Android Recover Deleted Contacts

Is there a simple and safe way to restore deleted contacts from Android? Some people may accidentally remove their contacts. How to get those important data back? When you deleted contacts from Android, they were not really gone, but only marked as useless on your phone and could be overwritten by new data. Therefore, you’d better stop using your phone after losing your contacts, to ensure a higher rate of recovery.

Maybe Contacts aren’t Even Gone

Before you start to panic realizing your contacts are gone, I will recommend you to first take a look at your Android device. It might be possible that your contacts are not deleted.

Sometimes the settings on your Android device can go completely nuts, up until the point where you can’t even find your contacts and think you have lost them all. Before you start freaking out, there is a chance that all your contacts are still on your device, just hidden very carefully. To check if that’s the case, follow these simple steps:

  1. Open the “Contacts” App.
  2. Press on the menu in the top-right corner (three vertical dots)
  3. “Contacts to display”
  4. Select “All contacts” if it isn’t already

If “All contacts” hasn’t been selected, then this was probably the solution to your problem. However, if all contacts were already displayed, let’s try something else…

Recover Contacts from Android with Gmail

If your Android device is synced with your Google account, the odds of recovering missing contacts are definitively in your favor. Gmail has a nifty feature, that allows you to restore a backup of all your contacts, which can date up to 30 days back. Once you have done this, you can re-sync your device with your Google account and get all your contacts back.

Sidenote: if your contacts are appearing in Gmail but not on your phone, see the steps above and/or try re-syncing your Google accounts completely. To restore a backup of your Gmail contacts, go to your inbox and select “Contacts” from the dropdown menu on your left hand side.

Once you see the list of your contacts (or not), click on “More” to get to the dropdown menu, where you need to select the option “Restore contacts…”.

Now you should see this pop-up window, where you can select a backup, which can date back as far as 30 days. If this method worked for you, go ahead and re-sync your Google account on your Android device and you should be good to go. If it didn’t work, let’s explore some other options…

Check your Android Contacts database file

If, you haven’t wiped your device completely, there is still a chance of recovering your lost or deleted contacts by checking if the old contacts database file is stored somewhere deep in your storage. Depending on your manufacturer and Android version, you will find your database in different locations in your storage. For stock Android devices like the Nexus 5, the database file should be located here:


The key that your are looking for is providers.contacts/databases. To get to this folder straight from your device, install aSQLiteManager, which is able to get into your Android device’s database storage and open .db files.

If you can find this folder on your device and it’s empty, it means that your contacts are gone for good. Well… Now it’s time to blast out a message to all your friends on Facebook, Twitter followers, business contacts and your family, asking them to send you their contact details.