Delete contact button shown in the edit screen for a contact
Khamosh Pathak / How-To Geek

Your contact book is your gateway to all the phone conversations in your personal and professional life. Here’s how you can manage your contact book, customize the Contacts app, and delete contacts on your iPhone and iPad.

Set Up Contacts Account

The first thing you’ll want to do is set up an account to which you can sync and save your contacts. Open the “Settings” app on your iPhone or iPad and go to “Password & Accounts.”

Tap on Passwords and Accounts in Settings app

Here, tap on “Add Account.”

Tap on Add Account from Passwords and Accounts page

Choose from one of the services where you already have your contact book. This can be iCloud, Google, Microsoft Exchange, Yahoo, Outlook, AOL, or a personal server.

Choose an account to add

From the next screen, enter your username and password to sign in to the service.

Tap on next to sign into a service

Once you’re signed in, you can choose what account information you wish to sync. Make sure that the “Contacts” option here is enabled.

Tap on toggle next to Contacts to enable contacts sync

Set Default Account For Contact Sync

If you’re using multiple accounts on your iPhone or iPad and only want a specific account to sync your contacts, you can make it the default option.

Go to the Settings app and tap on “Contacts.” From here, choose the “Default Account” option.

Tap on Default Account from Contacts section

You’ll now see all your accounts. Tap on an account to make it the new default account.

Choose one of the accounts to make it the default

RELATED: How to Sync Your Contacts Between All Your Devices: iPhone, Android, and the Web

Delete A Contact

You can delete a contact quite easily from the Contacts app or the Phone app.

Open the “Contacts” app and search for a contact. Next, select a contact to open their contact card.

Tap on a contact from the contacts app

Here, tap on the “Edit” button from the top-right corner.

Tap on Edit button in the contact card

Swipe to the bottom of this screen and tap on “Delete Contact.”

Tap on Delete Contact from the bottom of the contact card

From the pop-up, confirm the action by tapping on “Delete Contact” again.

Tap on Delete Contact from the popup

You’ll be taken back to the contacts list screen, and the contact will be deleted. You can keep doing this for all the contacts that you want to delete.

If you just want to delete duplicate contacts on iPhone, there’s a built-in tool for that, and there are also ways you can delete multiple contacts at once.

Customize Contacts App

You can customize how the contacts are displayed in the app by going to the “Contacts” option in the “Settings” app.

Take a look at all options for customizing Contacts app

From here, you can tap the “Sort Order” option to sort your contacts alphabetically by first or last name.

Choose options for sorting contacts

Similarly, the “Display Order” option will let you choose if you want to show a contact’s first name before or after the last name.

Choose options for Display Order in Contacts

You can also tap on the “Short Name” option to choose how a contact’s name appears in apps like Mail, Messages, Phone, and more.

Choose options for Short Name

The iPhone lets you set contact specific ringtone and vibration alerts. If you want a quick and easy way to identify a caller (like a family member), a custom ringtone is the best way to go about it. You’ll know who’s calling without looking at your iPhone.

RELATED: How to Give Your iPhone Contacts Special Ringtones and Vibration Alerts

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Khamosh Pathak is a freelance technology writer who specializes in tutorials. His work has also been published on Lifehacker, iPhoneHacks, Zapier's blog, MakeUseOf, and Guiding Tech. Khamosh has nearly a decade of experience writing how-tos, features and technology guides on the internet.
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