How to delete all contacts from an iPhone?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by TheMac19, Sep 29, 2012.

  1. TheMac19 macrumors regular

    TheMac19

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Pitt
    #1
    I just got me wife an iPhone, and we've spent the past week getting everything set up... I recently just tried moving all of her contacts from her old phone to the new iPhone and it bombed. Now all the contacts are all messed up, so I'd like to just delete them all, and start over. Thankfully we have NOT synced the iPhone contacts anyplace yet, so I just need to get them off the phone. Please tell me there is some easy way to do this!


    [If you want the longer story: Basically, I saved all the contacts on her old phone to the SIM card, and then imported them from the SIM card into the iPhone. They were all added successfully, but the first and last names are all reversed, with a space and semi-colon in the middle of each. It's sort of functional, but looks like crap and the exact opposite to the ease-of-use that I was championing in getting her an iPhone in the first place...)
     
  2. CatsTide macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2012
  3. TheMac19 thread starter macrumors regular

    TheMac19

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Pitt
    #3
    It's not set up with iCloud at all. These contacts are just local to the phone, and iCloud contact syncing is currently turned off.
     
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #4
    Settings> mail contacts calendars > change the sort order

    If u want to delete the lot

    Settings> general > reset > erase all content & settings
     
  5. TheMac19 thread starter macrumors regular

    TheMac19

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Pitt
    #5
    But is there any way to do it without deleting all of the other settings? We've finally got the phone set up exactly as she likes it!

    Also it's not the sort order that's wrong... It imported all the names incorrectly.. So "John Doe" is in the iPhone contacts as "Doe ;John" If you look at the details, it lists "Doe ;" as the first name and "John" as the last name.

    Every other phone we've had has always had some "delete all contacts" feature - I'm amazed that this doesn't seem possible on an iPhone. It looks like the only way to do it is to crack open a case of beer and start doing it manually: There are 163 contacts, that will be a lot of: "Select Contact - Edit - Scroll - Delete - Are you sure you want to delete - Yes." repeat.
     
  6. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #6
    Then change the sort order to last then first. If its random then edit each one it'll take just as long as deleting each one and adding it.
     
  7. TheMac19 thread starter macrumors regular

    TheMac19

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Pitt
    #7
    Well, I though I had it all figured out. My plan:

    1. On my macbook, create a new contracts group called "NADA"
    2. Connect iPhone to Macbook, open itunes, and then go to Info - "Sync Contacts"
    3. Choose "NADA" group from "Selected Groups" menu for the iPhone to sync to.
    4. Enable the box "add contacts created outside of this group on iPhone to:" and select "NADA" group.
    5. Sync iPhone. (Which should copy all the bad contacts into the NADA group on my computer.
    6. Open up contacts on Macbook, go to group "NADA" select-all, and then delete.
    7. Sync Phone, and see the contacts disappear!

    Great, right? Actually no... No matter what I do, I cannot get iTunes to enable either the "synd to selected group" or "add contacts created..." options. Both are greyed out, even after checking the primary "Sync Contacts" option at the top.

    Do these options ever work, or have them simply become vestigial since iCloud?
     
  8. TheMac19 thread starter macrumors regular

    TheMac19

    Joined:
    May 13, 2004
    Location:
    Pitt
    #8
    An inelegant solution.

    In the Contacts app on the iPhone, select "Groups" at the top, and uncheck what you don't want. It doesn't remove them, but it hides them from being seen as you glance through your list.
     

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