Contacts Not Showing Up on iPhone

Refer to this step-by-step manual to discover the necessary actions to take if certain contacts fail to appear on your iPhone.


According to the analyst, the future of Apple's next iPhone SE in the design of the iPhone XR is uncertain. (Image: Apple)

Whenever you need to reach out to someone from your contact list, a simple search should display their phone number. However, there are occasions when some or all of your contacts’ names do not appear on your iPhone.

If you are experiencing a situation where your contacts are not visible on your iPhone, you can refer to this guide for a solution. However, it is important to note that there can be various issues that cause your iPhone contacts to disappear.

Consequently, there are multiple remedies available to resolve this problem. Therefore, it is recommended to try each of these methods and determine which one effectively restores the missing contacts on your iPhone.

Restart Your iPhone

iphone 14 pro max
iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max.

It is advisable to begin by restarting your iPhone. On occasion, mobile devices can encounter problems after being used for a prolonged period of time. Restarting your iPhone will provide it with a clean slate and potentially resolve minor issues such as missing contacts, slow performance, app crashes, and similar problems.

Restarting your smartphone is often the go-to solution for resolving various issues, which is why tech support agents typically inquire about it as the initial troubleshooting step, posing the question, “Have you attempted to power it off and on again?”

There are various methods available for restarting an iPhone, and the specific steps may differ based on the model you own. For detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to restart any iPhone, refer to the dedicated guide. After successfully rebooting your iPhone, verify if your contacts have been successfully restored. If they haven’t, proceed to the next step.

Resync Your Contacts with iCloud

One possible solution to address this problem is to synchronize your Contacts app with iCloud again. This can be achieved by first disabling iCloud access to your Contacts and then enabling it once more. The following steps outline the process to accomplish this:

  1. Open Settings and tap on your name.
icloud contacts
  1. Next, select iCloud > Show All.
icloud contact sync
  1. Under the Apps using iCloud page, toggle off Contacts.
  1. You have the option to choose “Keep on My iPhone” to retain copies of your synced contacts on your iPhone. Alternatively, you can select “Delete from My iPhone” if desired. Rest assured, selecting this option will not cause your contacts to disappear.
icloud sync contacts
  1. Re-enable Contacts again. And if your iPhone asks to merge existing contacts, select Merge.

Afterward, allow your device some time before verifying whether your contacts have been successfully restored. If you are still experiencing issues, keep reading for further solutions.

Show All Contacts in Your Phone App

It is possible that your iPhone contacts are not visible due to the fact that some of them have been hidden. You may not be aware of this, but your iPhone typically organizes your contacts into different groups based on the connected accounts. In order to view all of your contacts, regardless of their group, you should make sure that all groups are displayed.

So, follow these steps to show hidden contact groups:

  1. Open the Phone app and tap the Contacts tab.
iphone contacts app
  1. Tap Lists in the top left.
iphone contacts
  1. On the Lists page, tap All Contacts at the top to view all your saved contacts.

Keep reading if you’re still unable to observe all of your contacts.

Add All Your Mail Accounts to Your iPhone

If you utilize multiple accounts, it is likely that your contacts are stored across them. In order to address this issue, it is necessary to integrate all of your accounts into your iPhone to ensure comprehensive access to your contacts. To accomplish this, please adhere to the following instructions for adding an account to your iPhone:

  1. Open Settings, then scroll down and select Contacts.
iphone add accounts
  1. Now, tap Accounts. You’ll see all accounts that are currently added to your iPhone.
iphone add accounts
  1. Tap Add Account, select the type of account, and log in using your credentials.
iphone add accounts
  1. After successful login, the account will appear under Settings > Contacts > Accounts.

If you’re unable to view contacts from the recently added account, please refer to the following guidelines for steps on how to make sure the contacts are visible.

Modify Your Contact Account Settings

Managing your account settings has an impact on how your contacts are displayed. It’s important to verify that all of your linked accounts have the Contacts Sync feature enabled. To accomplish this, please adhere to the following guidelines:

iphone contact app transformed
  1. Open Settings > Contacts.
iphone contact app 2 transformed
  1. Under Contacts, select Accounts. You will see all your connected accounts listed here.
iphone contact sync transformed
  1. Tap each account and ensure Contacts is toggled on.

In case you are facing difficulties with contacts not being visible on your iPhone from one of your linked accounts, the above steps will provide a solution to fix the problem.

Rebuild Your iPhone Contacts

Here’s an alternative approach to address the issue of iPhone contacts not appearing: Force rebuilding the contacts by making changes to a contact and subsequently restarting the iPhone. Follow the steps below to implement this method:

  1. First, select any visible contact from the Phone app and select Edit in the top right.
iphone contact edit
  1. Add some new information – it doesn’t have to be true. You can add a fake email, address, note or anything else.

iphone contact edit
  1. Once done, tap Done in the top right and then restart your iPhone.

Upon turning on your iPhone, it will undergo a process of rebuilding all contact names and information. Once this restoration is complete, you can proceed to remove any false data that was previously added to the contact mentioned.

Recover Lost Data Using iCloud or Data Recovery Tools

icloud data recovery

Prior to attempting the use of external data recovery software, we recommend utilizing iCloud as the first step. By going to the official iCloud website, you can accomplish this. Locate and click on the card displaying your account name, and then navigate to the top of the page where the Data Recovery option can be found.

icloud contact restore

If you are accessing the website through a mobile device, start by tapping the menu icon situated in the top-left corner. From the menu that appears, select the Data Recovery feature. Following this, proceed to choose the option to Restore Contacts. At this point, you will be prompted to select an archive from which the restoration will take place.

If the previous method doesn’t yield results, an alternative approach is to utilize external data recovery software to recover your contacts. Several cost-effective tools are available for this purpose. One notable example is PhoneRescue, developed by iMobie, a widely recognized and compatible software that supports various iOS versions, including iOS 16. However, you’ll have to spend some cash to get it.