My phone accidentally was dropped in water. I tried to sync it on my Mac with iTunes to save my contacts. Next day I connected it to my Mac again and all the contacts were gone.

I have tried libraries/mobile sync. I located the backup folders but it only has 4 contacts. I need my old contacts and I have tried iphonebackupextractor. But it also shows only 4 contacts.

Were can I locate my earlier contacts of the first sync? Or has it been overwritten the earlier contacts?

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    Please consider editing this a bit for grammar. Also keep in mind - we like questions to serve a worldwide audience - so please consider removing pleas for help and utmost urgency. Although they relate to you needing a solution, they become less relevant 6 months or 3 years from now and should be edited out or kept to a bare minimum. – bmike Dec 27 '12 at 16:44

On your Mac, the backups are stored in ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup/

This is covered in HT4946: iTunes: About iOS backups

If iTunes doesn't show an earlier dated backup (sometimes it saves off a backup when you upgrade from one major iOS level to another), you would need to erase and restore the Backup folder from a Mac backup (perhaps Time Machine is turned on) to get that older backup of your phone.

Also, check to see if iCloud has backups of your device. It stores several days worth of backups, so don't delay to check there in case ongoing backups of the now empty phone would erase those older backups with the data you seek.


I'm with the iPhone Backup Extractor team, I must point out that the free version of the software will only extract four records of each category (contacts, sms, photos, etc.) when used in Simple Mode. The limitation in extraction might be why you only found four contacts in your backup when using it.

The application will show you exactly how many contacts were detected in the iTunes backup under "Available data", in the "Contacts" section (it's the number shown in blue).

Also, you can see how many backups you have and change from the dropdown menu which backup you wish to extract from. If there really are just four contacts in that backup, do try to see if there are any other previous backups which contain the data you are looking for.

Even when backups are corrupt or damaged in some way, if the data exists and has not been overwritten, it is possible to recover it. I would suggest contacting the iPhone Backup Extractor customer support team (support@reincubate.com) if all else fails - we have four years experience working with iTunes backups and we have helped many users recover their data, perhaps we can do the same for you.

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