Here's How to Delete Single & Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone

Delete contacts on your iPhone/iPad with these quick & helpful tips

You should delete your contacts from time to time, whether you have people you no longer talk to or simply because your phone has been duplicating contacts or syncing contacts via your iCloud account.

After all, having an iPhone that is cluttered with outdated or pointless information can be frustrating.

Luckily, deleting contacts is relatively easy to do on the iPhone, even though you cannot delete multiple contacts at one go on your iPhone directly. In this guide, we will go through various methods you can try whether you want to delete multiple contacts in bulk or delete specific contacts.

First off, no, you cannot delete multiple contacts at once. If you go into the contacts app for iOS, you will not see anything that will let you just delete multiple contacts.

There are ways to get around this, though. Start by wiping all the iCloud contacts that are synced from other devices. If you have many contacts that have synced to your phone, doing this is the easiest way to get rid of all those extra contacts that you do not need.

You can also delete any third-party contacts and stop them from syncing with your device. This means stopping syncing that comes with services like Gmail, AOL, Outlook, or other types of third-party services.

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You already know that you can delete all your third-party contacts. As for how to do that, just follow these steps.

These steps will help you delete them, although you do need to stop syncing your contacts if you want to avoid having to do this in the future again.

  1. Head over to your Settings app on your iOS device and choose your Contacts.
  2. Tap your Accounts button. This will show you accounts like your Gmail. You only need to tap on the accounts that you want to delete the contacts from.
  3. In your options menu, scroll down. You should see various toggles—turn off the one for your Contacts.
  4. A popup will appear that lets you Delete from My iPhone. You only need to click it to delete all of those contacts from your account.
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Your iPhone device has something called iCloud Contacts. This will let you manage and keep your contacts updated across all of your devices.

Unfortunately, this is also what can cause problems for you if you have syncing across everything and your contact book ends up being cluttered.

So, if you want to stop syncing, you can delete all your iCloud Contacts that have been previously synced.

  1. Start by opening your Setting app on your iPhone. You should see your own profile. Click your profile and choose iCloud.
  2. If you scroll down a little, there is an option there that says Contacts with a little toggle bar. You will want to click on that bar so that it is activated.
  3. You should see a popup from the bottom that will ask you what you want to do with all your previously synced iCloud contacts.
  4. Just tap the Delete from My iPhone/iPad.
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While it is important to stop syncing contacts, how about deleting all the other contacts that you have on your iPhone?

If you just want to delete a few contacts on your iPhone, you can do that, but just remember that deleting them from your phone will also delete them from other devices where you are using iCloud.

  1. Start by opening your Contacts.
  2. Scroll through to find that contact that you want to get rid of. Click on it.
  3. You should see an Edit at the top-right corner. Tap it.
  4. Scroll down now to the bottom of the screen.
  5. You should see a red bar that says Delete Contact.
  6. Click that and you’re done—contact deleted.

This does mean that if you have multiple contacts that you want to delete, you have to repeat this process for each one. It can get a little tedious if you have a lot of people that you want to get rid of. This brings us to the next step of deleting multiple contacts.

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Ordinarily, you cannot delete multiple contacts at once. For example, if you are using an iPhone, you have to go through your individual contacts one by one. But if you are using iCloud, you can indeed select multiple contacts to delete them with just one click.

The only thing you should keep in mind is that this is something you can only do on your computer. You cannot delete multiple contacts from your iPhone directly.

  1. Begin by opening your web browser and go to If you haven’t visited from your computer before, you will be asked to sign in with your Apple ID and password. This is the same sign-in that you might use to enter your iCloud from your phone. This might also require something like two-step verification from your phone as well.
  2. Once you are signed in, you will see all your classic iPhone icons. You should see contacts as one of those icons. Click it and highlight each contact that you would like to delete.
  3. You can do this by holding down the Control key and clicking all the contacts you no longer need. For those of you using a Mac, you will be holding onto the Command key instead as you tap your contacts.
  4. Once you have all of those are highlighted, be careful not to click away or you will have to highlight them all over again.
  5. Now, go to Settings at the bottom left corner. You will see the Delete button, and you only need to confirm that you would like to be rid of all the contacts.

Any devices that are linked with that iCloud account will now be rid of those contacts. But, of course, this means that any devices not connected will still need to be handled manually.

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As mentioned above, you can go into your iCloud to delete multiple contacts, and this works if you have been syncing contacts. You can also just delete all your synced contacts too.

But what if you want to delete third-party contacts right from your iPhone. If you want to do that, you can use a third-party app to help you. These are known as smart contact managers, most of which cost just a little bit to download.

For example, you can try Groups, which is free. However, there is a more comprehensive version for about $10.

Delete Contacts+ is another third-party app that also comes with a free option or a full version priced at $4. Look into each of them to figure out if the extra cost might be worth it to you. No matter which one you pick, both are easy to use and work reliably to remove multiple contacts in your iPhone.

In terms of how to use them to get rid of your contacts, let’s focus on Groups. Bear in mind that the actual process should be relatively similar no matter which app you choose. Launch your Groups app and let it access your contacts. You should see a button that says All Contacts.

From here, you can wipe out every single contact from your iPhone if you Select All at the top left of the screen.

If you would prefer to just select contacts, you can click to select the ones you do not need anymore.

You should see a button that says Choose Action right at the top. It will give you the option to Delete Contacts in the popup menu. You only need to confirm what you want to do.

If you want, you can verify that these contacts are gone right from the Contacts app, but you can also check on your other listed devices to be sure they’re gone.

How Many Contacts Can I Have?

You really should never exceed your contact limit since you can actually have around 50,000 contacts. Hopefully, you never actually have quite that many. But if you do, you know how to delete them now.

How Do I Sync Contacts?

You can also sync contacts if you want them to be the same across all devices. Just go to Settings, tap your name, and pick iCloud. Then, scroll through your list to move the slider and allow your contacts to sync.

Can I Organize My Contacts?

Yes, your iPhone does give you some customization options that will let you control your contacts list better. If you get anywhere close to that maximum of 50,000 contacts, or even just have a couple hundred, you might want to see whether you can do this.

To find the variety of controls, go to your Settings and then your Contacts. You can sort by first and last name like this.

Or you can organize your contacts by genre. For example, if you have personal contacts and work contacts. Now, this might not be the easiest thing to do if you have not input things like work emails and personal emails with your contacts, but you can still manually choose which group to.

Can I Just Delete All Contacts?

You cannot pick and choose which contacts you want to delete, but you also cannot choose to just delete all contacts and start over. You will need a third-party app or will need to go to your iCloud to pick everything at once.

What About Contacts Stored on My Phone?

There are some contacts that are stored directly on your phone and not on the Cloud, which you can still delete. These are the contacts that you need to delete one by one, though. Or you can do a factory reset if you genuinely want to completely start over.

These are all effective methods to delete contacts on your iPhone. If you have been bothered by all the contacts cluttering your iPhone, there is no need to bear with it any longer. Simply follow these methods to clear the contacts you no longer want and enjoy a more organized iPhone!

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