A rotor spinning within an active magnetic bearing (AMB) system will normally be levitated and hence operate without rotor-stator contact. External disturbances and inherent unbalance may be compensated with appropriate control to keep rotor deviations within the clearance gap. However, AMBs have limited dynamic load capacity due to magnetic material field saturation. Hence overload conditions may result in rotor-stator contact. A touchdown bearing (TDB) and rotor landing sleeve are usually included to protect the expensive rotor, magnetic bearing and sensor components from damage. Once rotor-TDB contact has been made, rotor dynamic conditions may ensue resulting in persistent rotor bouncing or rubbing limit cycle responses. Prolonged exposure to these severe dynamics will cause TDB degradation and require regular replacement. If possible, a clear aim should be to restore contact-free levitation through available control capability in an efficient manner. This paper is used to guide the control options that are available to restore contact-free levitation. The use of AMB control is appropriate if the required control forces are within saturation limits. It is also possible to actuate TDBs and destabilize persistent rotor dynamic contact conditions. For example, piezo-based actuation offers larger control forces than those from magnetic bearing systems. Hybrid control action involving both types of actuation system has the greatest potential for completely robust restoration of contact-free levitation.