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Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Dan Moren

Recovering contacts, calendars, and reminders via iCloud

Note: This story has not been updated for several years.

A few weeks back, I noted that recovering lost files from iCloud required a trip to the web interface. At the time, the only data available for recovery were files stored in iCloud, but in the intervening weeks, Apple’s added new capabilities and reorganized the layout in the process.

iCloud Restore Data

Rather than Apple squirreling away data recovery options under “Advanced > Data & Security”, you now scroll down to an Advanced section, which contains direct links to file recovery and adds the option to restore both contacts and calendar/reminder data. Clicking any of those links will open the restore data dialog box with the correct tab pre-selected.

Each of the listings shows multiple backups–for me, starting in July, though I’m not sure if those are the oldest possible backups or if there’s a rolling window of backup data. Click Restore next to the backup you want in order to go back to that data.

Apple warns that restoring contacts and calendar/reminder data will, of course, replace all your existing data, though your current data will be backed up and archived. Restoring calendar data is a little more complicated, since it will also require you to reinstate any shared lists and event invitations will be cancelled and reissued.

All of this is, to my mind, a welcome improvement to iCloud, since previously getting back your old contacts and calendars/reminders meant either relying on local backups from your Mac, or an all-or-nothing process of restoring your entire iOS device.

[Dan Moren is the East Coast Bureau Chief of Six Colors. You can find him on Mastodon at or reach him by email at His latest novel, the supernatural detective story All Souls Lost, is out now.]

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