How to delete contacts on your iPhone

iPhone XRJustin Sullivan/Getty Images

  • Deleting old, unused contacts off your iPhone can save you time when you are searching for those contacts you actually want to use.
  • Removing contacts also frees up a bit of space on the phone, leaving more storage for pictures and apps.
  • Deleting a contact from your iPhone takes only a few seconds, so go ahead and spend a few minutes clearing the clutter today.

In preparing to write this article, of course I took a close look at my own iPhone 8 Plus. What I realized is that of the 225 or so contacts I have on my phone, I probably only need 100 at most. And of those, I only actually call or text 50 or so with anything approaching regularity.

So I'm walking the walk and deleting a gut of unused old contacts off my own iPhone today. While doing so won't free up lots of space on the device, it will put a few megabytes back into play, and it will save me a lot of time as I scroll through my contact list searching for that name and number I need.

Whether you have left a job, ended a relationship, or you never really needed the phone number of the guy who cleaned your gutters one time in 2014 anyway, you can quickly and permanently delete contacts off an iPhone in five simple steps.

How to delete contacts on an iPhone

Before you can delete those contacts, you need to open up the contact list. Tap the green square with the white phone inside it to open up your phone's various functions, then hit the pair of heads with the word "Contacts" below it, or go to the Contacts app.

iphoneAccess your contacts from the Phone app (pictured) or Contacts app.Steven John/Business Insider

Now, let's delete!

1. Scroll down to the contact that you wish to expunge from your phone.

2. Tap on the contact to open its page.

3. Tap "Edit" at the top right corner of the contact's page.

4. Scroll to the very bottom of the next page.

5. Hit the words "Delete Contact" written out in red.

contactAfter clicking &quotEdit" on a contact's page, scroll down to &quotDelete Contact."Steven John/Business Insider

6. Tap the red "Delete Contact" that pops up.

IMG_3279.PNGTap &quotDelete Contact."Steven John/Business Insider

And that's it, the contact is deleted.

You might consider blocking a contact instead of deleting it

If there is a number (or 10 or 20) in your contact list that you are certain you'll never need (or want) to call, text, or FaceTime again, then by all means go ahead and delete it.

But keep in mind that you can't undo this action; once that contact is removed, it will have to be recreated from scratch should you change your mind. And don't think the cloud can help you! The contact will also be removed from any device that has your iCloud Contacts turned on.

So consider blocking a contact you don't want getting in touch with you instead, and don't worry if you decide to go ahead and fully delete it later: a blocked number that you delete will stay blocked.

However a deleted number that was never blocked can still get in touch with you.

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