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Contacts Not Showing up on iPhone iOS? Try these fixes

contacts not showing up ios scaled

With the rise of social media, the importance of having people’s contacts in our digital address books declined. Nevertheless, having the Contacts app populated is still very useful, at least for messaging people through iMessage.

But managing contacts isn’t as simple as it used to be on your old phone. You now have to deal with multiple cloud services and accounts. Because the Contacts pull data from different sources, various problems may arise. For example, contacts could stop showing on your iPhone.

I assume that’s exactly what’s been bothering you since you’re reading this article. So, we’ll go and try to resolve the missing contacts problem together.

Are your Contacts not showing on iPhone iOS? Here’s What to Do

1. Check contacts sync

Most of the time, the Contacts app is tightly connected to your iCloud account. For example, your current iPhone uses iCloud to seamlessly transfer all your existing contacts to your new iPhone. So, if you’ve recently got a new iPhone, and contacts are not showing, make sure to get back to your old device and check if everything’s in sync. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap [your name] > iCloud.contacts not showing ios 15
  3. Scroll down and make sure the Contacts option is enabled.

If iCloud is your main storage service, keeping your contacts synced is a good idea because it’s the best way of protecting them. On top of that, when you get a new iPhone, iCloud will automatically transfer all your contacts to your new device.

2. Check for hidden contacts

The Contacts app features the option to hide all your contacts. This option is disabled by default, but there’s a chance you accidentally pressed the button and now all your contacts are gone. To check if that’s the case, follow these steps:

  1. Open the Contacts app.
  2. Go to Groups.contacts not showing ios 1
  3. Tap Show All Contacts.

On top of that, also make sure that contacts from all contact groups (accounts are enabled).

3. Update iOS Version

You never know what the next iOS update might bring. There’s a chance one of the previous updates contains a bug that prevents the Contacts app from working properly. If that’s indeed the case, Apple will probably release a fix sooner rather than later. The chances are even bigger if the problem is widespread because it’ll catch the developers’ attention sooner.

On the negative side, you have little to no control over the situation. Since you don’t know when will the next update arrive, your only option is to constantly check for new updates and always keep the latest iOS version on your iPhone.

To check for updates, head over to Settings > General > Software Update. If the new update is available, install it and see if the problem persists.

4. Check the default Contacts account

Most of us don’t just use Apple’s services on our iPhones. For example, you could be using Gmail instead of the default Mail app. When you set up Gmail, you automatically set up your Google Account on your iPhone.

Since Google also stores your contacts, your Google Account will become available in the Contacts app’s Accounts list. But if you don’t store contacts in your Google Account, and it’s set as the default account for the Contacts app, no contacts will appear inside the app.

So, it’s best to change the default Contacts account to the one you’re actually using for storing contacts. Here’s how to do that:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Open Contacts and tap Default Account.contacts not showing on ios 15
  3. Select the account that has your contacts stored.
  4. Open the Contacts app and see if the contacts reappeared.

5. Re-sync contacts

To make sure there wasn’t a problem when your iPhone tried to sync your contacts from iCloud, we’re going to do a quick re-sync. It probably sounds more complicated than it actually is, because it’s literally just one button. Here’s exactly what you need to do:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap [your name] > iCloud.
  3. Scroll down and t0ggle the Contacts off.
  4. Restart your iPhone.
  5. Now, head back to the iCloud settings and toggle the Contacts option back on.

6. Check Other Contact Accounts Like Google

Although iCloud is the most popular option, it’s not the only service people use for syncing contacts. If you’re using another service, like Google to store your contacts, you’ll have to make sure the Contacts app pulls contacts from that account, as well. Here’s how to show contacts from all your accounts in Contacts:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Open Contacts, and go to Accounts.
  3. Tap the Account name you want to check.ios contacts not showing scaled
  4. Make sure the Contacts option is enabled.

If you don’t see the account you’re looking for in the list of accounts, tap Add Account, select the service you’re using and follow further on-screen instructions to add another account to the list.

7. Sign Out of Apple ID and Sign In Again

If none of the previous solutions helped you find your contacts, maybe signing out of your Apple ID and then signing back in will help. This will force your iPhone to re-sync everything from your iCloud account, including Contacts. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Tap your name, and go to Sign out.
  3. Type your Apple ID password and tap Turn Off.
  4. A window asking you which data you want to copy from your iCloud account to your phone will appear. Keep in mind that this might delete some data from your phone, so you’ll want to carefully read the instructions on this page.icloud not backing up iphone
  5. Once you’ve decided what you want to keep, tap Sign Out.
  6. Now that you’re signed out, head back to Settings, and go Sign in to your iPhone.
  7. Enter your credentials, tap Next, enter your passcode, and you’re back in.

That’s about it. I hope at least one of these solutions helped you resolve the problem with missing contacts on iOS. If you have any comments questions or suggestions, feel free to let us know in the comments down below.

Picture of Ivan Jenic

Ivan Jenic

Editor-in-chief at Mobile Internist. @ivan_jenic I founded Mobile Internist to help people understand technology better. And maybe solve some annoying problems. That's about it, cheers!
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