How to Recover lost or deleted Contacts on Android

For most of us, our contact list is vital to our everyday lives. Unless you have a photographic memory, the numbers saved on your phone should always be there and never deleted. But what if you happen to unintentionally delete your contact list? It wasn’t much of an issue back in the Nokia days during the early 2000s because you most likely have written down the numbers – and maybe 20 numbers saved on your phone. But what if you accidentally delete your contacts now in the Samsung and OnePlus era – Losing hundreds or even thousands of contacts? It’s a disaster!

Of course, accidental deletion is not the only reason that you might lose your contacts, it might be that you installed a rogue app, someone pranked you or you lost your phone and got a new one, nevertheless, it’s definitely a pickle you would not want to be in. But don’t worry; it’s not the end of the world!

Here are some of the ways that you can recover your lost or deleted Contacts on Android.

1. Reinstall your contacts through VCF

If you’re a boy scout and already thought ahead of the possibility of having your contact deleted, you might have created a VCF file. In most Android phones – most notably Samsung phones – there is a way to export your contacts to either your internal memory or SD card.

  1. Open your Contacts app; the app might be named differently on your phone, though. In any case, all Android phones should have this.
  2. Click on the options button – it can either be the options button on your phone or it might be an onscreen button.
  3. Select Export and choose to which memory you would like to save the VCF file.
  4. Once you have a VCF file, you can simply import it back to your phone by clicking on the options button
  5. You’ve now recovered your contacts!

This is the best case scenario and does require you to think ahead. Let’s go over worse cases.

2. Restore Contacts using Google Contacts

If you haven’t saved a backup of your contacts through VCF, don’t lose hope because Google went ahead and is doing that for you. Google Contacts basically saves your contacts into the cloud just on the off chance that your contacts get lost. Most Android devices have this feature, even Nokia Android Phones. The only requirement here is that you’ve already linked a Google Account to your phone and you’ve connected it to the internet.

  1. Open Google Contacts on your phone or browser by clicking on this link – contacts.google.com
  2. On the left side of the screen, you should see various options. Click on More and you should see Undo Changes.
  3. Click on Undo Changes and you’ll be able to restore your deleted Google Contacts up to 30 days ago
  4. Click on Confirm
  5. Once confirmed, connect your Android Phone to the internet. It should start synchronizing your restored Google contacts!

If you notice in the Google Contacts website, you can also Import and Export like in our first method. Make sure that once you restore your contacts that you export the file just in case!

  1. On the Google Contacts website, tick the checkboxes of all the items you want to create a backup
  2. Click on More, then click on Export
  3. It will save the contacts in CSV format
  4. To restore your contacts, click on Import
  5. Connect your phone to the internet and it should start syncing your contacts

But what if you haven’t linked a Google Account to your phone yet or you don’t have the luxury of going on the internet? Is everything lost? Nope. There is still hope, let’s take a look at more methods of recovering your lost contacts.

3. Restoring a NAND Backup (Root Required)

If you rooted your phone yourself and used a guide on the internet, most likely the guide required you to create a NAND or NANDROID backup. If push comes to shove and you find yourself without your contacts, this might be a godsend. This method requires that you installed a custom recovery ROM on your Android Phone beforehand and created a backup while in recovery mode.

  1. Make sure that the NAND backup is inside of your SD card or Internal Memory
  2. Boot your phone into recovery mode. If you’re using a OnePlus phone, most likely you have TWRP recovery mode but the same procedure applies to all other custom recovery options (Stock, CWM, etc.)
  3. Look for the option that reads Restore or Install NAND ROM
  4. Select your backup and Install it
  5. Reboot your phone and your contacts should now be back

Note that this process will revert your phone back to how it was originally when you created the backup. Meaning to say, some of your apps might be outdated or uninstalled. I’m convinced that restoring your apps would be really easy compared to recovering your contacts.

If you’re already at this point in the article and you still haven’t recovered your contacts, there are other ways – possibly paid services.

4. Using Recovery Software (Paid)

If you’ve got no other choice, better bite the bullet and install one of the many recovery applications. Here’s a list of recovery apps that we were able to research:

  • EaseUS Mobi Saver App
  • Coolmuster Lab Fone
  • MiniTool Mobile Recovery

There are other tools out on the market, but the general principle of these applications is to attempt and retrieve your deleted contacts if you haven’t overwritten them yet. Usually, you’ll be successful in using these applications if you have just deleted the contacts and have done nothing else yet. If you’ve somehow overwritten the data – either you downloaded something or updated your apps – then, unfortunately, this method might not work. You can try the other options on the list, though.

If the methods above worked for you, let us know in the comments! Hope you were able to recover your contacts!

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