How to Recover Deleted iPhone Contacts Without Backup
Is there any way to recover contacts from the iPhone 4S itself?
I accidentally deleted several contacts from my iPhone 4S, and forget to back them up with iTunes. Now I need them urgently, but I've heard that there is no way to recover deleted data on an iPhone except through backup. Is that really? Can I recover data from the iPhone itself without iTunes backup? Please help! Thanks in advance.
The saying that there is no way to recover iPhone data without iTunes backup is absolutely wrong. Due to the special technology of iOS devices, it's very hard to recover data directly from the iPhone itself, but it's not impossible. There is indeed such a program that enables you to recover contacts from iPhone 5/4S/4/3GS without iTunes backup files: Wondershare Dr.Fone for iOS (for Windows users) or Wondershare Dr.Fone for iOS (Mac) (available for Mavericks).
Download the free trial version below to have a try.
Note: If you've synced your iPhone with iTunes on your PC or Mac before losing your contacts, you can also recover your previous contacts by extracting the iTunes backup.
Steps of how to recover iPhone contacts without backup
The tutorial below is about the Windows version of Wondershare Dr.Fone for iOS. If you are a Mac user, please read the guide for Wondershare Dr.Fone (Mac) here: Wondershare Dr.Fone (Mac) User Guide.
Before recovering deleted iPhone contacts, you need to know that you shouldn't use your iPhone for anything after you lost your contacts, because any operation on your iPhone may overwrite the lost data. The best way is to power off your iPhone until you've recovered the lost iPhone contacts.
Now follow the next steps to recover deleted iPhone contacts without iTunes backup files.
Step 1. Connect your iPhone to the computer
First of all, connect your iPhone to your computer, and then run Wondershare Dr.Fone for iOS. Here are 2 recovery modes provided: Recover from iDevice and Recover from iTunes Backup File. Just stay at the default one.
For different iPhones, the window will be different after you connect your iPhone. Below is the window for iPhone 5/4S.
Here is the one for iPhone 4/3GS. You need to click the "Download" button to download a plug-in before you doing anything else.
Step 2. Scan deleted contacts on your iPhone
As iPhone 5/4S users, you can directly click the "Start Scan" button after connecting your device. Then the program will automatically begin to scan your iPhone 5/4S for deleted contacts on it.
To recover deleted contacts directly from the iPhone 4/3GS, you need to enter the device's scanning mode before the scan. Follow the steps below:
When the program starts to scan your iPhone for the deleted contacts, the window is like below.
Step 3. Preview & recover deleted iPhone contacts
After the scan, you can preview all data that have been found by Wondershare Dr.Fone for iOS. Choose "Contacts" on the left side and you can preview all your deleted contacts here as follow, including job titles, addresses, and more.
The data found here includes those contacts you have on your iPhone now. If you only want to retrieve deleted contacts from your iPhone, turn the button on the top on: Only display the deleted items. Then mark and recover them. You can also check the video tutorial for this guide: