Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.
Your iPhone contacts often fall into the same disorder that your social media circles do. From a few choice people, it eventually turns into a country of its own. And there comes a day when you go searching for ways to delete multiple contacts on your iPhone.
It’s a no-brainer to delete a single contact on iPhone:
- Open Contacts and then tap the name of the contact you want to delete.
- Tap Edit at the top-right of the screen.
- Scroll down and tap Delete Contact, then tap Delete Contact again to confirm.
But unlike Android, iOS doesn’t have any similar quick-tap feature that enables you to batch-delete contacts you don’t want to keep. So let’s work around that limitation with these methods.
How to Delete Multiple Contacts on an iPhone
If you are someone who’s in the Apple ecosystem, then whip out your trusty MacBook or iMac. Your Mac’s keyboard helps you select more than one entry in the Contacts app.
Whatever you delete on your Mac is synced to your iPhone via iCloud. So make sure both your iPhone (or iPad) and your Mac are signed in to the same iCloud account. Also, you’ll need to make sure that you’re syncing contacts across your iCloud account.
Sign into iCloud:
- Go to the Apple menu and click on System Preferences > iCloud.
- Sign in with your Apple ID and check Contacts so that they will sync across your devices.
Follow these steps after you have checked your sign-in:
- Open the Contacts app on your Mac.
- Select All Contacts. Hold down the Command button on your keyboard and select all the contacts you want to delete.
- Right-click and click Delete Cards to erase all their info. Confirm by clicking on Delete.
These multiple contacts will delete from your iPhone as the device syncs with iCloud.
Use iCloud to Delete Multiple Contacts on an iPhone
You may not be carrying your Mac right now, or perhaps you’re a Windows user. In that case, it’s simple to log into your iCloud account from any web browser and delete multiple contacts in one go.
To do so:
1. Log in to iCloud.com with your Apple ID.
2. Click on the Contacts icon. Go down the list and selectively highlight the contacts you’d like to delete by holding the Control key on your Windows keyboard.
3. Click on the Settings (gear) icon at the bottom-left of the screen. Select Delete from the popup menu.
4. A confirmation will pop up. Choose Delete again to confirm the deletion of the contacts.
After this, all your contacts will again sync to all your devices that share this iCloud account.
Use an App to Delete Multiple Contacts
The above two methods make you jump through a few hoops. If you find it cumbersome, then take the help of a third-party app to delete contacts in bulk on your iPhone.
Here are two contact management apps you can download from the App Store.
Groups is a well-recommended app that can do the job of bulk deleting contacts. One of the free features is a fast way to delete contacts, while the other advanced features are unlocked through in-app purchases. This limitation isn’t a problem when you only want to mass delete your way to a cleaner contact list.
Do note that Groups is ad-supported in the free version.
To mass-delete contacts with the Groups app:
- Install and open the Groups app on your iPhone.
- Skip the intro screen and allow Groups access to your contacts when prompted.
- Select All Contacts from the Groups list.
- Scroll through your contacts and mark the ones you’d like to delete by tapping on the circle to the left of their name.
- Tap Choose Action at the top and tap on Delete Contacts from the menu.
- Confirm again with a tap on Remove from my iPhone! to remove your selected contacts.
Download: Groups for iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
Cleanup Duplicate Contacts is another address book cleaner app you can use for one of its several functions. It analyzes your contacts and removes or merges any duplicate contacts. But it also comes with a simple way to select contacts and delete them in one go.
To quickly delete contacts with the Cleanup Duplicate Contacts app:
- Install and open the Cleanup Duplicate Contacts app. Allow the app to access your contacts.
- Tap on Contacts. Next, tap on the Pencil icon to edit the list. Then scroll down the list and select the contacts to remove.
- Tap on the Delete icon at the bottom of the list. Confirm the deletion.
Download: Cleanup Duplicate Contacts for iOS (Free, in-app purchases available)
These two, of course, aren’t the only third-party iPhone apps that do the job. Any capable contact manager should be able to handle this missing feature in the iPhone.
After this quick exercise, you should now go into your Contacts list and verify that all your unwanted contacts have been removed. If anything has gone wrong, you should retrieve your deleted iPhone contacts immediately.
When Should You Bulk Delete All Your Contacts?
Address book management is another digital habit that can either help or mar your productivity. Yes, it’s easy to find a number with a search on your device, but why keep unnecessary numbers and get confused by them? They could even bring up bad memories.
Good management of your contacts is easier with a leaner list.
Mass-deleting your contacts is also a simple privacy step. You should delete sensitive numbers before you loan your device to someone or pass it down to a family member. In any case, it’s always wise to go for the nuclear option when you pass on, donate, or sell your old phone.
Thus, you should protect your privacy by erasing all your data (which includes all your contacts) from your iPhone or iPad. Signing out of iCloud prevents others from accessing data you’ve saved there. And if you get a new phone, why not start off with these steps for a clutter-free and minimal phone.