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AppleIsTheWorstCompanyEver Level 1 (0 points)

My iPhone died because I dropped it in a pool of water and I now use an old phone. Since I couldn't save any contact info on my SIM-card with my iPhone (genious move, Apple) I have no numbers left!


I know that I have made a backup from my iPhone to iTunes before. So I need to know how I can reach those backup files without plugging in my phone. I have heard of the iPhone Backup Extractors but there must be another way to access my own files of my own contacts that I have backed up myself without paying 25$?


Any help at all would be appreciated..

iPhone 4, Windows 7
  • gdgmacguy Level 7 (20,535 points)

    you can't.  Contacts are not part of the backup.  Contacts are meant to be synched with a cloud service, or with an app on your computer like Outlook or Address Book.  Had you been using your phone as recommended, you would have easy access to your contacts without your phone.

  • AppleIsTheWorstCompanyEver Level 1 (0 points)

    What do you mean use my phone as recommended? I have done resets before from backups and I have got all of my contacts back in that way. That means that the contacts must be inside the backup.


    Would it be possible for me to borrow a friend's iPhone and use it to recover my data so I can write down all of my numbers, and then let him reset his phone from his own backup?

  • Templeton Peck Level 9 (61,417 points)

    What do you mean use my phone as recommended?

    Contacts are meant to be synced with a contacts app on your computer.  Had you been doing that, there'd be no issue here.

  • TheDave413 Level 4 (1,000 points)

    The Contacts aren't inside the backup itself.  iTunes syncs the Contacts info from Address Book, Microsoft Outlook, or whatever program you use.


    What do you use to manage or store Contact info on your computer?  Have you looked there?

  • AppleIsTheWorstCompanyEver Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't use any application on my computer. Only the backup made through iTunes. But as mentioned it has helped me recover my contacts before, but that was when I was using an iPhone to restore an old backup.

  • roaminggnome Level 10 (95,062 points)

    "I don't use any application on my computer. "

    Why would you do this?


    The iphone is designed to be synced with your computer.

  • AppleIsTheWorstCompanyEver Level 1 (0 points)

    Well it's just stupid that you can't even save your contacts to your SIM-card.. Back on topic though; would it be possible as I said to use another iPhone and backup from my iTunes?

  • imobl Level 5 (6,137 points)

    It is possible to set up another iPhone (N) using the backup of

    your old iPhone (O). Doing so will replace what is currently on the

    new iPhone (N). You could then use the information on the new

    iPhone (N) to sync with Outlook/Contacts to get a copy of the

    information on your computer. You could then restore the new

    iPhone (N) to the backup you made before putting the old backup

    of your old iPhone (O) onto the new iPhone (N). Hopefully this makes

    some sense to you. If not, ask and someone will try to explain it better.


    iPhones do not save any info to the SIM card; you will have to decide

    whether that is a dealbreaker.

  • KiltedTim Level 9 (50,365 points)

    You can plug a new phone in and restore the backup from your computer. As has already been stated, however, contacts are NOT part of the backup. If they were restored when you restored your phone previously, they either had to come from an address book on your computer or a cloud service you were syncing to (Exchange, Yahoo, gmail, etc.).


    Most likely, you set up the contact sync when you first got your phone and never thought about it again. Just because you don't actually open and use the address book on your computer doesn't mean it isn't there.


    On Windows, look in Windows Address book or Outlook. If you had an Exchange account, Yahoo account, or G-Mail account (set up as Exchange), look at the contacts on the server.


    Even if you could save contacts to the SIM, you would only get a small fraction of the information that can be entered for each contact.

  • Superman3771 Level 1 (0 points)

    This answer is confusing since in the past I've purchased a new phone, restored it with iTunes from a previous phone backup and had all my contacts return.  I do not sync with outlook, google or yahoo (my iTunes settings are turned off).  It is not unusual that the original poster uses only iTunes - all of the iPhone users I know do this.  They have no need for a program to download all their mail and contacts since it's all accessible through gmail or yahoo.  Having to launch Outlook and configure settings is just adding an extra step.


    Are you truly certain that iTunes keeps no record of the contacts?  Because there are several programs that claim to have the ability to extract this data from an old backup file.  Are these scams?  (I'm trying to recover my contacts from an iOS 5 backup since my iPhone 4 was stolen and I'm stuck with an iPhone 3G that can't run iOS 5).

  • 0kupe80 Level 1 (0 points)

    yes it does. It would be nonsense to backup your music but not your contacts.

    I got my iphone4 stolen and i recovered my contacts in an excel spreadsheet. It's not ideal but it's better than nothing. see link below itunes-backup.html

  • Bonob Level 1 (0 points)

    Keeping a backup of iPhone contacts and other data via iTunes is not very effective as the backups made by iTunes are random, and in order to restore, one needs to wipe their iPhone of all songs.


    I used to have a similar problem with an iPhone backup created by iTunes which managed to restore only half of my previous iPhone contacts.


    I think managing iPhone contacts with the iCloud and not backing them up with iTunes is more effective in case you need to restore later.

  • adalie.g Level 1 (10 points)

    You are right. I would rely on iCloud or thrid party apps such as copytrans Contacts to keep a backup of my iPhone contacts and restore at any time should I need to.

  • imacclassic Level 1 (0 points)

    That would have to be a pretty good friend, or one with a new iphone, to allow someone else to do this.  It's a lot of work to reset, and what if his didn't go well or lost information.  Good luck, if someone would do this for you.  Just back it up somewhere, and if you aren't happy with all the suggestions you received from this post, I would like to suggest a paper backup, if you have printer.

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