No one should be using iPhone’s physical storage to store contacts anymore. iCloud has made that obsolete. These instructions explain how contacts are stored on your iPhone and how you can recover those from your iCloud account if you lose them.
Recover Deleted iPhone Contacts via iTunes
You can recover deleted contacts from iPhone if you’ve a very recent iTunes backup.
Connect your iPhone to PC using the provided USB cable and run iTunes. Then click the “Device” tab”.
Right-click on the iPhone that’s connected and choose “Restore from Backup”.
iTunes displays your iPhone name as well as the most recent backup available. Click “Restore” to return contacts to your iPhone.
Restore Contacts on iPhone from iCloud
If you contacts were synced with iCloud, you can sign into iCloud and recover them.
Go to Settings > iCloud on your iPhone and turn off Contacts.
When the popup messages come up, press “Keep on My iPhone”.
Then turn on the Contacts and tap “Merge”. Wait for a while. You should see the deleted contacts back on your iPhone.
Retrieve Contacts from iPhone through Google
If you’ve saved contacts to your Google account, you can restore them to iPhone.
Go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > Add Account.
Choose Microsoft Exchange and enter your name, email address, and password, then hit “Next”.
Ensure Contacts is turn on. Then tap Save to sync/restore the contacts to iPhone.
Restore Contacts on iPhone without Backup
iTunes and iCloud offers easy way to recover deleted contacts from iPhone. However, restoring from backup would wipe your current data with those in the backup. If you have some new contacts which are not put in the backup, then you will probably lose the files permanently. Therefore, you’d better make use of third party tool. I would like to recommend Jihosoft Mobile Recovery for iOS.
This tool is fairly easy to use. Just connect your iPhone to PC, the iPhone Contacts Recovery software will directly scan your iPhone and recover contacts without backup. Also, if you lost your iPhone, the program allows you to retrieve contacts by extracting backup data in iTunes without the need to connect your iPhone to computer.