Deleting Google Contacts by mistake must be one of the biggest nightmares an Android or Gmail user can have. Fear not, though; these can be recovered quite easily, provided you know what needs to be done.
Google Contacts are mostly Android and Gmail’s method of storing your phonebook. However, iOS users are more than welcome to use them, as well. You can find out how to sync iOS contacts with Google here.
Regardless of the platform, Google Contacts are easy to sync and edit, which makes them a preferred method for many.
The problem is that the easier something is to use, the more you tend to suffer when you lose it. I have personally witnessed an instance where someone gave their old phone to their mother and didn’t bother resetting it. Or at least remove the Google account from it altogether. You can probably guess what happened next. The recipient started deleting contacts and these have begun to disappear on the other person’s new smartphone, on which they were using the same account.
The good thing is that Google has thought of this possibility. Provided you have a browser nearby, contacts can be easily recovered. To be more specific, you can bring the situation of your Google Contacts to what it was at a specific point in time. This is quite handy. As I’m sure you’ll remember (at least vaguely) when you cleaned them up.
With that said, let’s see how you can recover your deleted Google Contacts.
Recovering Deleted Contacts
All you need for the following operation is a browser and the login details of your Google account. If you have both of these, things should go smoothly.
Start by opening your Google Contacts and logging in. On the top right side of the Google Contacts page, there is a Settings button. Click it and it will open the little menu below. In the said menu, click Undo changes.
This is where things become interesting. You will be presented with the small window below. This allows you to undo changes and bring your Google Contacts back to the state they were at any time in the last 30 days. It comes with some predefined options — 10 minutes ago (if you’ve just realized that you’ve done something stupid), one hour ago, yesterday or one week ago.
What I was talking about earlier was the Custom option, probably the most useful of them. This allows you to restore your contacts to any specific point you want in the last 30 days. So if you remember that you messed around with your phone before you left the office last Friday you can drill things down to that specific date and time, without losing anything.
Once you’ve made up your mind, select what you require, and click Undo.
Google will work its magic (it might take a few minutes) and everything will go back to what it was at the point in time that you’ve selected.
The feature is easy to use and it’s often overlooked by users; until the point when they actually need it, that is.