Previous 1 2 3 Next 33 Replies Latest reply: Oct 2, 2015 8:10 PM by gail from maine Go to original post Branched to a new discussion.
  • cheonweb Level 4 Level 4

    The contacts that recover from iPhone backup are from Recents Calls and Messages. The whole address book is on iCloud or Contacts app or Outlook.


    iPhone backup contains only Settings and Camera Roll.

    Your Apps, Music, Videos and Books are stored in your Computer.


    Don't confuse "Sync" with "Backup".


    Sync means all your devices contains the same data. If one device failed or accidentally looses data (like contacts, calendars etc) all devices that sync with the same account will "syncing" that issue and looses the data too.


    So the Center of your data is YOUR computer and you have to back it up.

    You have to sync the desktop Contacts client (Contacts app or Outlook) with iCloud.

    That way will be safe.


    Sorry for my English

  • N_Jifri Level 1 Level 1

    I don't know if this will help you now, but I found the best way to restore all the backup data. Contacts, photos, voice recordings, videos... etc (Without the need to connect your iPhone or paying one cent.. totally free). It worked with me because my iPhone's board has crashed, I couldn't even tune it on.

    The way is by installing a program called: iBackUpBot.

    It basically finds the file of your backup data in your computer, read it, and extract it to other readable format e.g. the contact will be extracted to Excel sheet and the media will be extracted to any folder you pick in the ORIGINAL forma (jpg, png, blah blah)

    Here is the blog that helped me find it: itunes-backup.html

    Hope it will help anybody!

  • flacachick Level 1 Level 1

    All you have to do is log on to and log on to your icloud and all of your information including your contacts will be there.

  • jeter123uk Level 1 Level 1

    I don't know if this will help. My phone went dead and when it came on the contacts were gone. I synced my phone the way it was, with no contacts. I then replaced the file '31bb7ba8914766d4ba40d6dfb6113c8b614be442'  which is the contacts file with an old one from a sync I had previously done. So all my other files were preserved and the contact list was the only thing that was truly changed in the restore process. Hope this helps.

  • marcusad79 Level 1 Level 1

    Hello everyone,

    I would like to address the comments that contacts are not in the Backup file created by iTunes.  This is NOT true, at least not on a Win7 w/ iTunes  The file does in fact contain Contacts. 

    How do I know this for a fact?  I installed iExplorer ( ktop+app&utm_campaign=iExplorer%28PC%29+ trail vs and in the program I can go and look at different Backups for my iPhone.  I have a back up from 5/16/13 and one from today(5/31/13).  The older back up does not contain contacts that I entered this weekend, the new one does.  My contacts were being sync'd via Google using MS Exchange and they still appeared in the backup.

    I recommend you try out this program or the many others - just in trial vs - to check your backup file.

  • bluebeard6 Level 1 Level 1

    All contact information from your iphone is stored in you itunes backup.. Anyone trying to tell you otherwise either has not had the benefit of experience, or is trying to coerce you into using the cloud..


    You can pay $40 to $100 for a program that can acces the contact info..


    or you can use freeware to extract the backup , browse it for the contact information and convert it into a document which you can then open and manually copy your contacts from.. I have outlined an easy method of doing this ..


    <Link Edited by Host>

  • gdgmacguy Level 7 Level 7

    Bluebeard is wrong.  Copied from Apple's website.  Pay attention to the first statement and the last statement.


