10 Replies Latest reply: Feb 5, 2016 2:14 PM by frankswaim
techno-luddite Level 1 (0 points)

hi there


i have an iphone 3gs and before everyone rushes to tell me that iphones don't save contacts to sim - they do!  my old iphone got dropped in some water.  i put the sim into a spare 3gs, performed no restores or anything, yet immediately most of my contacts appeared like magic. lots of more recent ones were missing however.  i have seen one post on the net suggesting that iphone saves the first 250 contacts to sim and nothing thereafter.


i find the whole backup/restore process a pain, for reasons i won't bore you with.


so my two questions are: 


1) is there any way i can deliberately save each new contact to sim, if there is enough space?


2) if not, will the phone do it automatically once i delete below 250 contacts?


any ideas from you iphone geniuses out there would be much appreciated!


many thanks

iPhone 3GS
  • Meg St._Clair Level 9 (50,797 points)

    No, iPhones don't save contacts to the SIM. Most likely, you had saved the contacts to that spare SIM from another phone.

  • cheonweb Level 4 (3,450 points)

    iPhone stores no data in SIM card. The old Contacts that you see was from your previous phone.

  • techno-luddite Level 1 (0 points)

    Nope, the old phone belonged to someone else who could not

    have had access to my personal contacts. What's more, there is even a button

    Called 'import sim contacts to phone' under settings, mail/contacts/calendars. So clearly the iPhone

    3GS (can't speak for later models) has the capacity to store data there! The question is how to ensure future contacts get

    Stored on there as per my previous question...

  • Meg St._Clair Level 9 (50,797 points)

    The iPhone has the ability to import numbers from a SIM card that were saved to that card by another device. It does NOT have the ability to store them there.

  • tonefox Level 6 (9,155 points)

    Here's Apple's take on it, if you want to argue with them as well.



  • roaminggnome Level 10 (95,027 points)

    Still no


    Iphone stores nothing at all on the SIM card - nothing, nada, zip, zilch


    Iphone can import FROM Sim card TO iphone. 

  • techno-luddite Level 1 (0 points)

    ohhh.....thank you Meg and others. I guess it must have been a SIM that predated the iphones.  thanks for clearing that up - i'm just gonna email myself all my new numbers as well, much prefer that to the backup/restore method.


    cheers everyone!

  • Meg St._Clair Level 9 (50,797 points)

    Glad it got straightened out!

  • dobbyalisherkeys Level 1 (0 points)

    You can backup contacts from iPhone via the iTunes backup when you lost your iPhone. iTunes can automatically back up your iPhone contacts and update it every time when you sync it. So you really have a big chance to recover contacts from iTunes backup.

    If you don't synced, you can directly scan and recover deleted contacts from your iPhone.


    Solution 1: Scan and extract iTunes backup to recover iPhone contacts (without iPhone)

    Step 1: Scan the backup file

    Step 2: Recover your iPhone contacts


    Solution 2: Directly scan and recover contacts from iPhone 5/4S/4/3GS

    Step 1: Connect your iPhone to the computer

    Step 2: Enter the device's scanning mode and scan it

    1) Hold your device and click the "Start" button.

    2) Pressing the "Power" and "Home" buttons at the same time for exact 10 seconds.

    3) Then release the "Power" button, but keep holding "Home"  for another 15 seconds until you get

    Step 3: Preview and recover iPhone contacts

  • frankswaim Level 1 (0 points)

    I feel your pain... Regardless of what the experts below are saying, I too "know" its possible that the iPhone can write contacts to the sim card. I have an iPhone 5s. Its new. I added my Gmail contacts to the phone. I accidently set , or did not verify that GMail was the default for contacts. I clicked the import button, and the contacts that I had added the previous day were imported to the device and now show in iCloud. These are the only contacts in iCloud. They were written to the SIM... Imported to the device/iCloud.