If you have been an iPhone user for some time, you definitely must have asked yourself “How to delete multiple contacts on your iPhone?”.
Well, it is a task to delete contacts from the Contacts App simply because you’re permitted to delete only one at a time. Check out our guide on How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone for all the details.
This tedious process only gets frustrating after some time especially if you have significantly built your contact list over the last couple of years.
Little do most know, there are a couple of ways contacts can be deleted in bulk and I am going to show you just that. Also, make sure to have your Apple ID and account sorted.
So without any further delay let’s get into How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone, shall we?
After going through all of Apple’s official documents and compiling information from our sources; my team and I found that:
With iOS 16 deleting multiple contacts is a whole lot easier. Now you simply have to tap on one contact you wish to delete and without lifting your index finger use your second finger to highlight all the contacts you want removed. Once highlighted, press and hold the grey highlighted area and a pop-up will appear. Click on Delete contacts to have them removed from your iPhone.
Apart from this there are three other ways you can delete multiple contacts from your iPhone if you’re using an older version of iOS. One is by using iCloud, the second is by using a Mac and the third option is by using a third-party tool.
Read on to learn everything there is to know about deleting multiple contacts from your iPhone in 2023.
Related: How to Delete Old iCloud Backups
How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone
Table of Contents
Even though Apple does not permit you to delete contacts in bulk on the iPhone they have been permitted to do so via iCloud and the Contacts App on your Mac. You can also delete multiple contacts at one go using third-party apps but I’ll get into that later. This methodology works for iPad as well.
But first, let’s find out How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone.
Step 1 Open the Contacts app.
Step 2 Now tap on a contact to open its page.
Step 4 Click on Edit at the top right corner.
Step 5 Scroll down and tap on Delete Contact.
How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone with iOS 16
Apple recently launched iOS 16 and unbeknownst to most they have rolled out a new feature that lets you delete multiple contacts at one straight from your phone book without having to use third-party apps or iCloud.
If you have your iPhone updated to iOS 16 then you can follow these steps to delete contacts from your iPhone in bulk the easy way.
If your iPhone is not running on iOS 16 then i suggest that you update your iPhone to the latest version or follow the alternative methods listed below.
- Open the contacts app on your iPhone and then locate the contacts you want to delete.
- Use two fingers to select the first contact and with your second finger drag over the contacts you want to delete
- All the selected contacts will be highlighted in grey
- Next release your fingers and then long press the grey highlight (selected contacts)
- From the pop up that appears, click on Delete Contacts and the selected contacts will be permanently deleted from your iPhone.
How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone Using iCloud
iCloud will work only if you have ‘automatic backup to iCloud’ turned on. This feature allows you to make changes to individual contacts or in bulk and will get updated on all your Apple devices logged into iCloud.
For example, when you change a contact’s name on your iCloud, the updated name reflects across all devices and so on…
Here’s how to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone using iCloud,
Step 1 Go to iCloud.com on a PC or Mac but not your iPhone. Log in to your iCloud account using your Apple ID and password.
Step 2 On the iCloud homepage, select Contacts from the list of Apps.
Step 3 Hold the Command key and select the contacts you want to delete.
Or click on the Settings (Gear) icon and then click on Select All.
Step 4 At the bottom left of the screen tap on the Settings (Gear) icon.
Step 5 Tap on Delete.
This is a highly recommended method to get rid of those old unwanted contacts on your iPhone.
In case you use Google Drive or Gmail, you can still batch delete your contacts. All you have to do is go to the Drive or Gmail account and delete the contacts. Make sure to enable the sync. Once you refresh your contacts, you can see the changes.
How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone Using Mac
Apart from deleting contacts on iCloud, you’re able to mass delete contacts via the Contacts App on your Macbook. However, if you don’t have a Macbook and instead use a Windows PC then the above-mentioned steps are best suited for you.
To have this done:
Step 1 First make sure you are logged into the same iCloud account across devices, Mac included. For this,
Step 2 Head to System Preferences on your Macbook and click on iCloud.
Step 3 Proceed to sign in and check the Contacts box to sync your contacts with the Macbook.
