How to Sort Contacts on an iPhone

By Mario Calhoun

Contacts in your iPhone can be sorted by first name or by last name and appear in bold in the Phone application as well as the Contacts application on the device. If you have several contacts with the same first name, sorting your contacts by last name can prevent accidentally calling or emailing the wrong person in your list. According to Apple, your contact list can also be displayed based on all of your contacts or by specific lists, which reduces the clutter of a large contact list.

Step 1

Tap the "Settings" icon on the iPhone's home screen, and slide your finger against the screen to scroll down.

Step 2

Touch "Mail, Contacts, Calendars" to access your contacts preferences. Scroll down to the bottom of the screen, and tap the "Sort Order" tab in the Contacts section.

Step 3

Tap "First, Last" to sort your contacts by first name, or tap "Last, First" to sort them by last name. A checkmark will appear next to the tab when it is selected.

Step 4

Press the "Home" button at the bottom of the iPhone's screen to return to the phone's main menu. Touch the "Phone" application icon, or touch the "Contacts" application icon to view your contact list.

Step 5

Tap the "All Contacts" tab to view your entire contact list, or tap a specific group.

Tips & Warnings

  • Create a new contact group in your email account, and synchronize your iPhone with iTunes to automatically add the group to your iPhone. In Gmail, click "Contacts" in the side window and click "New Group." In the Address Book application on your Macintosh computer, click the "+" icon underneath the "Groups" column. In Outlook, click "Contacts" and click "File," "New" and "Folder." For all email clients, drag and drop the existing contacts to the new group folder.