Lost contacts on IOS crash

iOS & iPadOS
Hi all! Have just googled this topic the last few hours but couldn't find any good results. So now the time is for Applevis. :-) So here's the deal: My girlfriend's iphone crashed today. When it rebooted all her contacts is gone. However if I search for a word with the spotlight method I can find my own name in the results, but not find it in the contacts or in the messages app. She has not used iCloud or itunes to back her phone up except for backup via WIFI which I sat up a few months back. Her IOS version is 5.1.1. any idea will be appreciated. Sorry if this has been brought up here before. Hope some of you have some ideas. Please keep in mind I am using a Mac but I have access to Windows XP or 7 if it really is needed.



Submitted by Megan on Monday, May 6, 2013

Thomas, I'm sorry to hear about this, it's gotta be very frustrating! A few things: 1. I find it really interesting that you can find your name in the Spotlight. That's something to go with. If you call her phone, does Voiceover say your name as it generally does? If so, that's something you can work with. At least the contacts are still in there somewhere and can probably be accessed. 2. Is anything on her phone backed up to iCloud? Just because she doesn't make an actual iCloud backup doesn't mean her contacts aren't hanging around in there somewhere. Go to settings, then mail, contacts, calendars, and see what you can find. If her contacts have ended up synced to iCloud, it should be relatively easy to pull them back down into her phone. 3. If she has a user account on your Mac and/or her own Mac, and that user account is connected to iCloud, you'll be able to go into contacts and make sure if they're all showing up there. If they are, you're golden and just need to make the phone sync to iCloud to get them back. This would also make life easier for further steps. 4. If her contacts aren't showing up in iCloud, here is where some tinkering comes into play. The first thing I would suggest trying is to connect the phone to your iTunes and make a backup (probably better if we do this on a Mac, as you're about to see). Then Google an app called iBackupViewer. Download that to your Mac. Go into iTunes and have the phone make a backup as it normally would. Now we're going to need to find the backup location and copy the backup that we just made somewhere else. This process will be different depending on your version of OSX. With Snow Leopard or anything earlier, it's a little bit easier, as we skip a whole step. In snow leopard: 1. Open your Finder and navigate to ~/Library/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup 2. Your backups will have really nonsensical names, so you need to move through them with the date modified column. 3. Find the one that was modified today, copy it, and paste it in the location of your choice. We'll be using it later. In OSX Lion and later: 1. Use VO shift M to navigate to your menubar. Arrow until you hear "go". VO down arrow to activate it, and then VO-space on "library" to activate it. 2. Keep in mind that it's going to open as a browser. For simplicity, you may want to use command-2 to make it a list. 3. Navigate to ~/Application Support/MobileSync/Backup as before 4. Copy the backup and paste in the location of your choice, as said before OK, now let's go back to the application that we downloaded before: iBackupViewer. 1. Open the .dmg and either drag the app and drop in your applications folder, or VO-space on the .pkg file--I can't remember which kind of installer this was, sorry! 2. Open the actual iBackupViewer app from your applications folder. 3. Command O to open, then navigate to your backup folder and open it. 4. Now you should see a table with things like "contacts, SMS," etc. 5. Navigate to Contacts. 6. Stop interracting with the table and VO right-arrow until you find a button that says "save people". Disclaimer: Do NOT click this button until I tell you to! In writing this little how-to with a backup that I had robbed from my mother's iPhone for testing purposes, I clicked that button to see what would happen and then found myself taking a break for almost an hour to delete the extraneous contacts that had ended up in my address book. There is no "are you sure" button! Once you click that button, it's going to happen... quickly! Now is where things start to get dicey if your girlfriend doesn't, in fact, have her own Mac or a user account on yours. If she does in fact have a user account, then disregard all of the steps with a * sign next to them. *You need to go into your preferences and into iCloud, then log out of yours and into your girlfriend's. Make sure it deletes all of your iCloud data from your Mac, including Safari bookmarks and such, unless you want her to end up with all your info. Don't worry, it'll all come back later. *7. Go into your address book and make doubly sure that all of your contacts have been deleted, or she's going to end up with a tun of extra contacts for which she has no use, as I just illustrated above. Once they're all gone you're golden. 8. NOW, and only NOW, click the "save button. Contacts should upload to her iCloud. Take careful note of the order of the next two steps here, as switching them around will basically take you back to square 1 *9. Go back into iCloud and log out of her account. It should inform you that all of her info is going to be deleted from your Mac, that's fine, click OK and it should be gone. *10. Once again go into your address book and make sure that all of her information is gone. *11. Log back into your iCloud. As you can probably see, this would be a lot easier if she had her own user account on your mac and/or had her own Mac, as then you wouldn't have to mess with loging out of, then into, then back out of, and back into, iCloud. If she does and I missed you saying that further up in the article, sorry for the extraneous information. Hope I was able to be of some help! Sorry for the extremely long comment! If you need additional help, please comment back and I'll check to see what's up. Let us know how everything works out! Best, Megan

Submitted by Thomas Byskov … on Monday, May 6, 2013

In reply to by Megan

Hi Megan! Thanks so much for your great answer. I tried this morning. I copied the backup and opened it with the ibackupviewer. However, there was no contacts showing up. So I think I am a bit stuck here. I made her an account on my mac yesterday so I could backup up her phone. She is not a techy person she just wants things to work, as most of us do. I tried to go into Icloud but it was turned of except for backups when the phone was connected via WIFI and charing power. I read somewhere that I can get into the phone itself and copy a sql database-file with all the gone contacts. However this was mentioned on forums where phones was jailbroken. THis isn't jailbroken so I sadly don't think it would work. In worst casw we will have to reset her phone and restore everything from her last backup into Icloud and then retype all the contacts. I will now set her iClod up so it backs contacts up. Just to be more safe for the future. OTher people have said that it has something to do with IOS 5.1.1 or a potential virus. I don't think there could be a virus involved. But that there could be a problem with the IOS-version. Now I am nervous to update the phone to 6.x since it could remove all the hiden contacts. So any idea is still welcome. Thanks again and have a great day.

Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Monday, May 6, 2013

She needs to use iCloud this can save her from stuf like this. I would enable iCloud so she can backup and restore her contacts with out plugging the iPhone in to the computer.

I goofed. I'm sorry, my information was incorrect. The table row you're looking for is address book, not contacts. Do you see that anywhere in the backup?

Hi Megan. No, I can only find contacts. THere are only the group "all contacts", which contains 0 contacts. Do you know if I have to tweak something in the program, so it can show more options? The program seems however very nice. WIsh I have known it before the iCloud days.

Submitted by Thomas Byskov … on Monday, May 6, 2013

Just googled some more and found out that some are thinking that it could be a problem when Facebook is installed. Since it have some support in IOS5, it works a lot better and has somore integration in IOS6. THerefor some think, that the app could potentialy do bad things to the contacts... I don't know if I believe this. But she has Facebook installed on her phone. And it just rebooted itself and all contacts were gone...