Step 4 Now open the Contacts App on the Macbook which is located in Applications.
Step 5 You can go ahead and select all the unwanted contacts in bulk by tapping on the Command key each time you select a contact.
Step 6 Once all the contacts are selected in bulk, right-click and click on Delete cards.
Step 7 Finally click on Confirm Delete in the pop-up window.
Step 8 All your changes will reflect on the iPhone’s Contact App once iCloud has been synced.
Since there are two primary ways to have multiple contacts deleted at once on the iPhone, I have taken a few more examples of how we can merge or delete duplicate contacts on the iPhone and also how we can use a third-party app like Groups to mass delete unwanted contacts. Let’s take a look and see how you can get this done.
How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone using Third Party Apps Like Groups
Third-party apps have been around since time immemorial with new versions and features being pushed out quite often making our iPhones all the cooler to use.
The Groups App is designed to let users delete multiple contacts at once, especially if you’re not too keen on going the roundabout way by using iCloud.
The Groups App can maintain privacy by working with your native contacts and by using the overall capabilities of your iPhone. So check out How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone using Groups,
Step 1 Download the Groups App on your iPhone. Once downloaded, launch it and follow the tutorial.
Step 2 Now that Groups have been installed successfully, proceed to grant access to your Contacts.
Step 3 On the Contacts list in Groups, select All Contacts and tap on the circle next to each contact you want to delete in bulk.
Step 4 Once selected, tap on Choose Action and click on Delete Contacts.
Step 5 Tap on Remove from my iPhone in the dialogue pop-up box.
Now you can head to the in-built Contacts App to confirm that the changes have been made. The deleted contacts will not reflect across devices once the updated contact list has been synced, Though Groups is not the only application out there, it is efficient and can get the job done.
Turn Contacts On or Off for an Account to Delete Multiple Contacts
Do you want to add or remove all contacts from an account? You can do this by turning Contacts on/off for the account. This is an easy way to delete all contacts on your iPhone. Follow these steps to turn Contacts on/off for an account.,
Step 1 Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
Step 2 Tap on Contacts.
Step 3 Now, tap on Accounts.
Step 4 Now, select the account that you want to add or remove contacts from.
Step 5 To add contacts, toggle on Contacts. If you want to remove then toggle off Contacts.Step 6 Tap on Delete from My iPhone.
How to Delete iPhone contacts that were synced from other eMail accounts?
If you’ve set up your business email on your iPhone, you’re probably bound to have all your business contacts get synced with your iPhone contact list. This can be problematic especially if you’re using the iPhone for personal use and don’t want to mix business and pleasure.
You can get rid of all the contacts synced from your email accounts from within the iPhone itself. A few steps and you’ll be done,
Step 1 Go to the Settings App and scroll down till you land on Passwords & Accounts.
Step 2 Here, tap on the corresponding email account (Outlook, Gmail, or any other)
Step 3 Under the Account name you’d have Contacts that are set as On. Turn it off to stop the iPhone from syncing your contacts associated with this email.
Step 4 Finally tap on Delete from my iPhone to confirm that all your synced email contacts will be removed.
If you have multiple email accounts set up on your iPhone you’d have to follow the same steps for each account.
Block a contact
If you are sure that you don’t need messages or calls from a certain number/contact, then you can block it. Blocking a contact will restrict calls, messages, and FaceTime from that number.
So if there is a contact that spams you, then you can just block them so that you don’t have to deal with their nuisance again. Blocking spam and scam contacts is highly recommended by our team.
Note that blocking a contact will block them on all your devices if you have iCloud enabled for contacts. If you want to receive messages and calls from the contact, then you have to unblock the contact from your contacts app. Also, note that blocking a contact will still allow them to leave voice messages for you.
Once you have blocked a contact you can go ahead and delete it as it will stay blocked until you unblock it.
To block a contact on your iPhone, follow these steps,
Step 1 Open the Phone app on your iPhone.
Step 2 Now go to Favorites, Recents, or Voicemail, and then tap the info (i) button next to a contact or a number.
