Recently, a friend of mine called me up and said he accidentally deleted several contacts on iPhone. Even worse, he has synced the iPhone with iTunes after the removal. The question is:
Is there any way to recover the lost contacts?
Update: This solution does not work for all iPhone users. Only those with Time Machine option enabled will get the backup copies.
Every time, you sync and backup your iPhone with iTunes on computer. iTunes actually creates a backup copy (Update: you need to have TimeMachine turned on). You may not aware of that. But if you go to “Preferences” and select the “Devices” tab, you should see a number of backups with different date (assume you have already backed up the iPhone several times before). The date shown is the actual date you performed the iPhone backup.
So, for my friend, he can restore his iPhone using the older backup copy to recover the contacts. It’s very straightforward for the restoration. Simply follow these procedures:
1. Simply right-click on the device in iTunes and select “Restore from backup…”.
2. You can then select the backup copy you want to restore. Once you select the correct backup copy, hit the “Restore” button and iTunes will restore your iPhone.
That’s it. In case you face similar situation as my friend, try to recover the lost data from older backup. As always, leave us comment if you have any questions.
Update: First, thanks for Sebastien’s comment. From my experience it’s trivial that iTunes automatically creates backup copies for each iPhone sync. But it turns out that’s not the case. I have done several tests on my iMac and found that the Time Machine option in System Preferences is enabled. I do not have Time Machine for my Mac. I do not know why the option is enabled. With Time Machine, iTunes will create a backup copy when the option is enabled. This is why I have multiple backup copies for each sync. So if you can only find one backup copy for your device, that’s normal. The above solution should only work for those with Time Machine.