How to Delete Read-Only Contacts on Android & iPhones

By John Adebimitan

Ever wonder how to delete read-only contacts on iPhones and Android devices? If you’ve ever used a Samsung or iPhone, or pretty much any type of android phone, chances are that you would have seen some contacts that are tagged “Read Only.” Generally speaking, read-only contacts on iPhones and Android devices are contacts or accounts set up for or by third-party apps and services.

So every time that apps like Whatsapp, Facebook, Viber, Instagram, or even Snapchat request access to your contacts to help identify contacts that are using the same services, these apps auto-create these contacts, and depending on the device you use these read-only contacts may or may not show up on your contact list.

How to Change Read-Only Contacts on Android

To manage read-only contacts on Android, you can go to Settings >> select Contacts to Display >> select the account you’d like to include in the contact list (you could also choose multiple ones under “Customize“) >> you can then go to the app you use >>. There you can add or modify the contacts.

How to Delete Read-Only Contacts on Android

The first thing I will recommend is that you try to unlink the contact or separate the contact as you would find on some devices and android versions.

Whether you’re using Android 8, 9, 10, or even Android 11, I will recommend that you tap on the contact information you’d like to delete >> you should then tap on the three-dot icon on the top right corner of the screen, or whichever icon you find that’s for editing a contact. >>you’ll then see a “View Linked Contact” message on the popup, click on that >> select Unlink and then Unlink the last time.

After doing this, you can go back and try deleting the contact, and you wouldn’t lose the ones you have on your device.

I recommend using the Google contact app as that seems like the easiest way to accomplish it. The Google contact app also suggests merging contacts, and for some read-only contacts, we have seen situations where this option combines them all into one, and you don’t have to deal with linked, duplicate contacts on your device.

Edit or remove the Google Account

If you’re seeing the additional read-only contacts after adding a new Google contact to your mobile device, you can easily tell that the reason why there are multiple contacts and the read-only contact was caused by having your contacts saved and backed up in multiple Gmail accounts.

So we recommend removing the Google accounts with additional contacts from your device, which would automatically remove the additional read-only contacts on the device and ensure that only one version of the contacts is saved on your device.

Alternatively, we’ll recommend that you set the preferred source of the contact information on your device. Simply go to your contacts app >> on the list of contacts, select the three dots on the top right corner of the screen (alternatively, you can choose the settings option) >> select settings, and you’d be able to see a page where you can select different contact management options. Then, you just have to select Display Preferences and select the contact source you’d like >> if you select “all contacts,” you’re most likely to see read-only contacts on the list (especially if your device doesn’t have the auto-contacts merge option), but if you select any of the options, you’d only be seeing contacts from that source.

This should help you to delete read-only contacts and have your contacts stop duplicating.

Read also: What the Blue Dot Next to Contacts Mean on Android & iPhones

How to Delete Read-Only Contacts on iPhone

  1. The first thing I will recommend is turning off iCloud contacts on the iPhone. To do this, go to your iPhone settings >> select Apple ID >> select iCloud >> then select contacts, and you’d see a prompt to turn off the iCloud >> a popup is going to show up on the phone, and you’ll have to select the option to Delete from My iPhone >> now you just have to restart your iPhone >> go to the settings >> select Apple ID >> select iCloud and select Contacts >> now you just have to turn iCloud contacts back ON and try deleting the contact.
How to Delete Read-Only Contacts iPhone

2. The second way to delete read-only contacts on iPhone is to delete them from the iCloud contacts, just as you would delete the contact from the Google contacts. To do this, go to www.icloud.com using any web browser, log in using your Apple ID and password >> go to Contacts and scroll through the list of iCloud contacts, find the contact you’d like to delete, tap on the Edit button and scroll down to the bottom of the page to delete the contact.

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How to Delete Read-Only Contacts from WhatsApp (Android)

If you would like to delete read-only contacts from WhatsApp on your android phone, you should Open the WhatsApp app >> go to chats >> select new chat >> then search the list for the contact and select the one you would like to delete >> tap the name of the contact in the top of the screen >> then select the three dots on the top right corner of the screen >> select View in Address book >> select more options >> then select Delete.

Read also: How to unsync Contacts on Your Apps

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