Too many unwanted contacts on your contact list? Learn how to bulk delete iPhone contacts.
Let’s say you have synced the contact list mistakenly from someone, or maybe you just got a used iPhone as a gift from someone, a family member, or a friend, who knows. The fact is there are going to be a lot of extra contacts that are not yours, and since you are not a phonebook company per se, these extra names will not be of use to you, rather a burden instead. Imagine having to scroll through an almost endless list, or thanks to a quick search, having to input almost the entire contact name before having something very close to a close match.
Bottom-line is you have a lot of unwanted contacts that you want to delete from your phone. Deleting contacts is just as easy as clicking on the desired contact, accessing options, and clicking on the delete button. Easy right? True, but not when you want to delete many contacts at the same time. Doing it one at a time is going to be time-consuming and tedious. Your best bet here is to do a bulk delete and that is what this article is all about; how to bulk delete iPhone contacts.
Apple does not support mass contact action on iOS. Deleting contacts involved scrolling and clicking on the contact, click on the edit option, and then clicking on delete from the options. But lucky you, we have some solution to that.
There is more than one way you can clear multiple contacts at once from your contact list.
Using iCloud to delete multiple contacts
To bulk delete contacts on your phone using iCloud,
- Open your iCloud account on a PC. It can be any PC at all, macOS, Windows, or Linux. Just open icloud.com on your browser and sign in with your iCloud credentials.
- Security checks based on settings will require a two-factor authentication code to verify that you are the one. Enter the 6 digit codes sent to your device in the space provided.
- Since you are logging in on the PC for the first time, you need to add it to the whitelist by clicking on Trust on the next page that comes up after successfully entering the verification code. This will not require a verification code when next you log in to your iCloud account to that particular PC. Only do this on a private computer and not on something that is of public use.
- Click on contacts on your iCloud. This will display all the contacts backed up on your iCloud.
- Select all the contacts you want to delete from the list of contacts. Use whatever bulk selection shortcut keys available on the PC OS you are using to make this faster.
- To delete, press the delete or backspace button on your PC, or click on the settings button at the bottom left corner and then click on delete from the options.
- Confirm the delete action by clicking on delete again on the prompt that pops up.
All done! Selected contacts have been deleted. You can always cross-check your selected contacts before deleting them. All selected contacts are displayed on the right side of the screen as you select them.
Bulk deleting contacts on iPhone using Group
Another way is to download a third-party app that supports mass deleting of contacts. One of the best third-party iOS apps for managing contacts on iOS is Group.
- First, download and install the Group app on your phone. Open the Apple App Store and search for “Group”. Click on install
- Open the Group app.
- To view all your contacts on the Group app, grant the app permission to access your phone contacts.
- From all contacts, select the contacts that you want to delete by clicking on the circle next to each contact.
- Now click on Choose Action to perform for the selected contacts. Click on delete from the options.
- Confirm the action by clicking on Remove from my iPhone on the pop-up.
iPhones support multiple accounts, so it is also possible that the extra contacts you are seeing might have come from the link. Say, other than the main account on your iPhone, you have another account you use in handling your business with all your business contacts synced to it. That is a lot of extra contacts you do not want to linger on your list.
To get rid of these contacts synced to your phone from your business mail, you have to turn off contact sync for that email account. To do so
- Open the Settings App on your phone.
- Navigate to and click on Passwords & Accounts on the settings list.
- Now look for a click on the account in question. Is it a Gmail account or an Outlook account? Or any other similar account. Let’s assume it is a Gmail account since it is quite popular.
- Underneath the account name, look for contacts among the options. If it is set to ON, click on the toggle switch to put it in the OFF position. This will turn off contact sync for the selected email account.
- Now proceed to delete from my iPhone the contacts from the account that has been synced to your phone.
Note, it is very important to turn off contact sync for the selected email account before deleting the contacts, else you will lose the deleted contacts from the cloud too.
Learn how to transfer contacts from iPhone to iPhone and see how sync works.
Frequently Asked Question
Q1. Can I Delete Multiple Contacts on my iPhone?
Yes, you can delete multiple contacts on your iPhone. You can either do so by deleting them individually on the phone, one by one. Or you can use any of the methods above to quickly delete many contacts at the same time and save yourself the stress.
Overall, iPhones offer a lot of features, speed, and a good user experience. But either due to security reasons or some other reasons to safeguard user interest, there are usually some actions that are restricted, as the case here, involving bulk deleting contacts. Most times, the solutions to these issues lie in the use of third-party apps that have been designed to fix such.