Easy way to delete multiple contacts on iphone

It's that time again. No, not time for your annual physical, although that's probably a good idea too. We mean smartphone spring cleaning time. And while you may remember to clear your homescreen of the apps you haven't touched in six months, or archive those emails for inbox zero, there's one part of your digital life you may neglect to prune: your contacts list.

Let's face it, you probably don't need your old Intro to Chemistry study buddy's cell number in your phone anymore...or the digits of that guy you did J├Ąger bombs with six months ago (Didn't you walk home with one shoe that night?). Anyways. In the current version of iOS, there's unfortunately no simple way to swipe and delete a bunch of contacts at once. But there's an easier way than going one by one through the contacts on your phone.

The first method is through iCloud, assuming you sync your iOS device with Apple's cloud service in the first place. Log into the iCloud website, then click on Contacts. Select the contacts you want to delete, holding down the Control button to select more than one at a time. Then either hit the delete key on your keyboard, or click the settings button on the lower left and pick delete.

Alternatively, if you collect your contacts on Google -- a good option if you're a heavy Gmail or Drive user -- you can delete contacts from there. The changes will be reflected on your iPhone as long as Contacts syncing is enabled.

Another option is a third party app like My Contacts Backup. This app offers offline backup of your contacts list and cross-device syncing over email, along with an easier way to delete a large number of contacts. Cleanup ($1) also makes mass deleting contacts easy -- you can even apply a filter to search for a specific name or organization.

Ah, a clutter-free, duplicate-free, bad-memory free contacts list. You'll keep your contacts this organized all the time now, right?

Whether you own an early model iPhone or the newer iPhone 13 or iPhone 14, there's unfortunately no way to delete multiple contacts at once using your iPhone. If you want to avoid erasing contacts one-by-one, the easiest way to delete multiple contacts from your iPhone is to do it on a Mac or PC. We'll cover how to delete a single contact on your iPhone, as well as how to quickly delete multiple contacts on your computer. 

What to Know about Deleting Contacts from iPhone:

  • You can delete a single contact on your iPhone or iPad by opening the contact, tapping Edit, then tapping Delete Contact. 
  • To delete multiple contacts from your iPhone or iPad at the same time, open the Contacts app on your Mac, Command-click to select each contact, then Control-click and select Delete Cards. 
  • If you own a PC, you can delete multiple contacts by signing into iCloud on a browser, selecting Contacts, Control-clicking to select each contact, clicking the gear icon, and selecting Delete. 

Jump To:

  • How to Delete a Contact from Your iPhone or iPad
  • How to Delete Multiple Contacts on iPhone Using a Mac
  • How to Delete Multiple Contacts from iPhone Using a PC
  • How to Erase All Contacts on iPhone

How to Delete Contacts on Your iPhone or iPad

So, can you delete multiple contacts at once on your iPhone? No, you can't bulk delete contacts from your iPhone; however, you can easily do this on your Mac or PC and the changes will sync to your iPhone via iCloud. If you want to remove multiple contacts from your iPhone, skip to the Mac or Windows PC sections below. For those who just want to delete a single contact, here's how to delete contacts from your iPhone:

  1. Open the Contacts app and tap the contact you want to delete.
  2. Tap Edit in the upper-right corner of the card.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Delete Contact.
  4. Tap Delete Contact again to confirm.

How to Delete Multiple Contacts on iPhone Using a Mac

You can remove multiple contacts at once from your iPhone using the Contacts app on your Mac. In order for this to work, you need to check and make sure that your contacts are synced via iCloud. To check this on a Mac with macOS Ventura installed, open System Settings, click your name, click iCloud, and make sure the Contacts app is toggled on. To check this on a Mac with older software, open System Preferences on your Mac, click Apple ID, and make sure the Contacts app checkbox is selected. Once you've done that, you're ready to delete iPhone contacts using your Mac: 

  1. To delete multiple contacts, open the Contacts app and make sure the All Contacts folder is selected.
  2. Command-click on each contact you want to delete. Your selected contacts will be highlighted. 
  3. Once you've selected all you'd like to delete, hold the Control key and click or right click. Click the Delete Cards option.
  4. In the confirmation window, click the Delete button.

As long as Contacts is checked in your Apple ID preferences, any changes will sync to your iPhone and other devices as well. For more tips and guides on managing iCloud and other iDevice features, sign up for our free Tip of the Day newsletter. 

How to Delete Multiple Contacts from iPhone Using a PC

Whatever kind of PC you use, you can manage and delete your iCloud contacts via the iCloud website with any web browser. Here's how to delete contacts from your iPhone by signing into iCloud on your PC and removing the unwanted contacts: 

  1. Open your preferred web browser and go to icloud.com. Log in with your Apple ID and click Contacts.
  2. Hold Ctrl and click on the Contacts you want to delete.
  3. Click the gear icon in the lower-left corner and select Delete from the menu.
  4. Click the Delete button in the confirmation menu.

As with the process on the Mac, any changes made via the iCloud website should sync to your iPhone as well. If you often send group emails or texts, you might also be interested in learning how to create a contact group on your iPhone.

How to Mass Delete Contacts on iPhone (Deleting All Contacts)

If you are selling your device or giving it to someone else, do NOT make the mistake of mass deleting all your contacts. If you delete your contacts, they will be removed from iCloud and you will not be able to sync them to your new phone. If you're selling your device, you will instead want to restore the phone to factory settings. This will erase the contacts and all personal information from the device while still keeping your contacts, photos, and other personal information saved in iCloud so it can be transferred to your new device. 

To restore your iPhone or iPad to its factory settings, open the Settings app, tap General, and select Transfer or Reset iPhone (or Transfer or Reset iPad). Then tap Erase All Content and Settings, tap Continue, and confirm by entering your device passcode. Once you confirm, your data will be erased from the device, as if it were brand-new out of the box. Now you know how to delete all contacts on your iPhone or iPad in a way that will still keep them saved in your iCloud Contacts app!

Master your iPhone in one minute a day: Sign up here to get our FREE Tip of the Day delivered right to your inbox.

Can you delete multiple Contacts at once on iPhone?

To delete individual contacts on your iPhone, you can use the Contacts app. If you want to delete all or multiple contacts at once, you'll need to use the iCloud website.

Is there a fast way to delete a lot of Contacts on iPhone?

In Contacts on iCloud.com, click the All Contacts group in the sidebar, then select one or more contacts you want to delete. Press the Delete key, then click Delete.

How do I delete several Contacts at once?

Select an option..
A single contact: Tap the contact. At the top right, tap More Delete. Delete..
Multiple contacts: Touch and hold a contact and then tap the other contacts. Tap Delete. Delete..
All contacts: At the top right, tap More Select all Delete. Delete..

How do you select multiple Contacts on iPhone?

Press and hold Ctrl and select the contacts you want to delete. As long as you hold down the Ctrl key, you can select multiple contacts. Selected contacts will highlight in blue so you'll know who you've clicked. Ctrl + click a selected contact to de-select them.