Apple’s iCloud is a huge cloud storage and cloud computing service with hundreds of millions of customers around the world. It can store your contacts, but also all sorts of data like documents written in Google Docs or Microsoft Office apps for iOS, photos, emails, and calendar data.
Recover iPhone Contacts
Not only does iCloud make a backup of your data, it also makes your contacts available from any other Apple device, regardless of which one you actually entered them.
This makes organizing your data a whole lot easier, since you don’t have to copy contacts to a SIM card or any other form of data storage – the system does everything for you automatically.
Why do you need Apple Mail
How your contacts are stored depends on what email program you are using. Apple Mail, for example, uses iOS. But not all iPhone users prefer Apple Mail – some use other services, like Gmail or Outlook.com.
These systems, however, have their own clouds in which they store data, so you’ll only have access to iCloud if you use Apple Mail.
This is why this post is written specifically for Apple Mail users. To check your settings, simply go to
Settings, Mail, Contacts, Calendars. You should see the screen displayed below:
This tells you that you can only use Apple Mail with iCloud email (@icloud.com, @me.com, or @mac.com), in addition to any of the email providers shown above, a list which includes Other, meaning it will work with almost any email provider.
If your iphone is disabled you will not be able to do this.
How to set up contacts on your iPhone
After writing an email to a certain address for the first time using Apple Mail, the contact you’ve just created is stored in the Contacts app. If you are syncing your contacts to iCloud, then that information will not only be stored locally on your device, but it will also be uploaded to the cloud.
To see this configuration, go to Settings, iCloud
On the iPhone screen shown below you can see that iCloud Drive is enabled, however Apple Mail is not. It is at this point that we turn on iCloud for Contacts.
After setting Contacts to On, you get the message seen below. What your device is telling you is that it will combine contacts you have added locally with contacts stored in the cloud.
The following message is displayed for a few seconds while you wait:
Below you can see what the Contacts app looks like on the iPhone. In this particular example there is only one contact, since it is just an example set up for the first time to give you an idea of how it works.
If you are syncing your iPhone contacts with iCloud, there’s no reason you would ever need to recover them, for the reasons we’ve explained above.
However, there have been instances of users losing contacts due to various bugs. If you’re in this situation and need to recover lost contacts, turn the iCloud sync off, and then turn it back on to force a resync.
1. Go to Settings, then to iCloud, and set Contacts to Off.
2. You will see this screen pop up. You can select Keep on My iPhone or Delete from my iPhone, since both options have the same result: your contacts will be restored.
3. Once again go to Settings, then to iCloud, and set Contacts to On.
The iCloud Website
Another way to play around with contacts and other iCloud data is by using a PC web browser and visiting https://www.icloud.com. This will not work if you use an iPhone to do it, which will simply redirect you to instructions on how to configure your device for iCloud.
After you’ve launched the web page, you will see this screen. Log in using your Apple ID (the same one you use with iTunes).
By the way, it’s a good idea to set up two-factor authentication on your iPhone and iCloud, which will keep your account safe from hackers.
After you’ve activated it, you can only access your Apple account after you’ve entered the code received on your cell phone or iPhone device – an increasingly popular security feature more and more services are using.
To be able to do the steps presented in this article you should activate your iPhone.
All the items you can sync to iCloud, like contacts, can be found here. Simply click on Contacts to view them all.