My daughter gained my contacts on her iPhone. When she noticed this she deleted all of my contacts from her phone and now I find that when she performed that, I lost all of my personal contacts and am left with only the contacts on her phone. If I restore how do I know I am not restoring back to her contacts? How do I make my phone the primary and RESTORE to get my contacts back and not hers?

1 Answer 1


Been there, feel for you friend.

There's two answers to this.

If you're both using iCloud then you may be out of luck, or both your address books may be merged. When it was happening to me, the cloud service kept getting confused and just deleting all of my contacts (this happened daily for a few months! - mobileMe days) Anyways, if you're syncing with iCloud, and you're the only one, you should be able to log in with your credentials and get your contacts back. you will be prompted with a replace, merge or purge notice that you're about to delete all the contacts on the phone. It is my theory your daughter saw this message and didn't think anything of it thinking "well, i'll delete my dad's contacts and get mine back" Problem is, somehow her iCloud and yours are now confused

Case two, hard backup... If you have a back up that predates your daughter's incident you can try restoring from that as your contacts are a part of that backup; however, this can cause confusion with the iCloud service so be careful if you are indeed using iCloud.

What i recommend trying is first do a back up of your daughters contacts, export them to a CSV or something like Address Book for Mac or Outlook for PC. This will just ensure her information is secured while you're working on recovering your own. Next, try a restore and find a restore point that predates this occurrence (the one your daughter used will probably work) Since you didn't say you did any restore to your own i think it's pretty safe to assume we're having an iCloud issue... make sure her phone isn't signed in to your iCloud, and if you share an iCloud account (or use multiple as families often do) disable the contacts on your account. Hopefully once you restore your phone your contacts will all be set.. and with your daughter's phone already having contact cloud sync off she should be good too.

it's really frustrating, i sympathize. Good luck! :)

  • Thank you so much Ryan!!!!! This helped me big time and know I have my contacts back!
    – user43620
    Feb 24, 2013 at 2:28

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