We’ll start with the bad news: iOS doesn’t provide a native application to create contact groups on the fly. Fortunately, there are a handful of free apps available in the App Store that can help you cross this bridge. Even better, creating contact groups the way Apple intended is easy enough, especially given the aptly-titled iCloud allows users to store documents, calendars, and contacts and access them on any device. In this how-to guide, we’ll cover the ins and outs of creating a contact group with iCloud, and give a quick tutorial on how to make contact groups with a popular app called Groups.
How to Make a Contact Group Using iCloud (Cross Platform)
Step 1: Go to iCloud.com and sign into your iCloud account using your Apple ID and password. Then, select Contacts to view a list of your current contacts.
Step 2: Select the addition sign in the bottom-left corner, and click New Group from the resulting pop-up menu. Alternatively, you can double-click the empty gray space to quickly create a new group.
Step 3: Next, replace the temporary group name and click anywhere outside of the text box to save it. If you want to change the name, double-click it and type the new name.
Step 4: To add contacts to a particular group, choose All Contacts at the top of the Contacts list, and click and drag your desired contacts to the desired group.
Step 5: To delete an entire group — or just a single contact from a group — select it, click the gear icon in the bottom-left corner, and select Delete. Keep in mind that this only deletes the contact from the group; deleting a group doesn’t delete the contacts it contained.
Step 6: Your group will then automatically sync with your iPhone’s contact list. To use your new group, tap the contacts icon on your iPhone and select Groups from the upper-left corner of your contacts page. Then, check the groups you want to use and select Done.
Step 7: If you accidentally deleted a group or a contact from a group, you can always use iCloud and an earlier iteration of your contact list to to restore it. To do so, log into your iCloud account on the web and click Settings. Once there, you’ll see a host of options for restoring contacts, files, reminders, calendars, and bookmarks under the Advanced section.
How to make a Contact Group Using Groups (App)
Groups is an app available on the App Store. It’s free and allows you to create groups without plugging your phone into your computer.
Step 1: Launch the App Store as you would normally on your iPhone. Then, enter “Groups” into the search field and install the app.
Step 2: Launch Groups, and on the main page, select Add New Group.
Step 3: On the New Group page, select No Contacts – Add Some. Then, select the people you’d like to include. Tap Done once you’ve added the desired people, and you’ll be given the option to name your group. To the right is a blue icon that you can tap to personalize your group icon. When you’re finished, hit Done in the upper-left corner. Keep in mind that you can add one person to multiple groups.
Step 4: To add or remove people to and from existing groups, click on the group name and select Manage in the upper-right corner. Scroll through and select the contacts you wish to add or remove. When finished, click Done in the upper-left corner and then the Group name at the top to return to the main page.
Tip: Let your iPhone automatically sync with iCloud. That way, when your phone is connected to your computer, your groups will automatically be backed up to iCloud.
This article was initially published on May 8, 2014, and updated on May 21, 2016, by Kyree Leary to include new instructions for iCloud.