How to Recover Lost Skype Contacts?

Lost contacts

Ever since Skype 1.2, your contact list is stored on the Skype servers (instead of your computer). This way even if all the data on your hard drive is deleted they are still safe. Also if you sign in on another device they will be pulled from the server automatically.

Unfortunately this is not enough to ensure that we always have access to our contacts. We constantly see people online, that have lost their contacts. Usually this is caused in by an error in the software and usually it happens right after installation of Skype or after updating to another version. This is why I recommend to everyone, who hasn’t still lost their contacts, to make a backup.

If your Skype contacts are missing, follow these steps:

1. Are they really missing?

1.1 Maybe you are signing in with the wrong Skype name

Ooops!Sometimes it looks like your contacts are gone, but this is actually not true. For example if you have more than one Skype name you might sign in by accident with the one that you don’t use a lot and doesn’t have your current contacts.

Some people forget their own Skype name after time because they have used the automatic sign in feature for a long time. When they reinstall the program they could sing in with an old account for example.

1.2 Skype could be set up to hide some contacts

SettingsSometimes part of the contacts or even all of them could not be showing in the list because they are hidden from the settings. To show all of them do the following:

For Skype 5.10, Skype 6 and more recent versions:

  1. Open Skype and sign in with your username and password.
  2. From the menus go to: Contacts -> Contact lits -> All.
  3. From the menus go to: Contacts -> Hide contacts who, and uncheck everything that is checked (if any).
  4. From the menus go to: View -> Contacts.

For Skype 4 or Skype 5 (up to 5.9):

  1. Open Skype and sign in with your username and password.
  2. From the menus go to: Contacts -> Contact categories. Here uncheck See All Contact Categories (if checked).
  3. From the menus go to: Contacts -> Hide contacts who, and uncheck everything that is checked (if any).
  4. From the menus go to: View -> Contacts.

For Skype 3.8:

  1. Open Skype and sign in with your username and password.
  2. From the menus go to: View -> Contact groups. Here uncheck Enable Contact Groups (if checked).
  3. From the menus go to: View -> Hide Contacts That Are. Here uncheck everything that is checked (if any).
  4. Make sure that you have clicked on the tab named Contacts. The other ones are: SkypeFind, History, Call Phones, and Live.

2. Restoring contacts from a backup file

BackupIf you have ever made a backup of your contacts, then you can restore them by doing the following:

  1. Open Skype and sign in with your username and password.
  2. From the menus go to: Contacts (in Skype 3.8 go to Tools instead) -> Advanced -> Restore contacts from file …
  3. Find your backup file, select it and click Open

3. Moving the folder %appdata%\Skype

FolderIf your contacts in Skype are really missing and you do not have a backup, then the first thing to do is to move a specific Skype folder, where various data is stored. This could force Skype to download your list from the server.

To do it, quit Skype and open any folder. In the address bar input %appdata% and hit Enter. Move the folder called Skype somewhere safe (DO NOT delete it, we might need it). The folder must not exist in the original place (in %appdata%). This way a new one will be created. Now sign in with your username and password and see if your contacts are restored.

Keep in mind that the folder we moved has the chat history and Skype settings of the people that use Skype on your computer, so if this did not work it will be best to return it from where you moved it.

Another idea is to reinstall Skype or to upgrade to the most recent version.

4. Tool for restoring missing Skype contacts

ToolsIf you still can’t see your contacts, then you can use this tool to get a list with their Skype names. After that you will have to add them manually one by one.

To make this tool work you need to upload the config.xml file. It is located in the folder we moved in the previous step. Open it and then open the folder with a name equal to your Skype name. There you will find the file.

To upload it click Browse…, find the file, click Open, and click Upload. You should see the list to the right.

If there are any questions or the tool is giving you an error, please leave a comment below and I will try to help you when I can.

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Category: Skype Problems

18 comments

  1. Omg thanks! My account got hacked and I deleted my email accidentally before that. You saved my life!!! Thanks so much!!

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  2. My phone list or contacts are listed as names before. All of a sudden, the list became all numbers so it is difficult to make calls. How can I convert back to names list please?

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  3. @Almario
    Hi.
    I don’t know about that. It is probably some kind of setting for the phone.
    You are talking about your phone contacts, right? Because this page is for skype contacts.

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  4. Someone hacked my skype account. Is it possible to get back my friends contact list of that skype id. I dont have a restore back up copy.

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  5. skype has being block me for a while now from opening new skype id .. is there anything i can do about it .. my skype those not last up to 20minutes even without adding contact

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  6. @jerry
    Hi. I did not really understand what you mean. You cannot make new account? And what do you mean it last 20 minutes?

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  7. why skype suspended my account
    my 1 account got hacked , 2 suspended by skype
    i dont know whats going on ..
    thanks you i get my contact list with your procedure , but now how to send multiple request . any option?
    or how to make it back up file like “vcp” ?

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  8. Hello good morning, i want know if there another option because i follow the process to restored my contact to another account but none of them is coming online and am sure that the request didn’t send again.

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  9. @Nd colins
    Hi. I guess they need to add the new account too. Do they know to do that and do they know that this is you.

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  10. Old versions don’t work any more. There might be some hacked versions that work, but I am not researching them and can’t tell you current information on this.

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  11. @cyndy
    Hi. You can add him again. If you do not know the email or skype name, you should be able to see him in the RECENT tab with a question mark on the status icon. Right click him and add him to your list.

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  12. @zineb
    Hi. I don’t know what is happening then. Maybe try contacting Skype support.

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