How to delete multiple contacts on iPhone

Delete multiple contacts on iPhone
(Image credit: iMore)

Do you know how to delete multiple contacts on iPhone? We don't blame you if you're not sure. The ability to quickly and easily select names and numbers to delete from your iPhone used to be a very complicated process that required iCloud.

However, with the release of iOS 16 a new feature was quietly rolled out that allows you to simply drag your finger over multiple entries so you can delete contacts quickly and easily from your iPhone.

It's strange that this relatively simple update has taken so long to land. But we're glad it's here and we'll talk you through how it works below step-by-step.

How to delete multiple contacts on your iPhone

How to delete multiple contacts on your iPhone

(Image: © Becca Caddy/iMore)

  • 1. Open Contacts or go to the Phone app and select Contacts from the bottom menu.
  • 2. Find the contacts you want to delete.
  • 3. Use two fingers to select one contact and drag up or down to select more than one contact to delete. You'll know if they've been selected as they'll be highlighted in gray
  • 4. Once you've selected all the contacts that need deleting, release your fingers
  • 5. Long press on the selected contacts and a menu will pop-up, asking you if you want to Copy, Share, Merge or Delete. Tap Delete

That's it. It's now incredibly simple to delete multiple contacts all at once from your iPhone. 

However, if the process above doesn't work for you and you want more choice about how you delete contacts on your phone—like if contacts aren't next to each other but you still want to bin them all—then we've also detailed alternative methods below, which involve using iCloud.

They're a little more complicated, but give you even more control of what you delete.

How to delete iPhone contacts in bulk with iCloud

Delete multiple contacts on iPhone using iCloud

If you're using iCloud, your contacts are stored and backed up in the cloud so you can use them across all your Apple devices, including iOS and macOS

Thanks to iCloud, changes made to contact information are pushed out to all of your devices automatically. For example, when you change an email in the Contacts app on your iPhone, it's reflected on your MacBook Pro, and so forth.

Unlike the Contacts app on all the best iPhones, you can select multiple contacts to delete using the web version of iCloud on your Mac. Here's what you need to do:

  1. Visit on a computer (not a mobile device) and log in using your Apple ID and password
  2. On the main page, select Contacts

Go to and log in with your Apple ID and password. Select Contacts. (Image credit: iMore)
  1. Highlight the contacts you'd like to delete by holding the Control key on your Mac
  2. Scroll down and select other contacts to delete
  3. Click on the Settings icon at the bottom left of the screen
  4. Select Delete
  5. In the box, confirm your choice by choosing Delete

Highlight the contacts to delete by holding the Control key, then select other contacts. Click on the Settings icon, select Delete. Confirm your choice by selecting Delete. (Image credit: iMore)

The contacts you selected are now deleted across all of your devices. You can now go into the built-in Contacts app on your iPhone and verify that the selected contacts have been deleted. These contacts are also no longer listed on your other devices, including the iPad and Mac.

Bryan M Wolfe
Staff Writer

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.

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