If you haven't backed up beforehand (and never exported them to a memory card), you risk losing everything - in an instant. We assumed this would happen to you - and in this guide we've collected tried and tested ways to recover your contacts.
You have in front of you a list of several easy-to-use Android data recovery applications.
Call History does not show contacts
This is usually due to:
- failure to update the Android OS by flashing,
- hard reset: All user data is lost from the phone's internal memory,
- influence of viruses,
- unexplained software error,
- use of root applications and modifiers,
- use of third party callers and blacklists,
- mechanical breakdown, return from the workshop
- due to user carelessness (human factor).
Contacts hidden in address book
Yes, really, sometimes the Android address book is to blame for the troubles, because the wrong settings may be configured. However this sometimes happens through the user's fault.
How to check if the entries are not hidden and synchronized
- Hold the phone, access "Contacts" > Settings.
- Tap the line "Contacts to display" > check the option "All..."
- Go back to the address book and make sure the desired entries are visible.
- Check also your synchronization settings with your accounts (are all enabled?):
- If nothing happened, continue reading this article: most probably settings are not involved.
Restoring with standard (via Google Contacts)
The complete Google Contacts manual is available here.
Google Contacts is a handy address book that stores contacts from Gmail, Google Plus, Calendar, Disk, Android and other services. Easily manage all your contacts using this service: add, delete, search for duplicates, merge contacts.
The most valuable feature of Google Contacts is the synchronization with your mobile devices. As soon as you specify your Google account, your contacts are imported to your android phone.
If your Android account is assigned to a Google account (in most cases it is), you should be able to easily restore lost contacts. Even if you delete all the data on your phone, your contacts will still be accessible through the Google Contacts service.Note. Do not delay: deleted data can only be recovered within one month!
How to recover contacts on Android using the service
- Go to the Google Contacts website under your account.
- In the left sidebar, select Settings Menu > Cancel Changes .
- In the window, check the option Option .
- Set the recovery interval (you can select any date until the address book entries disappear from the phone).
- Click Confirm to apply your changes.
All your deleted contacts will be available in the service and, if you synchronize your Google Account, will be added to your phone again.
Dr Fone Software (universal methodology)
The Wondershare Dr Fone will restore your iOS and Android contacts, incoming/outgoing SMS messages, other user data. It is a little giant among data recovery apps including Android and iOS mobile devices. The full version of Dr Fone is priced at $50. File browsing is available in test mode, you either need to purchase the full version of the program or find a workaround :)
Use the application to search for lost data
- Install the Dr Fone application on your PC (Windows or Mac OS X) and launch it.
- Pair the mobile device to your PC through the usb cable
- Enable debug mode on your phone
- Root License. This step is unavoidable because the application cannot search for the deleted contacts on the phone with significantly reduced rights.
- In the next step, the program prompts you to select the types of data that have been deleted. Select Contacts and you will save your time.
- Dr Fone will scan your memory.
- A window similar to your explorer appears where you should see the results.
- Select the contacts you want. For a quick view use the right pane of Dr Fone displaying all the necessary information.
- Save the contacts by clicking on the Recover to Computer button.
Download Wondershare Dr Fone for Android
Easeus MobiSaver - Free Recovery Software
China EaseUS MobiSaver software recover phone contacts, images, documents, archives, data stored on sd-card inside Android.
With respect to handling contacts, Easeus MobiSaver allows exporting in VCF, CSV or HTML formats for later viewing on PC or importing to smartphone.
The developers claim that MobiSaver requires no special experience or technical education. In fact, a few mouse clicks will bring your data to life (synchronization with PC > drive selection > scanning and searching > saving of deleted /files).
MobiSaver Utility main functions
- Recover deleted and overwritten /files on Android devices
- Read-only operation: no danger that user data will be overwritten by the program
- Wide support for current Android OS versions and most mobile devices, including Google, Samsung, HTC, LG etc.
- Fast file preview before saving to disk
Easeus Mobisaver for Android restores not only photos, videos, messages but also contacts. Out of many utilities like it, Mobisaver has always stood out for its free features. Now the program has become more greedy and requires you to pay for a license. Although the exorbitant limitations of the free version make the program useless, Mobisaver is quite suitable for our tasks.
How to recover contacts
- Insert MobiSaver on your PC
- Connect your smartphone to your PC through usb cable
- Launch MobiSaver, press Start
- When connected, you might be asked permission to access your device, you should agree
- After your confirmation MobiSaver scans your phone (you should wait a while)
- Go to Contacts. Here you will see both available and deleted items (marked in orange).
- Activate the Filter Only display deleted items.
If you do not want to pay for the found contacts but not many, you may manually add them to your Android Address Book.
You have to buy a license to save the results to a file - then you will be able to import your contact list to your phone in VCF format.
Download EaseUS MobiSaver
Tenorshare Data Recovery - Contact recovery for Android and iOS
The sim card is required for number recovery. Lost it? Back up your contacts stored in the address book of your device, be it Android or iOS.
It is logical to use Tenorshare Data Recovery for such purposes. The application can be installed on both Android and iOS phones. It is designed to find erased data on Android tablets and smartphones. Mac OS and Windows versions are available, and they will work for iOS and Android. The program scans both the device's internal memory and sd-cards.
