Skip to main content

How to delete contacts on an iPhone: Easy and quick methods

Over time, your iPhone's contact list can get rather extensive. Before you know it, you're scrolling through a multitude of people you never call or text. The list gets even longer when you add other accounts to the device, like Gmail, Yahoo, and Outlook.

Difficulty

Easy

Duration

10 minutes

What You Need

  • Apple iPhone

We show you how to delete contacts on an iPhone. Removing a single contact is easy, but ridding yourself of multiple contacts requires a trip online.

Delete a single contact

If you need to delete one or two contacts, this is the best way. Using this method means you can't delete more than one contact at a time, so it's great for the safety of your important contacts.

Step 1: Open the Contacts app.

iPhone apps Contacts app.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Select the contact you want to delete.

iPhone apps Contacts app choose contact.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Choose Edit at the top right corner of the screen.

iPhone apps Contacts app contact.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: Go down and tap Delete Contact.

iPhone apps Contacts app Delete command.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 5: Tap the Delete Contact pop-up to confirm.

iPhone apps Contacts app Delete confirmation.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Delete multiple contacts simultaneously

Because the Contacts app doesn't let you delete multiple contacts at once, you'll need to open a desktop browser (not mobile) and use the iCloud website to delete more than one contact at a time. This is the only way Apple provides to delete multiple contacts at once.

Step 1: Go to iCloud.com in a desktop web browser like Safari, log in using your Apple ID, and Click to open the Contacts web app.

Apple iCloud desktop interface.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and click on all the contacts you want to delete. They should all appear in the panel to the right.

Choosing a group of contacts by Control Click in iCloud.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Click on the Gear icon in the bottom left corner and select Delete on the pop-up menu.

Apple iCloud desktop Contacts interface.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: Select Delete again in the pop-up window to confirm.

Apple iCloud desktop interface delete confirmation.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Remove a specific account's contact list

One of the drawbacks of adding multiple accounts to your iPhone, like Gmail and Yahoo, is that their contact lists merge together in the Contacts app. The result is one long list that may have multiple entries of the same contact. To reduce this list and purge duplicates, you can disable contact synchronization for each account.

Step 1: In the Settings app, scroll down and tap Contacts.

iPhone Settings app with Contacts selected.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 2: Tap Accounts on the following screen.

iPhone Settings app with Contacts Accounts selected.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 3: Select an Account.

iPhone Settings app with specific account selected.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 4: Tap the toggle next to Contacts to remove that account’s list of contacts from your iPhone.

iPhone Settings app with Account toggle selected.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Step 5: Toggle the Control off and then confirm.

Note: To remove contacts in Apple’s cloud, tap iCloud followed by iCloud again to access the Contacts toggle.

iPhone Settings app with Account delete confirmation text.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Editors' Recommendations

Kevin Parrish
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Kevin started taking PCs apart in the 90s when Quake was on the way and his PC lacked the required components. Since then…
The best iPhone 14 Pro Max cases in 2024: top 17 you can buy
Nomad's Modern Leather case on an iPhone 14 Pro Max.

The iPhone 14 Pro Max has become a favorite among Apple fans since its launch. While it’s never easy to spend more money, especially after buying a new phone, it’s a good idea to invest in a protective case for the phone to avoid scratches, chips, or other damage. You can find plenty of cases on the market, from those that provide complete protection to those that add style to your phone. Here are our top picks for the best cases available for the iPhone 14 Pro Max in 2024.

Read more
7 hidden iMessage features you need to be using
hidden iMessage features.

Apple's iMessage is a widely used messaging app with over 1 billion active users. It was launched in 2011 and is deeply integrated into Apple devices, allowing iPhone, iPad, and Mac users to exchange text messages, photos, videos, and more seamlessly across platforms.

Over the years, Apple has introduced many new features to the Messages app. You probably use some of them every day, but others are easy to overlook and forget about it. Below are a few of our favorite hidden iMessage features — and ones you should be using if you aren't already.
Pinning messages

Read more
The best iPhone 14 Pro cases: 20 best ones in 2024
OtterBox OtterGrip case front of iPhone 14 Pro

Apple's iPhone 14 Pro is an impressive device that comes packed with a lot of features users will love. It boasts a stunning, always-on 6.1-inch Dynamic Island display, a fast and responsive A16 Bionic chip, and an excellent 48MP primary camera.

However, despite its strength and durability, it is important to protect it with a suitable case. If you're looking for the best iPhone 14 Pro cases available right now, here are some great options to consider.

Read more