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I have a picture I snapped with my iPhone that I set as the image for someone on my phone contact list. Now I've lost the original image out of the photo folders. Is there any way to pull it out of the contact list?

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What OS/type of computer do you sync your iphone too? – Troggy Aug 24 '09 at 19:19
up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you're syncing your iPhone with Address Book on a Mac then you can edit the contact in Address Book, click on the image to select it and then copy it to the clipboard.

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+1, just tried that this works (and is, of course, way easier than the approach in my answer) – Jonik Aug 27 '09 at 5:52
Nice thanks John, I'll use this if my Mac is ever up and running again. – Van Gale Aug 27 '09 at 6:28

Used this maybe a couple times before a restore.

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If you're using your iPhone with a Mac, and syncing contacts between them, here's one way to get your hands on the photo, which I just tried. But this certainly is far from optimal; I hope there's some easier way.

[Edit: John Topley just described how to get the photo directly from Address Book's UI, without delving into its data folders; that is the easier way I was hoping for. So you'd probably only want to resort to the method below in some special cases, e.g. if you need all the contact photos at once.]

Under your home folder, locate the Library/Application Support/AddressBook/images subfolder. Here are all the images you've assigned to people in your contacts. The filenames will be something like 36C3C5E1-8BCE-4E0D-9FB4-12562C745A5A though, so to see what each image is, you'll need to change the filename to end with .jpg (make a copy first not to screw anything up).

If you have lots of contacts with photos, you wouldn't want to go through them manually like this, of course. But some scriptwork on the command line would make it easier; something like this:

  1. Make a copy of the whole AddressBook/images folder somewhere (e.g. using Finder)
  2. Fire up Terminal and cd to that (copied, not original) folder
  3. Run: for i in *; do mv $i $i.jpg; done
  4. Now, look at the folder in Finder again (in "Show as icons" mode), and using your built-in facial recognition abilities ;-) you should find the right image in a matter of seconds (unless you have hundreds and hundreds of photos in there)
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Thanks for this info. My Mac hard disk crashed a few months ago so I'll probably just wait and use this solution once I can get it up and running again. In the meantime hopefully someone else knows of a Linux/Windows solution. – Van Gale Aug 26 '09 at 1:33
When you get your Mac back, try John Topley's advice first. :) And from deddebme's post it seems it's as easy on Windows. – Jonik Aug 27 '09 at 5:55

If you sync iPhone in PC with outlook, you can extract the contact photos from outlook.

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