iPhone offers a Contacts app for managing all your contacts in one single place. However, you can add contacts from phone, mail and messages apps which can easily result in cluttered and lengthy list. Therefore, it is essential to clean up unnecessary entries from the list to keep it easy for use. In this article, we will explain how to delete single and multiple contacts in iPhone along with removing duplicate items.
Before Deleting Contacts in iPhone
Remember, deleting and blocking are two different actions. You can block a person to avoid calls, messages and emails and unblock anytime when you needed. However, this will not remove the person’s details from your contacts list. Deleting is a permanent action of removing the details from your contact list synchronized across devices using iCloud. Hence, there are no ways to retrieve the deleted contact entries in iPhone. If you are cleaning up a big mess, make sure to take a backup by exporting all your contacts as a vCard from iCloud website. You can import this backup to restore the contacts list if anything goes wrong.
Delete Single Contact in iPhone
You can delete a single contact entry from the list right from the Contacts app in your iPhone.
- Open Contacts app and tap on the entry you want to delete.
- Tap on “Edit” link showing on top right corner when you are viewing the details.
- Scroll down to bottom of the page and tap on “Delete Contact” option.
- Confirm the action by tapping on “Delete Contact” on the pop-up.
This will permanently delete the entry from your contact list. If your list is small, you can delete unnecessary entries one by one to trim the list.
Enable iCloud Contacts Sync in iPhone
Unfortunately, there are no options within iPhone Contacts app to delete multiple entries at once. The only option is to sync your contacts using iCloud and delete multiple entries from Mac or iCloud website. It is also a good idea to sync all your contacts when you have multiple devices like iPhone and Mac. Since Mac and iCloud website has their own “Contacts” app, it will be useful to manage contacts details from anywhere with iCloud sync.
You can enable contacts syncing either from iPhone or from other devices like Mac. Follow the below instructions for iPhone:
- Go to “Settings” app and tap on your Apple ID showing at the top.
- On the next screen, select “iCloud” option.
- Enable “Contacts” option to sync your contacts across devices using the same Apple ID.
Enable iCloud Contacts Sync in Mac
If you have Mac, follow the below instructions to enable contacts syncing.
- Click on Apple logo showing on top left corner and select “System Preferences…”.
- Click on “Apple ID” option showing on the top section.
- Select “iCloud” from the sidebar and check the “Contacts” option from right pane.
Remember, enabling iCloud sync in one device will automatically enable the option in all devices singed in with the same Apple ID.
Delete Multiple Contacts from Mac
As mentioned, one of the major reasons for enabling iCloud sync is to have the possibility of deleting multiple contacts.
- Open “Contacts” app in Mac.
- Select multiple contacts by holding command key which is useful when you want to select random entries.
- Alternatively, select first item, hold shift key and click on the last item to select the block.
- After selecting multiple entries, right-click on your selection and choose “Delete Cards” option. Or go to “Edit > Delete Cards” menu.
- Confirm the prompt to delete the entries from all your devices.
Delete Multiple Contacts from iCloud Website
If you do not have Mac, then you can iCloud website to delete multiple contact entries.
- Open icloud.com website from iPhone or from your Windows PC.
- Login with the same Apple ID that you are using on your iPhone.
- You will the dashboard showing list of apps and open Contacts app.
- Select multiple contacts using control key in Windows and command key in Mac. Or use shift key to select the block similar to Mac Contacts app.
- You will see the list of selected people on the right pane.
- After that press delete key or click on the gear icon showing on lower left corner and select “Delete” option.
- Confirm the prompt to delete the selected contacts from your list.
Disable Sync and Delete iCloud Contacts
If you do not like to use iCloud sync anymore, you can disable by turning the “Contacts” option off under “Settings > Apple ID > iCloud” in your iPhone. When disabling the sync, you can either choose to delete the previously synced contacts or keep them on your phone.