Skip to main content

How to Recover Contacts on SIM Card

Submitted on 12/13/2018

Quite often among questions about recovery of contacts on Android I receive emails asking how to recover contacts from a SIM card, how to get old phone number back, etc. Some of the questions are what to do if the SIM card is lost, blocked or damaged.

I’d like to put it like this: can we restore the content on a SIM card at all? I am not going to copy all those pseudo guides advertising useless contact recovery software (there are few exceptions though). Instead, I am going to share some lifehacks lying on the surface, which should help you retrieve contacts from a SIM card.

cont 2

Will a new SIM card have your old contacts on it?

It’s not a problem to get a new SIM card if you lost your old one. Replacing your SIM card should be a free service provided at your mobile operator office; you can be asked to file an application on losing your SIM card using their template. Since your old phone number is assigned to your contract, you might need to visit their office anyway.

Yet on a new SIM card you won’t find your lost contacts because a SIM card is a physical device and if it’s lost, all the data on it is lost as would be the case with an SD card, for example.

Advice: do not be swayed by unreliable offers

On the Internet you can find “specialists” in SIM card recovery who offer recovering any data on your SIM card or who are ready to share with you how to get contacts from a SIM card for a fee. Be wary, it’s a fraud!

Old phone number recovery via Google Contacts

Contacts from Address Book are stored only on a SIM card. Data from Address Book, however, can be transferred to a VCF file, so try looking for it either on SD card or in your phone memory.

Recover your old phone numbers via Google Contacts

If your phone was synchronized with your Google Account, this service should have your contacts. To check for them go to Contacts in your Google Account.

Even if you had somehow deleted the information from Google Contacts, there is a chance to find your old phone numbers unless it hasn’t been over a month that you deleted them. 

cont 3

cont 4

Request call log from your mobile operator

If you need a particular contact number (which isn’t in the Address Book or Call Log), don’t waste your time on SIM contacts recovery. Request your itemized outgoing/incoming call details for a certain time period.

Call log details can usually be given for the period from the last billing and till your request to the mobile operator. Except for the date and other information about your calls, you’ll restore call log - eg. numbers you’d called on.

This way has an inconvenience though: you don’t get the names of owners of those numbers and have to call them to find out. Yet, if you remember part of them and are good at memorizing figures, it won’t be that big a problem for you.

Lost your SIM card? Find it

The most optimistic solution to recover deleted contacts from a SIM card is to find the lost card! Take a guess and try to recall where you put or dropped it, say, when you removed off your phone rear case.

Think through what is easier and quicker: recover lost contacts turning to the mobile operator or look for a needle in a bundle of hay.

Question and Answers

[SIM Retrieve]

I lost my sim last week Wednesday, I only know the number and location of registry, I don't remember any other thing about it, how can I recover deleted phone calls and retrieve the lost sim card in this kind of situation?


[how to recover deleted texts in my sim and phone again]

i use symphony D53i . so can u tell me how to recover my phone and sim cards texts again in my phone like before it was? i m not understanding what to do and how to do. they got deleted by accidentally. so can u tell me which are the functions to correct this thing again in this phone? i need them badly!!!! obviously there are so many important info's of mine. please help me…


[Recovery of Sim Contacts]

I have my sim card which got misplaced and I couldn't recall where I kept it, until I got it after 3months.

But the main problem is now there isn't any network signal showing. I had my contacts saved in it but when I switched it to another handset it wasn't showing any contacts saved in it.

How do I find my old phone numbers?


[Help me recover my contacts]

I lost my phone last year December and I didn't manage to do a SIM swap because of all the questions I had to answer so I got a new SIM card when I got a new phone. I lost all my contacts and right now I desperately need to get a contact number from my old SIM card, how do I do that?


[Lost contacts]

My phone was stolen and my sim card in it obviously…I got a new sim card of the same number, but it doesn't have my old contacts… is there any way I can get them back?


[Help!!!!Lost sim card…]

Okay so I bought it from last night accident in my new SIM card I have the whole SIM card everything come on the card to SIM card everything I have my old SIM card which the number to the original SIM card is in my phone how do I retrieve where I activated it last night with my new SIM card number can't transfer my data package for minutes or anything over from the new one that lost an old one now until I have the number how do I retrieve that

Didn’t manage to restore files? Send us a question

Describe your issue using our feedback form. Give us details on where the files were deleted from, when and how, and we will try to give you an answer. Besides, your question will clarify and make more complete questions by other users, which is of great help for us in making our recovery guides more helpful.

Ask the question