After upgrading to iOS 9.1, which is the latest operating system, on my iPhone 6, suddenly I noticed it was not able to search contacts within the Phone app or Contact apps.
Tried rebooting and even force rebooting by press & hold both lock button and home button wouldn’t help too. Giving me a headache while searching for contacts I need to call fast, while somehow forgotten the full name or company. The symptom is when using the Phone or Contacts app to search contacts, neither searching with numbers or alphabets typing into will show relevant or any results. But you know they are there.
Then I found this solution to solve the problems with contact search not working. Totally easy, not as what I thought a huge bug hiding within the latest iOS 9.1, although it should really need a fix ASAP.
Just open your Phone app and turn to the “Contacts” tap or straight away open the Contacts app. On the upper left corner, there is a “Group” function link.
Tap on it and you will see some options. Logically after choosing which group of contacts to be viewable, you will need to tap on the “Done” function link to set it. And the unable to search contacts with keywords problem goes away almost immediately.
To my testing, even if you do not change any option, by just clicking the “Done” function link itself after viewing the option page will partially get along with the contacts search problem. Only that the result might not be good enough for you.
For my experience, just tapping the “Done” function link and move on to search contacts would gives contacts result on a “hanging page”, which somewhat like it cannot scroll till the end enabling us to tap on the bottom result. It would just scroll up the page itself a little when you release your finger. Only when I tapped on “hide all contacts” and then back to “show all contacts”, next with “done” will shows the result page properly without any obvious bug.
Hope my idea helps, and please share this unable to search contacts solution to your friends using iPhone that has gotten this bug.