How to fix contacts not showing on iPhone

Any time you want to contact someone in your contact list, a simple search should show their number. However, there are instances when some or all of your contact names are not displayed on your iPhone.


If contacts are not showing on your iPhone, you can use this guide as a solution. But before we get into the different options, remember that various issues can cause your iPhone contacts to disappear.

And that’s why there are several solutions that you can use to fix it. So try each of these methods and see which one helps to recover contacts on your iPhone.


1. Restart your iPhone

One of the first steps you should try is to restart your iPhone. When mobile devices work for a while, they can sometimes experience problems. Restarting your iPhone can give it a fresh start and can help fix minor issues you may be facing including contacts not showing up, slow performance, app crashes, and so on.

It works like a charm, which is why the first question a tech support representative asks is, “Have you tried turning it off and on again?”

There are several ways to reboot your iPhone depending on the model. Read our dedicated guide on how to reboot an iPhone for step-by-step instructions. Once your iPhone is up and running again, confirm if your contacts have been restored. If not, proceed to step number two.

You can also fix this problem by re-syncing your Contacts app with iCloud. We do this by disabling iCloud access to Contacts and then enabling it again. Here’s how:

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  1. Open Settings and tap your name.
  2. Then select iCloud > Show All.
  3. Under the Apps with iCloud page, turn off Contacts.
  4. Select Stay on my iPhone to save copies of synced contacts on your iPhone. You can also select: Delete from my iPhone if you want. Do not worry; this option will not make your contacts disappear.
  5. Re-enable Contacts again. And when your iPhone asks to merge existing contacts, select To merge.

After that, give your device a few minutes and then check if your contacts have been restored. If you’re still having issues, read on for more solutions.

Your iPhone contacts may not appear because you have hidden some of them. You may not know this, but your iPhone usually puts your contacts into groups based on your connected accounts. To see all your contacts, regardless of their group, make sure all groups are visible.

So follow these steps to show hidden contact groups:

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

If some contacts from a particular account were not showing up on your iPhone, this should fix the problem. However, if you still don’t see all your contacts, read on.

Your bills Settings also affect the visibility of your contacts. You need to make sure that contact sync is turned on for all your connected accounts. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. launch Settings > Contacts.
  2. Select under Contacts bills. You will see all your connected accounts here.
  3. Tap each account and make sure Contacts is enabled.

If contacts from one of your connected accounts were not showing up on your iPhone, this should help fix the problem.

Moreover, you can try to disable and enable Short name on your iPhone. While this feature is useful for getting more names to fit on the screen, it can sometimes be problematic. Go to Settings > Contacts > Short name. Turn of Short namewait some time and turn it on.

Another way to fix iPhone contacts not showing up is to forcibly rebuild them. To do this, you need to edit one of your contacts first and then restart your iPhone. Here’s how:

  1. First select a visible contact from the Phone app and select edit top right.
  2. Add some new details – they don’t have to be accurate. You can add a fake email address, address, note or anything else.
  3. When you’re done, tap Done in the top right corner and then restart your iPhone.

When your iPhone turns on, all contact names and details need to be rebuilt. Once your iPhone has recovered all contacts, you can delete the false information you added to the above contact. Check if your contacts are restored after a few minutes. If this doesn’t solve your problem, you can try data recovery tools.

Before trying any third-party data recovery tools, we recommend using iCloud first. You do this by going to the iCloud website. Click on your account name and go to Account Settings > Restore Contacts. You must then select an archive to restore.

If that doesn’t work, you can use third-party data recovery tools to recover your contacts. There are several affordable tools on the market for the job. A good example is PhoneRescue by iMobiewhich is very reputable and works with many iOS versions including iOS 16. You will have to spend some money to get it though.

7. Seek help from Apple Support

If all else fails or you don’t want to spend money on third-party data recovery tools, you can get technical support from the Apple Support app for more help.

You can also contact them at Apple’s support website. Either way, a certified expert should help solve the problem in more ways than we could.

Contacts not showing up on an iPhone is not something new. It can happen to you, but if it happens, don’t panic. There are several ways to solve the problem. In summary, you can restart your iPhone, re-sync with iCloud, view all contacts in your Phone app, change your account settings, or force rebuild your contacts.

If none of these solutions work for you, you can try to recover lost contacts from your iCloud backups. If that doesn’t work, contact Apple’s support team. Using third party data recovery tools should be your last resort as you will definitely have to pay for them. Hopefully one of the free methods will work for you.

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