Managing contacts on your iPhone can sometimes be a challenging task, particularly when you need to delete all of them at once. There are various reasons why you might want to delete all your contacts, such as when you’re selling your iPhone or troubleshooting issues with your contact list. In this guide, we will discuss the reasons for deleting all contacts on your iPhone, share five detailed methods to achieve this, address frequently asked questions, and provide a conclusion.

Benefits of Deleting All Contacts on iPhone

There are several reasons why someone might want to delete all contacts on their iPhone:

Privacy protection: If you’re selling, giving away, or recycling your iPhone, deleting all contacts ensures that your personal information does not fall into the wrong hands.

Starting fresh: If your contact list is cluttered or outdated, deleting all contacts can be a quick way to start over and reorganize your contacts more efficiently.

Troubleshooting: In some cases, issues with syncing or other contact-related problems can be resolved by deleting all contacts and then reimporting them from a backup or syncing service.

Switching accounts: If you’re changing the account you use for syncing contacts, deleting all contacts from your iPhone can prevent duplicates or other synchronization issues.

Method 1: Delete All iPhone Contacts with iCloud

If your contacts are synced with iCloud, you can delete them all by following these steps:

  1. On your iPhone, go to "Settings" > [your name] > "iCloud."
  2. Turn off "Contacts" and select "Keep on My iPhone" when prompted.
  3. Visit the iCloud website ( on a computer and sign in with your Apple ID.
  4. Click on "Contacts" and press "Cmd+A" (Mac) or "Ctrl+A" (Windows) to select all contacts.
  5. Click on the gear icon in the lower-left corner and select "Delete."
  6. On your iPhone, turn on "Contacts" in the iCloud settings. All your contacts should now be deleted from your iPhone.

Method 2: Delete All iPhone Contacts with Contacts App

  1. Open the "Contacts" app on your iPhone.
  2. In the top-left corner, tap "Groups."
  3. Deselect "All iCloud" or "All on My iPhone" (depending on where your contacts are stored).
  4. Tap "Done" in the top-right corner. Your contacts will now be hidden but not deleted.
  5. To delete the hidden contacts, tap "Groups" again and reselect the group you deselected earlier.
  6. Tap "Done," and all your contacts will be visible again.
  7. Now, you can manually select and delete each contact. This method can be time-consuming if you have many contacts, but it’s useful if you don’t want to use iCloud or other third-party apps.

Method 3: Using a Third-Party App to Delete All Contacts on iPhone

  1. Download a third-party app like "Cleanup Duplicate Contacts" from the App Store.
  2. Open the app and grant it access to your contacts when prompted.
  3. In the app, tap "All Contacts" and select all contacts.
  4. Tap "Delete Selected" and confirm the action. The app will delete all selected contacts from your iPhone.

Method 4: Resetting iPhone and Restoring from a Backup (without Contacts)

  1. Back up your iPhone, excluding your contacts, to iCloud or iTunes.
  2. Go to "Settings" > "General" > "Reset" > "Erase All Content and Settings."
  3. Confirm the action and wait for your iPhone to reset.
  4. Set up your iPhone as new, and during the setup process, choose to restore from the backup you created earlier (without contacts). This method will delete all contacts and restore your iPhone without them.

Method 5: Delete All Contacts on iPhone from Mac

If you have a Mac, you can delete all contacts from your iPhone by syncing with the Contacts app on your Mac.

  1. Connect your iPhone to your Mac using a USB cable.
  2. Open the "Contacts" app on your Mac.
  3. In the menu bar, click on "Contacts" and then "Preferences."
  4. In the "General" tab, check "Enable private me card."
  5. Close the "Preferences" window.
  6. Select all contacts in the Contacts app by pressing "Cmd+A."
  7. Press the "Delete" key on your keyboard and confirm the action.
  8. Open iTunes or Finder (depending on your macOS version) on your Mac.
  9. Click on your iPhone in the sidebar and select the "Info" tab.
  10. Check "Sync Contacts" and choose to sync with the Contacts app.
  11. Click "Sync" or "Apply" to sync your iPhone. All contacts should now be deleted from your iPhone.

Video: How To Delete All Contacts On iPhone! [At Once]

Frequently Asked Questions

Will deleting contacts on my iPhone also delete them from iCloud?

If your contacts are synced with iCloud, deleting them on your iPhone will also delete them from iCloud, unless you first turn off contact syncing in the iCloud settings.

Can I recover deleted contacts if I change my mind later?

If you have a backup that includes your contacts (in iCloud or iTunes), you can recover deleted contacts by restoring your iPhone from the backup.

Can I delete contacts from multiple iOS devices at once?

If you have multiple iOS devices syncing with the same iCloud account, you can delete contacts from all devices by following Method 1 (using iCloud) in this guide.

Is it safe to use third-party apps to delete contacts?

Using third-party apps to delete contacts can be safe, but always check user reviews and the app’s privacy policy before granting access to your contacts.


Deleting all contacts on your iPhone can be useful for various reasons, such as protecting your privacy or troubleshooting contact-related issues. With the five methods detailed in this guide, you can choose the approach that best suits your needs and preferences. Always ensure you have a backup of your contacts before proceeding, and consider the potential risks associated with using third-party apps. By following the steps provided, you can effectively delete all contacts on your iPhone and maintain control over your personal information.

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