How to easily delete all of the contacts on an iPhone using its iCloud settings

You can delete all contacts on an iPhone in a few quick steps through the iCloud tab in the Settings app.

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You can delete all contacts on an iPhone in a few quick steps through the iCloud tab in the Settings app.
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Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

  • If you’re looking to delete all of the contacts on your iPhone at once, you can easily do so through the iPhone’s settings.
  • You could download various apps to help you delete all contacts on your iPhone faster, but even that takes time.
  • With the following method, you can to delete all contacts on an iPhone in a few seconds through the iCloud tab of your phone’s Settings app.
  • Visit BusinessInsider.com for more stories.

There are a number of good reasons you should know how to delete all contacts on an iPhone. The number one reason is that you plan to sell or donate your iPhone, and you don’t want the next owner to have access to all your contacts. You also may have just bought a phone and want to wipe it clean yourself. Returning a phone used for work is yet another reason to delete all contacts.

And finally, you may have simply become fed up with all the unused contacts cluttering your contact list and taking up space on your device; deleting all the contacts off an iPhone and then adding back those few you actually need might just be the cleanest, simplest way to clean up your phone.

But deleting contacts off an iPhone may well mean losing them forever, so wipe the phone clean only after careful consideration. And before you do so, consider downloading an app like Contact Cleanup, which allows you to scroll through your contacts, tap on those you want to remove, and delete in a big batch.

How to delete all the contacts on an iPhone

First, make sure your contact list is synced to iCloud, or you may lose your contacts permanently. Also consider physically writing down the most important ones. For iPhones using iOS 11 and newer…

1. Launch the Settings app, then tap the tab at the top with your name and the words “Apple ID, iCloud, iTunes & App Store.”

Open your Apple ID page.

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Open your Apple ID page.
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Steven John/Business Insider

2. Tap the iCloud tab on the next screen.

Open your iCloud menu.

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Open your iCloud menu.
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Steven John/Business Insider

3. Beside the word “Contacts,” tap the white circle set into the green tab to switch contacts to off.

Turn off contacts syncing by tapping the switch.

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Turn off contacts syncing by tapping the switch.
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Steven John/Business Insider

4. A window will pop up with the option to “Delete from My iPhone.” Tap it.

Tap

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Tap “Delete from My iPhone.”
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Steven John/Business Insider

Your contacts will now be wiped from your phone.

How to delete all contacts by resetting your iPhone

A simpler, but more complete way to remove all contacts from an iPhone is to reset your phone to factory default settings. But note that this will also erase all photos, music, and apps you have on your phone. If you want to reset your phone, follow the steps in our article “How to reset your iPhone to its factory settings.”

Resetting your iPhone to its factory defaults will erase nearly everything from the device, including your contacts.

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Resetting your iPhone to its factory defaults will erase nearly everything from the device, including your contacts.
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Steven John/Business Insider

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