Verse contacts missing and sync not working in iOS 11


I upgraded my iPad to iOS 11.0.0 last night - and this morning realized that my IBM Verse contacts had disappeared from my iPhone! I didn't update my iPhone, nor did I make any changes of significance lately. Most upsetting! Here's a guide to restoring your contacts.

My organization uses IBM Verse for email, calendar and contacts (which Verse calls "People"). Verse was setup on my iPad via an enterprise MDM. Prior to the update, Verse was configured to sync its "people" to the iPad Contacts via a contact Group called "IBM Verse", and the iPad Contacts would in turn sync to iCloud, and evenentually, to my iPhone.

After the update to iOS 11, this group disappeared, and my iPad Contacts was (mostly) empty! I quickly realized Verse could no longer sync! In Verse, I went to Settings to enable Sync with Apple Contacts, but kept getting this error:


To sync Verse People with the Apple Contacts app, contact sync settings for other accounts need to be changed. Select 'FAQ' for detailed instructions.

Not a Fix, only a Workaround

I didn't spend too long trying to get sync working - I needded by contacts back pronto! I tried to follow the FAQ and turned off Contacts in iOS Settings under Accounts & Passwords and then turned it on again... but still no go.

So, sync for me is (permanently?) broken, but what about getting my contacts back?!

Restoring Contacts

First, login to and hit Settings. Right under your devices you'll find this:

iCloud Settings Advanced: Restore options

Hit Restore Contacts and you'll get a dialog of recent automatic backups. Select one, wait a bit... and you'll get the contacts back!

iCloud Settings Advanced: Restore Contacts

I also wanted to "move" the contacts out of the "IBM Verse" group permanently, since I couldn't get it sync-ing anyway. I assume Verse "owns" these contacts, and it stubbornly insists on changing my contact note to include "Exported from IBM Verse" like I really need to be reminded.

So, on my mac, I opened up Contacts, and then selected the restored contacts in the "IBM Verse" group. From the Edit, I did Select All and Remove from Group.

Now the contacts only should be "owned" by my iOS Contacts app. Goodbye Verse People, good riddance.

I also updated to iOS 11.0.1, which reportedly fixed Exchange Email Server Issues, but this didn't fix my sync issue.