Step 3 Now, scroll down and then tap on Block this Caller.
Alternatively, you can do this,
Step 1 Open the Contacts app on your iPhone.
Step 2 Tap on the contact or number you want to block.
Step 3 Now, scroll down and then tap on Block this Caller option.
How to Restore your iPhone to its Factory Settings
Restoring your iPhone to its Factory Settings is another way to delete multiple contacts. Except it will delete all your contact. You won’t be able to pick and choose like the other three methods.
This method only makes sense, if you need to delete your contacts before gifting your phone or if you are planning on selling it to a random stranger.
To delete all your contacts using this method all you have to do is:
Step 1 Go to Settings and then click on General.
Step 2 Now, click on Reset.
Step 3 Select Erase All Content and Settings.
Step 4 Enter your Apple ID.
Step 5 Tap on Confirm.
How to Block a Contact instead of Deleting it
The majority of the time blocking the contact should suffice. Unless you know for sure that you’ll never need to call, text, or even FaceTime a contact, then you can go ahead and delete it. You know how to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone, but check how to block them.
However, if you’re having a minor spat with a friend or even a family member, then it’s better you block them rather than delete them completely. After all, deleting a contact is permanent and cannot be undone. You’ll have to find the number and re-create the contact from scratch if you want to undo it.
What’s more, is that the contact will be removed from all devices that have access to your iCloud Contact.
Blocking the contact is fairly easy. All you need to do is go to contacts, select the contact you want to block, and scroll to the bottom of the screen where you select the ‘block this caller” option.
Another way to block contact is to either head to favorites, recent’ or voicemail. Here all you need to do is tap the ‘i’ (More Info) button next to the number you want to block. Now, simply scroll down and select the ‘block this caller” option.
If you ever want to manage your blocked contacts head to settings then click on phone and then select blocked contacts.
How to Avoid Deleting All Contacts
If you are handing over your iPhone to someone else, you might be considering deleting all the data on it. This includes contact information and if not done right, you might delete all contacts associated with your account as well.
To safely delete contacts from your phone, remove your Apple ID from the device and then reset your iPhone. This way all data will be deleted but nothing will be lost from your account.
How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone – Final Thoughts
With changes that take place each day in our lives, people indeed come and go. From a friend who parted ways to an ex-flame and co-workers, deleting those unwanted contacts from our iPhones happens frequently.
Since Apple does not permit iOS to delete multiple contacts at a time it becomes a task to manually remove one contact at a time.
I hope this list of methods on How to Delete Multiple Contacts on your iPhone was helpful and has made deleting in bulk a whole lot easier.
How to Merge Duplicate Contacts on iPhone
Merging contacts is easy, it can be used in case there is a contact or more with multiple numbers saved under different nicknames. This method cleans up the contact list while also retaining the contact numbers of each person.
Step 1 Start by opening the Contacts app, tap on the green phone icon located on the HomeScreen, and select Contacts from the list of options at the footer of the screen.
Step 2 Now that you’re in your contact list, scroll till you locate the contacts you wish to merge.
Step 3 Select the Name of the contact from the list and then tap on the Edit button situated on the top right-hand side of the screen.
Step 4 Upon clicking on Edit, you will be presented with options to add details to the contact, link the contact, or simply delete the contact. Click on Link Contacts from the list.
Step 5 You will not be shown your complete list of contacts, pick the appropriate names one at a time by tapping on them and clicking the link that’s going on the top right-hand side of the screen.
Following these steps can help you save space by merging all your duplicate contacts. However, it’s a time-consuming process as each contact has to be merged individually. Check out How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone in our guide above.
How to Delete Duplicate Contacts on the iPhone
To delete duplicate contacts on your iPhone you will have to follow the same steps listed above.
Step 1 Open the Contacts app on your iPhone.
Step 2 Scroll till you locate the contacts you wish to merge.
Step 3 Select the Name of the contact from the list and then tap on Edit.
Step 4 Upon clicking on Edit, you will be presented with options to add details to the contact, link the contact, or simply delete the contact.
Step 5 Tap on Delete Contact.