    • Contacts* and Contact Favorites (regularly sync contacts to a computer or cloud service such as iCloud to back them up).
    • App Store Application data including in-app purchases (except the Application itself, its tmp and Caches folder).
    • Application settings, preferences, and data, including documents.
    • Autofill for webpages.
    • CalDAV and subscribed calendar accounts.
    • Calendar accounts.
    • Calendar events.
    • Call history.
    • Camera Roll (Photos, screenshots, images saved, and videos taken. Videos greater than 2 GB are backed up with iOS 4.0 and later.)
      Note: For devices without a camera, Camera Roll is called Saved Photos.
    • Game Center account.
    • Home screen arrangement.
    • In-app purchases.
    • Keychain (this includes email account passwords, Wi-Fi passwords, and passwords you enter into websites and some other applications. If you encrypt the backup with iOS 4 and later, you can transfer the keychain information to the new device. With an unencrypted backup, you can restore the keychain only to the same iOS device. If you are restoring to a new device with an unencrypted backup, you will need to enter these passwords again.)
    • List of External Sync Sources (MobileMe, Exchange ActiveSync).
    • Location service preferences for apps and websites you have allowed to use your location.
    • Mail accounts (mail messages are not backed up).
    • Installed Profiles. When restoring a backup to a different device, installed configuration profiles are not restored (such as accounts, restrictions, or anything which can be specified through an installed profile.) Any accounts or settings that are not associated with an installed profile will still be restored.
    • Map bookmarks, recent searches, and the current location displayed in Maps.
    • Microsoft Exchange account configurations.
    • Network settings (saved Wi-Fi hotspots, VPN settings, network preferences).
    • Nike + iPod saved workouts and settings.
    • Notes.
    • Offline web application cache/database.
    • Paired Bluetooth devices (which can only be used if restored to the same phone that did the backup).
    • Safari bookmarks, cookies, history, offline data, and currently open pages.
    • Saved suggestion corrections (these are saved automatically as you reject suggested corrections).
    • Messages (iMessage and carrier SMS or MMS pictures and videos).
    • Trusted hosts that have certificates that cannot be verified.
    • Voice memos.
    • Voicemail token. (This is not the voicemail password, but is used for validation when connecting. This is only restored to a phone with the same phone number on the SIM card).
    • Wallpapers.
    • Web clips.
    • YouTube bookmarks and history.

    * Your contacts are part of the backup to preserve recent calls and favorites lists. Back up your contacts to a supported personal information manager (PIM), iCloud, or another cloud-based service to avoid any potential contact data loss.

  • TJBUSMC1973 Level 5 Level 5

    So, people are trying to coerce others into using a FREE service... and then you make mention of programs that cost '$40 - $100'?


    Paranoid much?

  • Haliti Level 1 Level 1

    this is find my iphone it works if you ever added an email account to your iphone and you synced your contacts, you can go here with your apple id and password, same one you use to get apps. next you click on the left side top "Icloud -find my iphone click on there and you see contacts, it will give you all of those contacts, if you are using an android you can sync, by add account and sync contacts. its so much easier, almost makes you want to get an android, until it .....

  • ElCam Level 1 Level 1


    This program is completely free unless your iphone back up was encrypted. And very easy to use. Didn't have contact names on the recovered SMS but other than that it seems to have worked perfectly.

  • lucryan Level 1 Level 1

    hey there,


    i had the same problem where i wanted to recover my contacts from my iphone backup file without using the 'restore from backup' feature in iTunes. After a bit of a struggle i managed to recover my contacts from my iphone backup. i did the following:


    1) used the free 'iphone backup extractor' available at to extract the my contacts file from the backup file. when opening the app i chose 'iOS files' and clicked 'extract'. the contents of my backup were extracted and i found the address book file under /Library/AddressBook/AddressBook.sqlitedb


    2) to open the sqlitedb file I tried the SQLite Browser here and used this webpage to try and extract the address book file into a csv using the directions on this page:


    However, this didnt work and i got the error 'file is encrypted or is not a database'. I don't recall encrypting the backup files so i did some research and found out that it may in fact be due to me using the wrong version of the SQL database.


    3) I then downloaded Firefox and installed the AddOn called 'sqlite manager':


    4) i opened the add on and navigated to the AddressBook.sqlitedb file mentioned above, and used the following query:


    select ABPerson.prefix, ABPerson.first,ABPerson.last, ABMultiValue.value from ABPerson,ABMultiValue where ABMultiValue.record_id=ABPerson.ROWID


    5) i then exported the contacts to a csv file, opened the Address Book app on my laptop, clicked 'import from csv', and then went into itunes and selected 'sync contacts'.


    6) presto! my contacts were back on my iphone.

  • Dmdsupport Level 1 Level 1

    hey there,


    I am trying to do something like this! but then for pc or ubuntu?


    1) use a free 'iphone backup extractor' like at to extract the smstext files from the backup file.


    2) then open the sqlitedb file and with the SQLite Browser here and used this webpage to try and extract the text files into a csv using the directions on this page:


    3) i then want to export  the text file to a csv file, or open it with exel or pdf-reader

    hope it is understandable and anyone can help?


  • angellnguyen Level 1 Level 1

    Go on and type in your Apple ID and password. Click on contacts and that should bring up all the contacts that you had backed up to your icloud account.

  • gail from maine Level 7 Level 7

    See, that post you are responding to is over two years old. Way before iCloud. It is important to pay attention to the dates on any post you are responding to. Not only is the OP probably no longer around, but the response is incorrect for the timeframe the question was posted.





  • rojas01420 Level 2 Level 2

    JJust log into on a PC or Mac and boom. All your contacts.