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How to Recover Deleted Contacts on an Android Phone

Author: Vlad Brown

Data recovery specialist, guest author, journalist.

Published 06/07/2019

If your contacts haven’t been backed up (and have never been exported to a memory card), you risk losing them all in a flash. Contacts may be lost if an Android OS update goes wrong, after a hard reset, or through user error. We know it can happen to anyone, so we’ve collected the best solutions which will help you recover deleted contacts on your Android device.

How to restore deleted contacts:

  1. using Google Contacts recovery option
  2. from Android memory using the MobiSaver tool
  3. via the MiniTool Mobile Recovery app for Android
  4. from the contacts2 db file on your mobile phone
  5. question and answers

How we can carry out Android contacts recovery using Google Contacts

Google Contacts is a handy address book in which your Gmail, Google Plus, Calendar, Disk, Android, and other contacts are saved. This service manages your contacts very well: you can add and delete them, and find and merge duplicates.

The most valuable feature of Google Contacts is that you can sync all your contacts between various mobile devices. Moreover, once you’ve signed into your Google Account, your contacts are imported to your Android phone.

If you have an Android User Account associated with your Google Account (which is a regular practice), you’ll be able to retrieve lost contacts easily. Even if you have lost all the data from your phone, contacts will be stored in Google Contacts.

Note: Don’t put it off until it’s too late, as the contacts are only stored for 30 days!

To recover contacts on Android:

  1. Log into your Google Account and go to Google Contacts.
  2. On the left side panel, choose “More” – “Undo changes.”
  3. In the pop-up window, click “Custom.”
  4. Choose a time to go back to (Undo changes from…). You can set any date before the deletion of your contacts from the phone.
Google Contacts Recovery
Contacts recovery via Google service

As a result, all the deleted contacts should be available and imported to your phone when it gets synchronized with your Google Account.

How to recover contacts from Android memory using MobiSaver app

EaseUs MobiSaver for Android recovers not only photos, videos, and text messages, but also contacts. MobiSaver always used to stand out among similar utilities for its nice free features. Now the app has become a bit greedier and asks you to get a license, but even though serious limitations on its free version make the app less useful, MobiSaver is able to handle the recovery task.

To recover contacts from Android phone memory:

  1. Download Mobisaver.
  2. Install the MobiSaver app on your computer.
  3. Connect your phone to the computer via a USB cable.
  4. Launch MobiSaver by pressing the “Start” button.
  5. If the app asks you for permission to access the device, click “Yes.”
  6. Once you give  it permission, MobiSaver will start scanning your phone (you’ll have to wait a while).
  7. Go to “Contacts;” here you’ll see both recoverable and deleted contacts (shown in orange).
  8. Enable the “Only display deleted items” filter.
Mobisaver

To avoid paying, you can simply transfer the found contacts into your Android Address Book by hand.

To recover deleted / lost contacts from an Android phone and store them in a local file, you’ll need a license; only then can you import them to your phone memory as a VCF file.

Restoring contacts using MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android

MiniTool Mobile Recovery for Android works in a similar way. You can retrieve only 10 contacts for free, so if you’re happy to get back only the most important contacts, even a trial version of MiniTool Mobile Recovery will be fine.

Minitool Mobile Contact Recovery
Recovering lost contacts on Android using Minitool Mobile Recovery app
  • Your phone should be rooted.
  • When connecting, specify a data type – “Contacts,” and a scan method – “Quick Scan.”
  • In the “Messages & Call” log, tick the box “Contacts;” deleted contacts will be displayed as they are found.
  • To recover contacts on Android, check the necessary ones and click “Recover.”
  • Available contacts in CSV, HTML, and VCF formats will be shown in the “Results” folder.

Download MiniTool Mobile Recovery

Note: Our research has shown that most of the software that restores contacts works in a similar manner. For instance, the Dr. Fone app does the same as MiniTool Mobile Recovery or MobiSaver: it offers the same recovery options and implements the same limitations. This means that trying out all the different apps which can recover Android contacts doesn’t make much sense.

How to get deleted contacts from an SQL database on Android (for advanced users)

This is a last-minute recovery method for advanced or really desperate users who have lost their contacts on an Android.

You could retrieve lost contacts from the contacts2.db file stored in the Android file system, but it’s not easy to access the contact database without a special file manager.

Sequence of restoring deleted contacts on an Android:

  1. Get root permissions.
  2. Install Root Explorer.
  3. Using Root Explorer, copy the “/data/data/android.providers.contacts/databases” folder to the SD card (or any other user folder in the phone’s memory).
  4. Connect your phone to the computer and transfer the folder “Database” to the hard drive.
  5. Download and install Firefox and SQLite manager (Firefox add-on).
  6. Open the contacts2.db file (Database>Connect Database).
  7. In “Data,” you will find all the deleted contacts.
SQLite manager
SQLite manager helps to retrieve phone contacts

Note: This pulling out of deleted contacts on an Android isn’t always applicable. The current contacts2.db will have only the latest data. To restore the old database, you need either to create an image of the internal memory or to make a backup copy using Nandroid Backup. The likelihood of a successful recovery of the old version of the contacts2.db file is 90%.

Questions - Answers

[I forget my google account password]

I lost all contacts on Android due to reset. I remember my old google account id but i forget my account password. I could give you a proof that old account is mine. But google does not accept it. Please help in restoring all my apps , contacts, images..etc.


[To get back deleted contacts from phone]

I forget my password to open the phone. Accidentally I ask my android to reboot.I got all my files back except contact numbers which was in phone memory only. How can I restore deleted numbers by a simple method?


[Deleted phone contacts]

Today I have accidentally deleted some of my contacts from my Android phone. I have tried recovering them from my Gmail account. My account says that I have 'no contacts'. Is there any way of recovering all the deleted contacts?


[Accidently deleted all my phone contacts]

I was half asleep and i thought it was my already called called from yesterday..i went up to the 3 dots on top of page and hit delete..then i realized what i had done.been sick to my stomach because i have lost A LOT of phone numbers of friends family and important business numbers.


[How to retrieve lost contact]

I already try your suggestion but it's just saying vcard file not found so please any other suggestions?


[Question about recovering text from a specific contact number]

Good morning,I accidentally deleted an important document that was sent to me by text message,I urgently need it back, how can I recover this.


[Lost contacts through my gmail account]

I have an android with 2 accounts as back up. I know the password of one, but I forgot the password of the second email and failed to recover it through gmail, so I removed it from the phone. I found out that around 500 contacts were gone after this action, is there any chance that the contacts are backed up anywhere else? Maybe the other email? Or the sim card?

Note that my device is not rooted.


[Lost contacts]

Used smart switch on my Samsung to transfer content from old phone to new but only 23 contacts transferred. Why? is there any way to retrieve deleted numbers on Android?


[How do I recover my deleted Contacts]

I formatted my first smartphone and I lost all my contacts in the process. I opened my new second smartphone, my emails could not give me my lost contacts. So how do I recover my contacts which was deleted when I formatted my first smartphone?


I'd like to know how to get a contact back. Someone hacked my phone and shared one of my contacts and blocked me from the original contact owner and now using that number like his own to be able to stay in my personal business. How do I get that stolen and blocked number back without always contacting the actual hacker?

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