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How to restore deleted contacts on Android with one simple method

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Even with all the social media around, the old-fashioned calls and texts haven’t become obscure just yet. And that’s exactly why accidentally deleting or losing those contacts isn’t something you can easily overlook and move away from. Luckily, you’re using an Android phone. You can restore deleted contacts on Android from your Google Account and we made sure to explain it below.

How to recover deleted contacts from your Google Account

Like it or not, Google knows pretty much everything about you. It keeps track of your favourite restaurants, places, topics you like discussing, and even people you’re in touch with. Sure, when we look at the bigger picture, this approach has its downsides (like the complete absence of privacy), but in cases like this, it’s Google’s enormous database that will actually save your skin.

I already showed you how to hand over all your contacts to Google. Now, it’s time for Google to give back.

There are two ways of restoring deleted contacts from your Google Account. You can access a full backup and bring it back as a whole, or in case you recently deleted a contact you didn’t mean to, you can simply undo changes and the contact will re-appear in your contact list. However, you need Google’s own Contacts app to be able to undo changes. If you’re using a third-party app, or your system’s default contacts app, restoring a full backup is your best bet.

This is how to undo changes in Google’s Contacts app:

  1. Open Contacts.
  2. Open the hamburger menu, and go to Settings.
  3. Tap Undo changes.
  4. Select the time period you want to undo changes from (you can select up to 30 days back).restore deleted contacts on Android
  5. Tap Confirm, and all your deleted contacts will re-appear in the list.

Now, in case you don’t use Google’s Contacts app, you’ll have to rely on a backup stored in your Google Account. Here’s how to access and restore the backup of your contacts in your Google Account:

  1. Go to Settings.
  2. Head over to Google > Set up & restore > Restore contacts.
  3. Select the backup you want to restore.
  4. Restore it.

Can I restore deleted contacts on Android without any backup?

Obviously, all of this requires your data to be synced with your Google Account. Since you pretty much can’t use an Android phone without a Google Account, chances are high that at least some of your contacts are synced.

However, if for some reason, you don’t have any contacts synced to your Google Account, restoring them might not be that easy. In fact, it could be impossible. Deleted contacts will appear without name for incoming calls and in third-party messaging apps so you’ll probably need to assign numbers to names again.

Your only chance of restoring deleted contacts without a Google Account is only if they’re stored on your SIM or SD card. So, go through the contacts app on your phone, and make sure to enable it to display contacts from your SIM card. If you manage to get some of them back, good. If not, I’m afraid your contacts might be lost forever.

Even if you manage to bring some contacts back from your SIM, I still strongly recommend setting up a Google Account backup (or any other backup). Because it’s the only way of keeping your contacts completely safe.

That’s about it. If you have any comments, questions or suggestions, just let us know in the comments down below.

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in December 2019. We made sure to revamp it for freshness and accuracy.

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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