked partially for me, but only restored about 20% of my contacts. Still... better than nothing... :/
    – devios1
    Commented Feb 16, 2014 at 23:56
  • Can you add the steps necessary to turn on/off the iCloud contact syncing to make this answer more complete?
    – Ryan Gates
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 22:26

Also checkout the options within Contacts on the phone because my partner had a similar problem with most of his contacts missing and he found that the setting on his phone was set to Hide Contacts and when he changed to Show all Contacts, his full list re-appeared. We had tried all sorts on the PC to fix the sync problem (he had a full list of contacts on his iPad) to no avail.

  • Can you please add details about where to find the Hide Contacts/Show all Contacts settings?
    – Ryan Gates
    Commented May 28, 2015 at 22:27

IOS7 is only compatable with latest iTunes, so as I had not updated recently the cloud contact synch could not work at all- now updated and contacts returned

  • 2
    iTunes is not involved in iCloud syncing, so what exactly did you change to improve the situation for you?
    – nohillside
    Commented Sep 22, 2013 at 12:18

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