How to Delete Old or Duplicate Phone Numbers in Contacts

Your smartphone can hold a lot of data, but its storage space isn’t unlimited. Removing unnecessary or out-of-date contact data from your device is one way to free up a little room for other content. Whether you’re using an Android device or an iPhone, you can delete old or duplicate phone numbers directly in your phone’s dedicated contacts app.

Firefighter using smart phone.
Delete contacts in a few taps and get back to putting out more important fires.
credit: Aleksander Kaczmarek/iStock/Getty Images

Delete From Android Devices

Step

Tap the “Contacts” app icon on the home screen of your Android device to launch the Contacts app. On standard Android devices, the Contacts icon is orange and has an image of a person superimposed on it.

Step

Scroll through your contacts to locate the contact you want to delete. If you have a large number of contacts, tap the “Search” field at the top of the Contacts directory and enter the contact’s name to display a list of matches.

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Press and hold the contact you want to delete. Your Android device will switch to bulk contacts management mode at this point, displaying check boxes next to all of your contacts.

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Place check marks beside all of the contact entries you want to remove and then tap the “Trash” icon in the top right corner of your screen. The Trash icon resembles a garbage can. When you tap the “Trash” icon, the Delete Contact prompt appears.

Step

Tap “OK” on the Delete Contact prompt to confirm that you want to delete the selected contacts.

Delete From iPhone

Step

Tap the “Phone” icon on the home screen of your iPhone device to launch the Phone app. Tap the “Contacts” icon at the bottom of the screen to load a list of contacts on your device.

Step

Alternatively, you can access the Contacts app directly by tapping the "Contacts" icon on the home screen.

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Scroll through your contacts and tap the contact you want to delete. Contacts are listed alphabetically. When you tap a contact’s name, that person’s contact card appears.

Step

Tap the “Edit” link in the top corner of the contact card, scroll down and tap “Delete Contact.” Tap “Delete Contact” again to confirm that you want to remove the contact from your device.