You will have to do this manually for each duplicate contact in your Contacts list. These steps can be followed on any of the iPhone models running iOS 10 or later.
How to Delete Duplicate Contacts in iPhone using iCloud?
Do you know that you can delete duplicate contacts that are present on your iPhone using iCloud? If you want to do this, then follow the below steps,
Step 1 Open iCloud.com on any of your devices.
Step 2 Login using your Apple ID and password.
Step 3 Tap or Click on Contacts.
Step 4 From the contacts list, select the duplicate contacts you want to remove. (To select multiple contacts, long-press the Command key on Mac or the Ctrl key on Windows.)
Step 5 Once you have selected the duplicate contacts you want to delete, click on Delete.
And that’s all, this way you can delete all the duplicate contacts present on your iPhone using iCloud.
How to fix the “Can’t Delete Contacts” Issue
Sometimes you might run into weird errors that don’t let you delete contacts. Although this is fairly common in iPads, it is also seen in iPhones. Most of the time, the contacts app freezes or there’s usually some unusual issue. In case this happens to you.
Don’t panic and run to the Apple Service center before diagnosing the problem. Majority of the time a simple fix like Updating your iOS would fix this issue. All you have to do is follow these steps.
Step 1 Try restarting the device. This works 90% of the time.
Step 2 If it still doesn’t work, then force quit the Contacts App and relaunch it. This should Ideally work.
Step 3 Now, if you’re in the other 10% then you’ll, unfortunately, have to hard reset your iPhone.
Step 4 So, back up all your data to iCloud or your computer and reset it.
Step 5 As an additional step also ensure to update your iOS by heading to the settings and updating your software.
Step 6 You can take it up a level and free some space on your device by deleting unwanted apps or files.
Now, if it still doesn’t work after all these steps then you can head to the Genius Bar.
What is the fastest way to delete Contacts on iPhone?
The fastest way to delete contacts on iPhone is to use the Settings app. Just follow these steps to quickly delete Contacts on your iPhone,
Step 1 Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
Step 2 Tap on Contacts.
Step 3 Tap on Accounts.
Step 4 Tap on the account that has contacts that you want to delete.
Step 5 To delete a contact, tap on turn off Contacts, and then tap on Delete from My iPhone.
Check out How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone in our guide above.
Is there a way to delete multiple contacts on an iPhone?
Yes, you can quickly delete multiple contacts on your iPhone through iCloud services only if your contacts are synced. All you’ll have to do is open your iCloud account and then select Contacts. Now, hold down the Command/Ctrl key on your desktop and select the contacts you want to remove. Once selected, you can now simply press the ‘Delete’ key on your keyboard.
What’s the fastest way to delete contacts on iPhone 13?
One of the quickest ways to delete contacts on iPhone 12 is by using the third-party application called Groups. Once you’ve installed the app, first allow it to access your contacts. Then, select all the contacts you want to remove, click on Choose Action function, and choose Delete Contacts.
How do you mass delete contacts on iPhone 13 Pro Max?
You can mass delete your contacts on your iPhone using iCloud service or a third-party application like Groups. However, to delete your contacts through iCloud, ensure that your current contact list is rightly synced with the cloud storage service.
Can you mass delete contacts on the current iOS?
As of now, the current iOS 14 does not permit you to delete contacts in bulk. Apple is still going with the whole solo delete option.
Can I Delete all my contacts on iCloud?
Yes, you can delete all your contacts on iCloud. You can do this by accessing Contacts within iCloud and selecting all the contacts one at a time by pressing on the Command key and tapping each name in your contact list. You can then proceed to right-click on the selection and tap on Delete Cards to erase your contacts. This works only if your iCloud is synced with all your Apple devices. Check out our guide on How to Delete Multiple Contacts on Your iPhone for all the details.
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Alan Urban is the Editor-in-chief of Stupid Apple Rumours and often proclaims that he’s ” Apple’s number one fan.”
In addition to keeping up with the latest Apple news, he also reviews Apple products and creates user-friendly guides. When not subjecting Apple Devices to crazy stress tests, he’s usually playing games on Apple Arcade