Delete a Contact From iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch

Delete a contact from the Apple iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with these steps.

1. Open the Contacts app.

iOS Contacts icon

2. Choose the contact you wish to get rid of.

3. Tap Edit. (If you don’t see an Edit button, view this post.)

iOS Contact Edit button

4. Scroll down and tap Delete Contact.

iOS Delete Contact button

The ability to delete multiple contacts is not available within the Apple iOS system. You will need a third-party app such as Cleanup for such capability.

If you receive an error that says “The linked Facebook contact will not be deleted”, see the post: Cannot Delete Facebook Contact From iOS


  1. J.B.Subramaniam says

    In my ipod touch, this method didn’t work.It shows ” The linked Facebook contact will not be deleted”. So status quo ante. What next?

  2. Jeannine says

    I phone 3 deleted a name and number in my contacts but when i go to email the name and number is still there how do I delete this?

  3. Elaine kirwan says

    Hi … I deleted a name and number from my contacts.. But it is still in messages with no way to delete it. The name is still there with the number listed under other . Listed under mobile in other contacts. If you press on name to send message only the number and not name registers . I cannot delete this name and number from messages . Gone from contacts . Help please!!

  4. Norma Scarth says

    Like Jules Edited a contact to remove a wrong address, still came up as both the new and old address so I cancelled the contact altogether and started a new email and the wrong address came up ???? Checked Contacts and there was no record of any address for this person ???

  5. Jules says

    I’ve deleted the contact but when I put in the first letter of that ontact in the ‘To…..’ on a new message it still brings up that contact!! Even though it has been deleted????

  6. Sunitha says

    How come when I delete a contact from my I phone the contact still appears in my text do i completely remove the contact .it does not appear in my phonebook just texts.

  7. Nicole says

    This is REALLY helpful!!!!!!!! I have been trying to remove a contact for a while but did not know how. Thanks :)

  8. j says

    My think is even after deleting the contact when you go into messaging and begin to type the contact still appears. How do you get rid of that?

  9. Barb says

    I have the same question as above. Is there a fix for this? The contact is deleted but still shows up in text and also old deleted text msgs show up in the search.

  10. Althea Brown says

    How come when i delete a contact from my iphone the contact still appears in my text messages. How do i completely remove the contact. It does not appear in my phonebook just texts

  11. Cathy says

    With the last IOS update, my phone brought all my facebook friends into my contact list. I don’t want them there but I can’t delete them, even individually. Is there any way to change it back?

  12. MikeC says

    I have a contact that shows as a contact on on my text messages but not on my list of contacts. Anyone have any idea how to erase the contact all together?

  13. Sue says

    Similar question. I tried to make a group in my IPAD 1 from a suggestion I saw on the web but it didn’t work. Now, when I tap m in the to box of a new email, it still shows this deleted contact married with one of my valid contacts in there.
    Apple is a real pain in some ways!

  14. Rosi says

    How come when i delete a contact from my iphone the contact still appears in my text messages. How do i completely remove the contact. It does not appear in my phonebook just texts

  15. ian says

    I have the same problem with with old contact that was deleted when i go to send a text or email. I have never noticed it before till I got that IOS6 update. can anyone help?

  16. Blaser says

    i deleted somebody and there first letter is S. So when i type in somebodys name who’s name starts with a S. it shows up. How do i take that away?

  17. Maya says

    I didn’t know the Cleanup app but was able to delete all my contacts at once using another 3rd party app named Copytrans contacts.

  18. Mimi says

    Ben F is correct. A contact is deleted from the contact list, but it still registers when trying to use the list for an email or text. VERY frustrating and clogs up the list.

  19. Ben F says

    I cannot completely delete my contacts with my 3rd generation Iphone. Whn I try to send an email to a similar address the deleted address comes up as an option how do you fix that?

  20. PICOMIAMI says

    Make sure you go to your contact book, if you open it from your phone or your messenger menu it won’t work

  21. Darryl says

    Guy’s, when I open the contacts list i DO NOT have the edit Icon, so I cannot delete on my 3G ipod, HELP PLEASE.


  22. Bryan says

    Has anyone seen where the edit button didn’t show up on their Iphone? When I click on the contact the edit button doesn’t show up therefore im not able to delete a contact…Any suggestions or ideas would be greatly appreciated…FYI..I already restored my Iphone once and that didn’t do anything for me…

  23. Mitch says

    Try a soft reset (Hold Home and Power button 10 seconds). If that doesn’t work, go into the settings and choose Reset settings.

  24. Traci says

    Since I updated my iphone my contact list does not give me the option to delete a contact. How do I fix that?

  25. Jake says

    FINALLY! got this Iphone from employer, it was second-hand and had about 900 contacts in it…had it for a few days and only had about half of them deleted. well worth $2 to delete them all!

  26. carol says

    This is the best, most straight forward, helpful site i have found and believe me, I’ve been looking!

