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How to delete and unsync your iCloud contacts individually or all at once, from any device

  • You can delete contacts from iCloud by unsyncing your devices from the cloud, and then manually deleting several or all contacts on the iCloud website.
  • To get synced contacts off of your phone, all you need to do is turn off syncing, but if you want to delete synced contacts from iCloud itself, it’s easier to do so in your web browser.

iCloud’s ability to sync your contacts across all your Apple devices can be very handy, but if you have a lot of contacts, it can also be a nuisance.

This is especially true if you use your devices for different things. For example, if you use your laptop more for work and your phone more for personal business, then having your personal and professional contacts mixed together might be a bit confusing or inconvenient.

If you’ve synced all your contacts and have decided that you don’t want to, there are a couple of different ways to fix it, but the first thing you should do is turn off syncing.

How to unsync your contacts on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod Touch

1. Open the Settings app on your device.

2. At the top of the Settings menu, tap your name and Apple ID.

In the Settings app, tap your name and Apple ID at the top.

3. On the Apple ID page, tap “iCloud.”

Select “iCloud” on the Apple ID page.

4. Under “Apps using iCloud,” toggle the “Contacts” switch to the off position.

Toggle “Contacts” to the off position, turning the button from green to grey.

5. A pop-up will appear asking what you want to do with contacts that were previously synced to your iPhone. If you’re sure you want to delete any contacts that were not entered into your phone manually, select “Delete from My iPhone.”

If you want to keep some of those contacts, unfortunately you will need to choose “Keep on My iPhone” and go through and manually delete the ones you don’t want.

Choose to either delete or keep your previously synced contacts.

How to delete synced contacts on the iCloud website

If you want to delete contacts from iCloud but not from one of your devices, such as your iPhone, make sure contact syncing is turned off on your iPhone by following the steps above.

1. Go to the iCloud website and sign in using your Apple ID.

2. From the main menu, go to “Contacts.”

Sign in to icloud.com and click on “Contacts.”

3. A list of all your contacts will appear. To delete a contact, click on it and press the “Delete” key on your keyboard. A pop-up will ask you to confirm the deletion — click “Delete” and it should be removed from your iCloud contacts.

Alternatively, you can click on the contact, click “Edit” in the top left corner of the contact window, and scroll down to select “Delete Contact.” A pop-up will appear asking you to confirm the deletion.

How to delete all contacts from iCloud

1. Go to the iCloud website and sign in using your Apple ID.

2. From the main menu, go to “Contacts.”

3. Click the gear-shaped “Settings” button in the lower left corner to display an actions menu.

Click the gear in the lower left corner.

4. Choose “Select All” to select all the contacts on the page.

After you’ve clicked “Select All,” click “Delete.”

5. All your contacts will turn blue, indicating that they’ve all been selected.

6. Click the gear-shaped “Settings” icon again, and select “Delete.” A pop-up will appear confirming that you want to delete all your contacts.

How to delete several contacts from iCloud at once

1. Go to the iCloud website and sign in using your Apple ID.

2. From the main menu, go to “Contacts.”

3. Hold down the “Ctrl” or “Command” button on your keyboard as you select each contact you want to delete.

4. Once you’ve selected all the contacts you don’t want on iCloud, click the gear icon in the lower left corner to bring up an actions menu.

5. Click “Delete” to delete all the contacts you selected. Confirm your deletion in the pop-up window.

Related coverage from Tech Reference:

  • How to delete apps from iCloud on any device to free up storage space on your iCloud account

  • How to export your iPhone contacts to an Excel spreadsheet using iCloud

  • How to delete contacts on a Mac computer, or entire groups in the Contacts app

  • How to change the iCloud account on your iPhone, and use a separate account for iTunes & App Store purchases

  • How to activate and access iCloud Drive on a Mac computer