Kyle Clegg Kyle Clegg - 1 year ago 164
iOS Question

Programmatically Request Access to Contacts

Since updating to iOS 6 I've noticed that my code to add a contact to iPhone's address book no longer works. I believe this is a permission related problem, since Apple now requires user permission before accessing contacts (fixing this issue ->

I expected the app to automatically ask permission to access contacts, like in the screenshot below, but it doesn't. Trying to add the contact just fails with

ABAddressBookErrorDomain error 1

Do I need to programmatically launch the access to contacts request dialog? How is that done?

access contacts

Answer Source

As per this documentation on apple's site (scroll down to Privacy in the middle of the page), access to the address book must be granted before it can be access programmatically. Here is what I ended up doing.

  #import <AddressBookUI/AddressBookUI.h>

  // Request authorization to Address Book
  ABAddressBookRef addressBookRef = ABAddressBookCreateWithOptions(NULL, NULL);

  if (ABAddressBookGetAuthorizationStatus() == kABAuthorizationStatusNotDetermined) {
    ABAddressBookRequestAccessWithCompletion(addressBookRef, ^(bool granted, CFErrorRef error) {
      if (granted) {
          // First time access has been granted, add the contact
          [self _addContactToAddressBook];
      } else {
          // User denied access
          // Display an alert telling user the contact could not be added
  else if (ABAddressBookGetAuthorizationStatus() == kABAuthorizationStatusAuthorized) {
    // The user has previously given access, add the contact
    [self _addContactToAddressBook];
  else {
    // The user has previously denied access
    // Send an alert telling user to change privacy setting in settings app

Update For iOS 9 and later:

From Apple website :


The Address Book UI framework is deprecated in iOS 9. Use the APIs defined in the ContactsUI framework instead. To learn more, see ContactsUI

Recommended from our users: Dynamic Network Monitoring from WhatsUp Gold from IPSwitch. Free Download