  27. says

    ContactDel provides many ways to delete your contacts in batch on iPhone and iPod Touch. Use ContactDel to save time when cleaning up your address book.

    1. Delete All: The easiest way to delete all contacts on your iPhone and iPod Touch, just push the button, the App does the rest.
    2. Delete by Name: list your contacts by names, check-mark in batch and delete in batch.
    3. Restore: you can restore major information of previous deleted contacts at anytime.

  28. Marc says

    Does anybody know how to delete temporary files on the iphone? I can clear the history and cache in safari but what is about recently used email adresses that are not in the contacts?

  29. Tom says

    I am selling my 3G 16GB iPhone and would like to delete everything from it, is there an easy way to do this? If not, can anyone tell me if you can delete multiple contacts at once, since I have over 800 contacts and deleting one at a time is painful.



  30. Judy says

    Here’s How to delete phone favorites that are not in your contacts:
    1.Tap the phone icon from the iPhone’s home screen.
    2.Tap the Favorites icon at the bottom left.
    3.Tap the “Edit” button in the top left.
    4.A red icon will appear next to each favorite in the list. Tap the red icon.
    5.This will bring up a “remove” button to the right of the favorite you just selected. Tap the “remove” button.
    6.The favorite has been removed from the list and you’re looking at your newly updated favorites list.

  31. kelly says

    did anyone figure out a way to delete OLD EMAIL ADDRESS that are not in your contact list … help?

  32. Jeannie says

    I really need to know how to delete an email contact from iPhone 3G. I know how to delete phone contacts, it’s these strange email addresses I have to scroll thru when I want to send an email. It’s a pain. Any help with this would be great. Thanks

  33. Logan says

    Hi Guys,

    Quick one (i hope)
    I’ve just upgraded from iPhone 3G to 3GS. Apple says that I need to:
    - Back up my old 3G onto iTunes
    - Re-sync my new 3GS onto iTunes. This restores my old phone settings (contacts, mail, preferences etc.) onto my new phone

    This all worked fine

    What I need now though is to essentially wipe my old phone (3G). The general consensus has been to use iTunes but if I do that I will mess up my iTunes account for my new phone (i.e. next time I sync 3GS I’ll lose everything).

    Any ideas how to do bulk delete without changing my existing account?

  34. Zoe says

    Hi how do I delete from favourites list?? I’ve deleted it from contacts but not still there as a number with no name…. Starting to regret gettin a iPhone not very modern for the amount we pay!!!

  35. Dean says

    How do you delete a single email contact or edit an email address that
    has changed. It is not listed in the contacts when you tap the contacts
    icon. It’s not a phone number it’s an email address

    drivin me crazy!!!


  36. Emrah says

    if you want to delete all your contacts from your iPhone there is the simplest way.

    start>search>type in “contacts”> open folder> select all of them> delete.

    then go to your itunes and sync your iphone u will see no contacts :)

    thats so easy isnt it? :)

    if you want to keep your contact create a new folder on your desktop or whatever you want name it whatever you want. copy all your contacts from contacts folder, paste them to new folder you created.

  37. Jeannie says

    I need to delete an email contact. When I go to send an email all sorts of email addresses are popping up, making it a pain to scroll thru them to get to the one I want. Don’t want to delete any phone contacts. iPhone 3G

  38. Jeannie says

    I’m starting to think those mystery email addresses that show up on the iPhone can’t be deleted. Please say it ain’t true! I know how to delete contacts, it’s just those email addresses that just appear from heavens know where. Please help the techno challenged. :-)

  39. Gagafan19 says

    I’m having the same problem with the contacts that aren’t in my address book! Very annoying when you go to send someone an email and click on the wrong name. I hope somebody can help us out with this!

  40. Jeannie says

    I have email addresses in my iPhone that are not in my contacts list. How can o delete them? Please explain in “new to this” language that I can understand. Thanks

  41. iPhoneKiller says

    I thought iPhone is all managed via iTune, and contacts can be synced with Outlook contact. So all you have to do is to manage your Outlook contact (multiple delete) and let your iPhone to sync with it.

  42. Frank says

    I did some research with Apple, the Internet, iPhone documentation (official and third party), and with some Apple employees I know and I am sorry to report that unless you can find a third party application there is no known way that I could find to delete multiple contacts at once. Based on what I was able to find in order to do this you will have to delete one contact at time. I am sorry. I wish I had a better answer for you.

  43. Louis says

    Carolina, if you want to delete all contacts from your iPhone 3G, then install Erase Contacts from Cydia. All your contacts would be wiped off.

  44. carolina says

    Hi! I’m trying to do mass deleting from my contact list (deleting tens of contacts at the same time). Is there a way? Your info is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

  45. Chudez says

    On one hand, its ok that deleting a contact is hard to do accidentally. But driving the user crazy when he *does* want to delete a contact is not cool.

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