Fix an iPhone that won’t save contacts

Saving contacts on iPhone is an important feature that people take for granted until it fails to function. That has been the case for several iPhone users lately, and most of them didn’t understand why iPhone won’t save a contact name and how they could solve the problem.

This troubleshooting guide will explain why your iPhone won’t save contacts and how you can fix it. You’ll also learn how to avoid similar issues in the future.

Why your iPhone is not saving new contacts

Some of the factors that cause the iPhone not to save contacts include:

  • iCloud is not set as the default contacts account: iCloud runs and coordinates almost all the operations on iOS devices. That includes saving and syncing your contacts. So, if it’s not set as the default contacts account, there’ll be confusion in the system, leading to iPhone not saving contacts.
  • The contact group is not visible in the contacts app: If you’re saving contacts to a contact group that’s not visible in the contacts app, it may not be available in your contact list.
  • Saving contact through third-party apps: If you save a contact using third-party apps like Whatsapp, it may not appear in your contact app.
  • iOS update: Many users noticed their iPhone contacts reverting after updating to the latest iOS 15. This could be caused by a bug or glitch in the new OS.
  • Outdated OS: An outdated OS can also lead to iPhone not saving new contacts because the system is incompatible with the iCloud and contact app.
  • iPhone jailbreak: Even though jailbreaking your iPhone gives you access to more features; it can lead to serious issues like iPhone not saving contacts.

READ: Why your calls keep failing on iOS and how to fix

How to fix iPhone that won’t save contacts

Try these troubleshooting tips when you can’t save contacts on an iPhone.

1. Ensure that you are doing it right

Try again if you’ve only tried to save contacts on your iPhone and failed. And probably one more time to be sure it’s an internal system problem. When you try the second time, don’t paste the number into the contact app and tap Add Number. Instead, Open the phone app, go to Contact > tap the + icon > enter details of the new contact, and tap Done.

For the third try, ensure you force quit all apps related to contacts because they might be interfering with the contact saving process. To do that, swipe up from the edge of your homescreen and pause at the center (iPhone with Face ID) or double-click the home button. Next, tap and hold the app (iMessage, Facetime, messages, and phone), then swipe up to force close.

2. Reboot your iPhone

restart iphone without power button

Restarting your iPhone is a simple and reliable way to fix temporary bugs and glitches that cause the iPhone not saving contacts error.

How to force restart iPhone 8, SE (2nd edition), and iPhones with Face ID

  • Quickly press and release the Volume Up button, then press and quickly release the Volume Down button.
  • Press and hold the power/side button until the Apple logo appears on your screen.

Force restarting an iPhone 7

  • Press and hold the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously until you see the Apple logo.
  • Release the buttons and wait for the iPhone to restart.

How to force restart iPhone SE (1st generation), 6s, and earlier models

  • Press and hold the home and power buttons simultaneously until the Apple logo appears on the screen.
  • Release the buttons to let the iPhone restart.

When the iPhone powers On fully, open the contacts app and check if the saved contact is available.

3. Enable viewing of all groups in contacts

If you saved the contacts in a group, you need to toggle On the group in contacts so that the contacts in the group appear in your contact app. Here is how to go about it:

  • Launch your Phone app.
  • Go to the bottom and tap on Contacts.
  • Tap on Groups at the top-left corner.
  • Check all the Groups.
  • Go back and confirm if the contact appeared.

READ: How to add someone on Telegram without a phone number

4. Update iOS

Installing the latest iOS version for your device will solve compatibility issues with the contact app and clear troublesome bugs. Follow these steps to update your iPhone:

  • Ensure the phone is fully charged and connected to a Wi-Fi network.
  • Open Settings and tap on General.
  • Select Software Update and install any available updates.
  • Restart your iPhone and try to save the contacts to see if you’ll succeed.

5. Reset all settings

If your iPhone not saving contacts in messages is because you accidentally tampered with the settings but don’t know which one it is, try and reset all settings. Use this guide:

  • Launch Settings.
  • Tap on General.
  • Tap on Transfer or Reset iPhone.
  • Select Reset.
  • Tap on Reset all Settings.
  • Tap on Confirm.

Check if you can now save your contacts.

6. Disable the short name option

Sometimes disabling the short name option helps eliminate this error. Try it and see if your problem will disappear. Here’s what you should do:

  • Open Settings, then go to Contacts.
  • Select Short Name and toggle it Off.
  • Go back to your contacts app and check if you can save contacts.

7. Check the iCloud settings

Contacts saved on iCloud will only appear in the contact app if you enable contacts in iCloud settings. To turn On contacts, use the guide below:

  • Open your Settings app.
  • Tap on your Profile.
  • Select iCloud.
  • Scroll down and toggle On Contacts.
  • If it was On, toggle it Off and select Keep Contacts on My iPhone. Next, wait a few minutes, restart your iPhone, and then toggle On Contacts in iCloud to sync.
  • Ensure iCloud is set as your default account in contacts. Go to Settings > Contacts > Default Account > select iCloud.

8. Re-log into iCloud

Logout of your iCloud account and log in again to try and clear system glitches causing the contact saving problem:

  • Open Settings > iCloud > Sign Out > Confirm > Save iCloud data to the iPhone.
  • Reboot your iPhone and log back into iCloud. Ensure you select Merge data on iPhone to iCloud.
  • Go to your contact app and check if the problem is solved.
  • Also, you can open the iCloud website on your browser and log in with your account. Then, open contacts and create a new contact.
  • Wait a few minutes and return to your iPhone to confirm if the saved contact is available.

9. Disable Search & Siri Suggestion for contact

Configuring Siri to manage your contacts could be another reason your iPhone is not saving new contacts.

Open Settings and go to Contacts > Siri & Search > disable Siri & Suggestions. Try saving the contacts again to see if it worked.

10. Edit Linked Sources/Contacts when saving a contact

If the contact you’re saving on your iPhone has linked sources or contacts, they could override the contact and prevent it from being saved. To avoid that, edit the linked sources and contacts using the guide below:

  • While on the Create new Contact page, scroll to the bottom.
  • Check linked contact or linked sources.
  • Make the relevant changes for each and see if the contact will be saved.
  • Also, you can try to enter the number with and without the country code at the beginning.

11. Don’t save contacts using third-party apps

Even though it might be convenient to save contacts using third-party apps like Whatsapp, you should avoid doing that if the contacts keep reverting.