Sunday, April 19, 2015

iPhone - Recents Call History empty and shows -1 count

This drove me mad for the entire day. I downgraded from iOS 8.3 to 8.2 so that I can still access file managers like iExplorer and play Injustice peacefully. Games based on Unreal Engine were not playing smooth after the update. After downgrading and restoring the backup, everything seemed to work fine, until a day later when I realized that the call log is missing.

I tried restarting, restoring backup again, restoring earlier backup, etc. I tried resetting the settings too. None of this worked. All I see when I open the call log, all I see is a red popup that says "-1". Basically, call_history.db is fried and we can't do anything about it, because of the closed nature of the iOS system.

Solution? Erase all contents and do not restore a backup. This is important, because if you restore a backup, the corrupt log will again be copied to the phone, unless you have an old backup. You could try experimenting by restoring from an older backup before trying the following method.

Things like contacts, whatsapp messages, games can be restored from iCloud or iTunes. But do not restore the latest backup from iCloud or iTunes. This will again corrupt the call log file. Instead, set up as a new iPhone.

Step 1: Backup all your data from your phone to iTunes/iCloud.
Step 2: Backup your messages, contacts, voice memos, etc using a software like iExplorer. Also copy saved games and other app data (eg: Whatsapp Backup).
Step 3: If you want to downgrade from 8.3 to 8.2, do it. Else go to the next step.
Step 4: Go to  Settings > General > Reset. Click Erase All Content and Settings. Warning: Point of no return.
Step 5: Set up as a new iPhone and do not restore from the backup. After the initial screens, test by calling someone. You would be able to see the call details in the "Recents" call log.
Step 6: Sign into iCloud account after the phone restarts. Restore data from iCloud and iTunes.

Please leave a comment if this helped you. Cheers


Anonymous said...

The same problem. You saved me a lot of time, thank you!

Anonymous said...


How can I restore from iCloud backup after setting my phone as new Phone?

Can you please explain the last step?

kirankumar said...

Excellent explanation of the blog I liked it

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