Q: I have an iPhone. Just had to upgrade from a 4-year-old Verizon 6S Plus because the internal speaker was broken and all my calls had to be on speaker phone.


I tried several reset-type things before making the purchase. Sadly some of my contacts didn’t come over despite careful verification that I was using the most recent backup, etc.


Why are restores of contacts, etc, sometimes incomplete? It would make sense if it didn’t have the very last contact added, as if it hadn’t restored from the most recent backup. However, it doesn’t make sense when the missing contacts are dispersed throughout different time frames.


– Kelly H., Destin


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A: There are admittedly a lot of things about iDevices that don’t seem to make much sense. For example, why is it that I turn the volume all the way down on my iPad, and double-check that it is all the way down, yet in spite of my efforts, it still makes noise when a notification arrives (Usually at the most inappropriate time, such as in the middle of a moment of silence at church, or during a business meeting – thanks, Steve)? Only Apple can truly provide an answer, and they are notoriously tight-lipped about most of the inner workings of their devices. Nevertheless, here are some things you can check:


The first one you already mentioned, which is to make sure you restored from the latest backup. This becomes a bit more complicated if you back up to iCloud. Be aware that when you sync with iCloud, this isn’t the same thing as doing a restore from an iCloud backup. For Apple’s instructions on how to do an iCloud restore, visit TinyURL.com/IGTM-0656A. This page also has information about how to restore your device from a backup on your computer, which is sometimes a good option to find missing contact information. Proceed carefully, so you don’t lose other information in your attempts to recover a few missing contacts!


If you log into your iCloud account and find the contact(s) you’re looking for, but they just haven’t restored to your device, you can merge them into your phone by following the instructions at TinyURL.com/IGTM-0656B. This page is also an advertisement for a third-party application called iPhone Backup Extractor, which claims to be able to scan older backups in order to recover lost contacts.


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So there might be a solution, even if that solution doesn’t necessarily come with an explanation of why it happened in the first place. Regardless, here are a few common sense tips for help you avoid losing contacts:


— Perform regular back-ups of your phone to either the cloud, or your PC. This helps to ensure anything that changes over time is saved somewhere in case it needs to be recovered.


— Make your own private copy of your contacts by exporting them to a .vcf file (instructions are on the second linked page above) and then mail the file to yourself. Keep it in a safe place and you’ll be able to merge it back into your phone if something turns up missing.


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— When performing restores, make sure the operation is actually completed before you disconnect. On your device, click Settings->[Apple ID]->iCloud->iCloud Backup. If the process is still ongoing, you will see a button that says “Stop Restoring iPhone” along with a message that says “This iPhone is currently being restored and will automatically back up when it is done.” If you see this, let the operation complete before you try and do anything else.


In the worst case, such as if a backup is corrupted or if you receive a critical error, you might need to take more drastic measures. It’s a scary process that involves erasing your device and setting it up as if it was new. Then, try to restore it from your backup again. If all else fails, you may need to contact Apple Support for assistance.


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