How to delete multiple contacts on iPhone

Delete multiple contacts on iPhone
(Image credit: iMore)

It used to be a surprisingly clunky and time-consuming process to delete multiple contacts on iPhone. Forget all of that, now that you're on iOS 17 it's as easy as pie.

Now you can drag your finger over a bunch of contacts at once and delete them as a batch, rather than selecting and deleting one at a time. We're surprised it until iOS 16 for Apple to come up with this feature.

Whether you're on one of the phones from the iPhone 15 lineup or an earlier model, read on for step-by-step instructions on how to delete multiple contacts on your best iPhone.

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. 

Of course, if the contacts you wish to delete aren't all in row, you'll need to use a different method, outlined below. You'll have to use iCloud on your computer, so it's a bit more complicated, but you'll have more control over 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 your iPhone, 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. On the right, you'll see options to Create New List or Delete Contacts; select Delete Contacts
  4. In the box that pops up, confirm your choice by choosing Delete

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 your best iPad and Mac.

Delete multiple contacts easily!

The process has been refined slightly between iOS 16 and iOS 17, but it works basically the same no matter which iOS you're on. 

We highly recommend going through your contact list and deleting the ones you no longer need on a regular basis. It's easy to do while standing in line or other situation where you have your iPhone and a bit of time on your hands. 

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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