Thanks for Erasing My Contacts

Went from em client 8 to 8.1

And lost ALL my contacts.

Thanks a lot for nothing!

To anyone else with some tech knowledge - how do I get my contacts back?

Were your contacts synced with an email provider like Gmail or Yahoo! If so, when you login to your provider’s web interface, can you see your contacts?

How were your contacts setup in eM Client if not part of a Gmail account? Was it setup as Exchange, or were the contacts added as a CardDAV or other separate account?

Thanks Gary. The contacts were not set up in the webmail provider which is why I’m not pleased about losing them. They were set up directly in em client in the contacts tab.

I don’t know what “exchange” or “carddav” are so I can’t answer that question.

Any other suggestions are welcome.

If the contacts were not synced, then they are in Local Folders.

Go to Menu > Settings > General and make sure that Show Local Folders is ticked.

Then go to the Contacts section of eM Client and click on the Local Folders Contacts folder.


Hey Gary. I tried your instructions but “show local folders” was already checked and the contacts section has no folders at all. it just has “contacts” which is completely empty. there is no “local folders contacts” or anything of the sort on which to click.

And when you click on the Contacts section, what do you see?


Hi Gary, in the contacts screen I see only one “folder” on the left which simply says “Contacts”. Clicking on it does nothing.

There is a vertical list of letters and numbers which appears to be a way to sort through a directory of contacts except that they are completely empty.

(I don’t usually go to my contacts this way - I always used to use “ctrl+B” which gave a small popup box containing my contacts and allowed me to search my contacts more easily instead of switching screens. However, when I try this way the result is the same. I use ctrl+B, the popup box appears, and the box is empty. My searches find no results. There is a dropdown for folder which has two options “All Contacts” and “Contacts”, both of which are empty)

All my contacts were completely erased.

That was the next thing I was going to ask you to try.

And you are sure they are not in your webmail interface?

Otherwise, how did you update eM Client? Did you uninstall and then install the new version?

Did you change your database directory in your settings (Menu > Settings > General > Storage)?

Do you have a recent backup of eM Client?

Hello, they would not be in my webmail because I added the contacts from em client, not from webmail. I almost never even open my webmail since I use em client.

I updated em client using the box that automatically offered to install 8.1. i believe the installation process did entail uninstalling the last version, however 8.1 looks identical to 8 so I’m not sure what I gained from the update (other than losing all my contacts).

I did not back up my em client because I did not expect anything like this to happen.

When you uninstalled the previous version, there was a popup window that asked if you wanted to delete the database directory. If you chose yes, then your data will have been deleted.

That is no excuse. Backups are there for a reason, and especially if your data is not synced with your email provider, you should backup regularly.

After poking around in the emclient folder and the settings, I discovered it was set up for automatic backup.

Do you know how to restore the most recent backup? If so, maybe my contacts are available.

Because a restore will completely erase all your current data, this is what you need to do:

  1. Make a backup now using Menu > Backup. You will come back to this one later.

  2. Disconnect your computer from the Internet.

  3. In eM Client, go to Menu > File > Restore and select the most recent backup you made before the upgrade.

  4. When eM Client has restarted, check the contacts are there, then go to Menu > File > Export and select Export Contacts to vcf files.

  5. When that is done, go to Menu > File > Restore and select the backup you made in step 1.

  6. Reconnect to the Internet.

  7. When eM Client has restarted go to Menu > File > Import and select Contacts as vCard.


Gary thanks again for all the help but your instructions did not work, and I’m afraid that they may have inadvertently made the situation completely unfixable. Following step 1 seems to have REPLACED the backup from January 8 with the new data (noticed this after going into the em client folder and finding that the folder from the January 8 was gone and replaced with one with a later date). As a result when I “restored” em client, it did not allow me to “select” any particular backup, instead “restoring” it to precisely where it was when I started the process. Now I imagine it is completely impossible to get my contacts back.

I doubt anyone with em client seems to read these forums, but if so they should know that this update was royally screwed up and as a longtime user I don’t appreciate it.

Each backup has a unique name. The format is The backup from the 8th will be something like One you made in step 1 yesterday will be

Just my two cents. I might be wrong but probably in the backup settings, “Preserve last” was set to one (1) backup only.

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If the backup has been replaced because the setting was to preserve only one backup, do you maybe have a backup of your documents folder (or wherever you had the eM Client backup) since the 8th?