Weird iOS 9.1 bug when searching contacts

I was setting up a new iPhone 6s for a client today and I noticed something strange… After restoring from the iTunes backup of her “old” iPhone and activating her SIM card, I went to test that the Phone and Messages apps were working as expected. So I opened the Phone app on her iPhone, tapped on Contacts and started typing MY name so that I could make a test call to myself from her phone. But searching came up with 0 results, even when I just typed the letter “L.” So I went back to the Home Screen and opened up the full Contacts app and tried searching for myself from there. Again, no results. Typing any letter at all still gave no results, but I could clearly see there were hundreds of contacts there in the list (including me).

My first thought was that something was corrupt in the backup I restored the new phone from, which was an older iPhone, still running iOS 7.x. Still, I went through some standard troubleshooting steps before I did anything drastic like restoring the phone to factory settings and manually reconfiguring everything. First, I rebooted the phone. That didn’t work. Then I added a new contact and searched for it. That didn’t work. I was on the verge of trying “Reset All Settings” to see if that helped, but I knew the client really didn’t have the time for me to go through and adjust all her settings back the way she likes them. So I decided to ignore the issue for the moment and test the phone by calling it instead of having it call me. So I grabbed my own iPhone (also a 6s, which I updated to iOS9.1 last night) and searched for my client’s name and – you guessed it – no results!

Aha! It’s not a problem with her iPhone. It’s a problem with IOS 9.1. A quick Googling revealed that others have experienced the same issue in the past 24 hours and the fix for most of them was incredibly simple. To fix the issue, try this:

  1. Open the Contacts app from your iPhone’s home screen
  2. Then click on the word “Groups” in the upper left corner of the main contacts screen
  3. Then click the word “Done” in the upper right corner, which will take you back to the main Contacts list.
  4. Now REPEAT those steps in the Contacts section of the Phone app (yes, I had to do it in both places, on both of our phones in order for it to stick.)



That’s it. No need to check any groups on or off, since the groups you want to see contacts from should already be set the way you’ve always had them. Although if they’re not, go ahead and make your adjustments while you’re there.

If you’re seeing the same bug and this fix doesn’t work for you, let me know and I’ll offer some other suggestions!


  1. Brian October 27, 2015
    • JB December 4, 2015
      • MacSamurai December 4, 2015
        • Deepak November 10, 2016
          • MacSamurai November 10, 2016
  2. MacSamurai October 27, 2015
    • Brian October 27, 2015
  3. mohammad October 28, 2015
  4. J October 28, 2015
  5. wdl October 30, 2015
    • MacSamurai October 30, 2015
      • wdl November 4, 2015
  6. Kalyan October 30, 2015
  7. pal October 30, 2015
  8. Cherilyn charfauros October 31, 2015
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  10. SantyM October 31, 2015
  11. Allie November 2, 2015
  12. P.D. Workman November 3, 2015
  13. MacSamurai November 3, 2015
  14. Shelly Davies November 8, 2015
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  16. MacSamurai November 10, 2015
    • Aditya November 14, 2015
    • Devid November 14, 2015
  17. Sarada November 13, 2015
  18. Amy November 21, 2015
  19. Jeff ward November 24, 2015
  20. Gabriel Brust November 27, 2015
  21. Andrew December 1, 2015


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