I have experienced the same issue as PeteFromEastHaven! Last Saturday I received my new iPhone 4S and restored it from a previous backup and I had all my contacts on my iPhone and all apeared ok. The next day I went to use my phone but oticed that all of my contacts had disapeared! For each of the next several days I restored by phone from the same backup point to recover my contacts, but each time the contacts disapear within minutes. THe last time I did the restore, I purposefully failed to log into iCloud to rule out the possibility that iCloud was over-writing and deleting all my contacts. WHAT THE "F" is deleting all my contacts?!?! PLEASE HELP!
The solution is simple, but different for everyone.Ill try to explain best i can.
1. when you first get your 4s you have to get the contacts on there right? so it all depend where those contacts were before and which service they were synced to.
2. If your contacts were never synced to google or mobileme ect... and were just on your phone backed up in itunes, they will be transfered to your new 4s once you restore from a backup, it doesnt matter if you restore from a previos backup that was not ios5. Now you have your contacts and probably set up icloud to sync those contacts but the problem is there were no contacts in icloud to begin with and this erased your iphone contacts to keep in sycc with whats in icloud. Your contacts must me moved to the cloud before you sync or the will disapear from your phone.(check apples help section for ios 5 moving to the icloud to properly move and set up your data in the cloud)
3. If you had your contacts synced to mobileme, you must use your mobile me account to sign up for icloud and all you contacts,mail ect.. will automatcally move to icloud.
2. If your contacts were never synced to google or mobileme ect... and were just on your phone backed up in itunes, they will be transfered to your new 4s once you restore from a backup, it doesnt matter if you restore from a previos backup that was not ios5.
Actually, that's not true. I backed up my iPhone 3 with iTunes, and then 5 minutes later used that backup to set up my new 4S. Everything transferred EXCEPT my contacts. Hundreds of contacts are missing. Obviously it's annoying. I still have the contacts in my bricked 3 and in iTunes backups (I'm assuming, even though they didn't transfer). I just don't know how to get them on my new phone.
Ok, I've done some digging for you and I can say I've had my fair share of contacts problems in the past. I found a solution for If you wish to use it, maybe someone else has a easie solution but this is what I would do.
This will involve syncing your contacts to google and than adding that google account to your 4s which in turn will pull all your contacts to your new iPhone.
Step 1. create a gmail account if you don't have one.
Step 2. Connect your old iPhone to iTunes, then select it in the sidebar. Hit the info button then click sync contacts, in the drop down menu choose google. Enter in your gmail and password. Now iTunes will push all your. Contacts to your gmail contacts.
Step3. In your new 4s go to settings- mail contacts calendars and choose new account then click exchange. Here you have to enter your email, password and click next. A new field will appear called server- enter m.google.com there.
Now once that is setup it will ask you what you want to sync, choose contacts and all your contacts will download into your iPhone.
I've figured out a far simple way to getyour contacts back thishappenedto me and all 3?? of my contacts. what your do is go into settings on your iphone ,click on the icloud tab then turn contacts off.a pop-up will ask what to do with all the contacts ie delete or keep on my phone pick the obvious one and there you go all contacts restored
Here's my situation -- When I first got my 4s, I signed into iCloud. It gave me problems. My phone is no longer signed into the account. I updated my phone a few weeks back, and since then my phone deletes random contacts at random times -- not always the same contacts and never all of them.
SOOO... What in the world do I do???? Remember! NOTHING to do with iCloud.
P.S. I'm super duper frusterated.
You can recover iTunes backup files to your iPhone 4S at any time. Follow these steps to choose a backup and sync the contacts to your iPhone 4S.
1. Connect the iPhone to the computer with a USB cable.
2. Open iTunes.
3. If you have a new or erased iPhone, iTunes will prompt you to restore from backup.
4. Otherwise, Control-click on your iPhone under DEVICES in the left menu.
5. Select Restore From Backup.
6. Choose the backup you wish to sync and click the Restore button.
How to Restore iPhone from iTunes Backup Files