A trial version is available at the developer's website and costs $40. It is slightly less than the price of Dr Fone although the functions of both programs are identical. Tenorshare Data Recovery allows you to recover
- lost contacts from the Android address book;
- deleted SMS messages and text notes;
- randomly deleted data of other types.
How to recover contacts in the program
- Enable usb debugging on the phone.
- Run Tenorshare Data Recovery
- After synchronizing with PC (Windows/Mac), select fast / deep scan mode.
- The application scans the device, searching for deleted data.
- With a few clicks you can recover lost contacts by saving them back to your phone.
The software also performs a comprehensive diagnostic of your Android mobile device. The utility checks the data integrity, backs up the data on the sd-card with 1 bit accuracy.
For a full description of the application functions, please refer to the link:
Download Tenorshare Data Recovery
Recover contacts in MiniTool Mobile Recovery
MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android works in a similar way. You can get back up to 10 entries for free. Therefore, if you need to get back only the most important contacts, MiniTool Mobile Recovery will be helpful even in the trial version.Cautions: The last product update was released in 2016. If your smartphone or tablet was released much later, this method may not work. Please check the version of the software you are using through the website.
How to use the program
- You need to have a rooted phone
- When connecting, indicate data type - Contacts, scan method - Quick Scan
- In Messages & Call log - Contacts, you will find your deleted contacts as you find them.
- To recover your contacts, check the box and click Recover
- You will find in the results folder contacts in CSV, HTML and VCF formats.
Note. Our research shows that all contact recovery software works in a similar way. For example, popular Dr Fone does the same thing as MiniTool Mobile Recovery or Mobisaver. It contains the same options and imposes the same restrictions. Therefore, if your contacts are deleted, there is no point in trying different software.
Download MiniTool Mobile Recovery
Undeleter: Search for lost contacts in the phone memory
The Undeleter application by Fahrbot is quite good at recovering all kind of lost data /files in the internal memory, such as:
- deleted Android address book contacts,
- email messages,
- audio, video, pictures,
- other information stored in the Android OS.
To start the search for your deleted contacts you should launch the Undeleter application and select the memory area (on the sd card or the internal RAM) where you want to search for your deleted items. The application will list all deleted /files, display their original paths, etc. Some of the scenarios the Undeleter software would be useful for:
- accidental deletion of mobile data;
- mistaky handling of the device;
- failure of the Android operating system;
- failed attempt to grant root access;
- virus attack of the Android OS.
Download Undeleter Pro
Rescue sql database of the contacts (for advanced users)
A last recovery method for the advanced users or... the most desperate ones who have lost the contacts on their Android.
You can retrieve contacts from the contacts2.db database stored in the system /files. The base cannot be accessed simply, a special file manager is needed.
- Get Root access.
- Install the Root Explorer, open it.
- Copy the folder /data/data/android.providers.contacts/databases to the sd-card (or to any folder in the phone memory that can be accessed without root).
- Connect the phone to the PC and copy the databases folder to the HDD
- Download and install the Firefox addon of SQLite manager.
- Open the file contacts2.db (Database>Connect Database).
- The Data Tab provides all the information about the contacts.
This method is not always applicable due to /filesystem limitations. If you are working with the current contacts2.db database only the latest data will be available. To recover the old contacts database, you have to take a snapshot of the internal memory or use the backup made by nandroid.
In other words, the possibility to recover the deleted contacts depends on whether or not you have been able to find the old contacts2.db file.
An answer to the frequently asked questions
When repairing the phone, the contacts have been removed from the Google Account. They are not present in the Trash, rolling back one month does not help.
It is not always the fault of the service center. You need to check if your Google account is connected on your smartphone. To do this, go to Settings - Accounts - Google and reconnect your account if necessary.
Check also if the SIM card records are missing or not: Contacts - Import/Export - Import from SIM card.
For the recovery, any of the above mentioned programs (Tenorshare Data Recovery, MobiSaver etc.) would handle it.
Changed phone, all contacts stored on the sim card have disappeared. New phone - no contacts. How to make them disappear?
Contacts are not automatically saved on the sim card. For the synchronization of the accounts you have to connect the previously used account on the new phone (in the Settings - Accounts and Archive). Or perform Import / Export contacts from Android memory manually.
With Smart Switch the contacts were transferred to my computer (from the crashed phone) and when converting to Kies out of 250 left 76.
The answer to this question requires the contact file in question. If it is a vcf format, then try re-exporting the data from the broken device. In case of failure it would be worth checking the availability of the addresses in the Google Contacts basket or in the Samsung Cloud, since the device in question is a Samsung device.
There were contacts on the sim card. Bought a new phone, inserted the sim card and it is gone.
The sim card has relatively few contacts, about 250, the recovery method to the new device would not be very convenient.It is recommended to transfer the contacts from the old android device to the new one. It's most convenient to save the local file and export it to the new gadget. Here are the instructions on the subject.
The second option is to sync your contacts with the google cloud and connect this account on the new phone.
I need to find a number lost 2 years ago, deleted from contacts. I did not synchronize it with Google.
Maybe you copied it to the sim card? Try importing records from there. Also contacts may be stored in online messengers, if you communicated through them with the owner of the lost number.
My Google Account has been deleted and cannot be restored. Deleted all contact numbers.
First of all, check the official Google help: //support.google.com/accounts/answer/7299973?hl=en. You can restore access to your account by sending data to a backup email address. The rest of the steps are clear - synchronize the account with your phone, and the contacts will be restored.