Fix Contact Search Not Working on iPhone

contacts search not working ios

On your iPhone and iPad, you have a contacts list within the Phone app and from here, you can call and message contacts. If you have a big contact list, then you’ll be familiar with the search bar at the top because it allows you to find contacts by searching their name.

Usually, you’d expect the search bar to find contacts each time you search for a name, but sometimes the search feature isn’t always reliable, and it doesn’t always give back results when you search for a name.

There are a few different scenarios you could be facing when the search feature isn’t working in the Phone app. The search feature can either be responsive, or it doesn’t show you any results and you’re shown a message No Results.

The Reason Contacts Search isn’t Working

The reason the search feature isn’t working in the contacts is that there’s a bug within your iOS device that stops the search feature from bringing back any results each time you make a search. You’ll need to troubleshoot the Phone app for any bugs in an attempt to get the search feature to work.

1. Restart your iPhone

The first thing to do when you’re experiencing a minor problem on your iOS devices is to restart it. Restarting your device can help get rid of anything software issues that stop the search feature for contacts from yielding results. When you turn your iPhone off, wait for a minute before turning it back on.

2. Force Restart your iPhone

Force restarting is a popular solution to take when you’re experiencing a software problem within your iPhone or iPad and it’s known to fix the problem most of the time. You’re not going to lose any data when you force restart on your iPhone, it’s just a troubleshooting step to take when there’s a problem with your iPhone software.

If you have an iPhone 6S and lower:

  1. Press and Hold down the Home button and the power button together for as long as possible
  2. Let go until the Apple logo reappears.

If you have an iPhone 7 and later models:

  1. Press and hold down the power button and the volume down button together.
  2. Do this until the Apple logo reappears on the screen.

If you have an iPhone X or 8:

  1. Quickly press the release the volume up button.
  2. Quickly press the release the volume down button.
  3. Press and hold the Power button until you see the Apple logo.

3. Un-sync Contacts in iCloud

There may be a problem within iCloud that’s causing a problem when you try and search for a new contact. You’ll need to un-sync your contacts from iCloud and sync them back again. Refreshing this process might fix the problem with the search feature.

To turn off iCloud contacts:

1. Go to Settings.

2. Click on your name > iCloud.

3. Toggle off Contacts. This is going to wipe all of the synced contacts from your iCloud.

4. Switch your device off.

5. Switch your device on.

turn off icloud contacts

6. Turn on iCloud Contacts. Once you’ve done this, you’ll need to wait for your contacts to comeback from iCloud. After you’ve come back, you can try and search for a contact and it should work.

Change the Date & Time

Setting your date and time to one in the future is a common troubleshooting step to take when you’re having problems with your iOS device.

1. Go to Settings.

2. Tap General.

3. Tap Date & Time

4. Turn off Automatic.

5. Change date to next year.

After you’ve set the date and time to one in the future, you can go back to the Phone app and search for a contact. When you search for a contact, you should be able to see results.

David Johnson is a freelance writer with 9 years of experience writing for Techzillo and other established tech outlets like iMore. His focus and key interests are Apple and accessibility as well as consumer technology in general. Read our Editorial Guidlines and Fact Checking process.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here