How to Retrieve Contacts from the Broken iPhone

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We communicate with others every day. And mostly we do this with the help of a phone since not all of us have time to visit family members living apart or meet friends and co-workers. That’s why we treasure the contacts saved in our phone, as they give us the chance to connect with the necessary people in a few seconds. But what if the phone breaks and the contacts are gone?

If your iPhone is broken, don’t get too upset. Many people all over the world face this problem daily. But not many of them know that it is possible to retrieve contacts from the broken iPhone. You will learn a few ways to do it if you keep on reading this article.

What causes malfunctions?

You iPhone may stop working for two reasons: a software failure or a hardware damage. Software malfunctions usually occur if the phone was dropped into the water, or it has not received the necessary updates recently. Hardware damage occurs in case the iPhone was dropped, drown or stepped on. Sure, this causes a lot of trouble, ranging from a cracked screen, deep scratches or the broken Home button to the worst – a completely dead device.

How to deal with the broken HOME button if your iPhone still works

iPhone touchscreens rarely stop functioning properly after the screen cracks. However, in rough cases, the Home button is more sensitive to damage and can go completely dead. But even if this button is broken, you can still access the iPhone memory by turning on the AssistiveTouch feature.

What is it?

A special feature, called AssistiveTouch, will allow you to manipulate the iPhone if you have difficulty with the main button or gesture control. In order to enable AssistiveTouch on your iPhone, you need to do the following:

  • Open settings on your screen
  • Go to General
  • Select Accessibility
  • Tap AssistiveTouch and switch it on

The AssistiveTouch feature menu activates the touch version of the Home button and helps you access Notifications and the Control Center.

The main ways to retrieve contacts from a broken iPhone

There are several ways that can make it possible to recover contacts from your iPhone. All of them imply that these contacts were earlier saved in one of the alternative ways:

  • iCloud Backup,
  • iTunes Backup,
  • another similar service.

Recovering contacts from iCloud

iCloud is an innovative service from Apple. Millions of people use this service to store the important data which they don’t want to lose.  It’s extremely useful and saves your files automatically so that you don’t have to worry about any losses. The best thing is, you do not need to do anything or save anything, your iPhone saves your information in the cloud itself. Once you start using iCloud Backup, your files are safe for the lifetime.

iCloud is the very place that you can use in case you need to retrieve contacts from your broken iPhone. If you were wise enough to enable the Backup option, you can restore any data you need in a couple of clicks.

To do this follow these simple steps:

  1. Log in to your iCloud account.
  2. select the “Contacts” folder.
  3. Click Settings and select “Select all”
  4. Click “Export vCard …”
  5. select the download location on your computer and save the file.

After all your contacts are saved on your PC, you can transfer them to a new phone or view directly on your computer.

If for some reason iCloud copying is not available to you (for example, there was no place in the cloud available for Backup or Backup has been disabled in Settings), you can use another way to recover your contacts.

Retrieving contacts with the help of recovery programs

If you ever created Backup via iTunes, this can be a great chance to have your contacts back again. Unfortunately, using a saved copy directly from iTunes will not work, but you can use any of the many recovery programs you can find over the internet because such programs give you the last chance. Just download a reliable recovery program on your PC or laptop and you will be able to use it any time you need its help. They all work in the same way and there are hardly any differences in the steps to take to run the recovery.

In simple words, data recovery is the process of scanning an iPhone or its Backup copies using special software to extract information. This software copies the extracted information to your computer.

Most of the existing recovery programs for iPhone, have three modes, depending on which source you wish to use for recovery:

  • Recover from iOS
  • Recover from iTunes Backup
  • Recover from iCloud Backup

We’ve already touched the topic of restoring contacts from iCloud Backup, so below we will talk about the 2 other methods.

Retrieving contacts directly from iPhone with the help of Recover from iOS

Here are the steps you need to take to extract your contacts from the broken iPhone directly.

  • STEP 1. Connect your iPhone to the computer and launch the recovery program you’ve downloaded.
  • STEP 2. Choose the option Recover from iOS and click Start.
  • STEP 3. Select the data that needs to be retrieved (in your case that will be Contacts).
  • STEP 4. Press the Next button and wait for the program to finish scanning your iPhone.
  • STEP 5. After the program finds your Contacts, download them into a chosen place on your computer and use the way you like.

Retrieving Contacts from your Broken iPhone using iTunes Backup

Let us remind you that you can use this method successfully only if you have created Backup via iTunes. This can work even if your iPhone is completely broken and can’t be recognized by your PC (laptop). Here are the main steps to go:

  • STEP 1. Launch the recovery program on your computer and connect your device.
  • STEP 2. Select “Recover from iTunes Backup”.
  • STEP 3. Select the backup which you wish to scan for contacts and start scanning.
  • STEP4. Choose the contacts you wish to save and download them to your computer.


As you could see, there are certain tools and programs helping to retrieve contacts from the broken iPhone and they are not difficult to use. It is wise to use various tools for creating Backups and ensuring you do not lose the valuable data in case your iPhone breaks. The following video can also be very helpful:

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