How to Delete Read Only Contacts on iPhone? Expert Tips & Tricks

how to delete read only contacts on iphone

You may have experienced the annoying problem of being unable or how to delete Read-only contacts on your iPhone. Managing your contacts may be challenging if you have this issue. If you are unable to erase iPhone contacts in read-only mode, you do, however, have some options. Before you attempt to delete a read-only contact, it’s a good idea to disable the contact app under Settings. You can try removing the contact from iCloud or removing the Whatsapp or Skype account that is linked to it. In this article, you will learn further about read-only contacts on iPhones.

What are Read Only Contacts on iPhone?

Read-only contacts in iPhone are contacts that are created and saved by third-party apps such as Viber, WhatsApp, Skype, etc.

Generally, they are temporarily saved contacts on the device. The contacts that you saved will not be categorized or saved under read-only contacts.

These contacts will appear on the contact list as well. Also, contacts are synced from another device or services like iCloud, Google Contacts, etc., which will also include in read-only contacts. Additionally, some contacts also may be locked due to security settings.

They are also included in read-only contacts. This is done to prevent unauthorized charges to the contact list, which could compromise sensitive information.

As it actually means by its name, read-only contacts can neither edit nor delete directly.

How to Identify Read Only Contacts on iPhone?

Below are some instructions to check whether the contacts are read-only or not.

In the “Contacts” application, scroll down through your contact list and look for contacts that are unable to edit or deleted. Most likely, they are read-only.

If you want to identify a specific contact, if it is read-only or not, you have to view the contact details. If the contact is read-only, you can see a message saying that the contact is managed by another account or it is read-only. Also, you won’t be able to see the sign to “Edit” at the top right corner of the screen.

How to Identify Read Only Contacts on iPhone

Sometimes, a lock icon will appear near the contact name and the picture. This represents that the contact is read-only.

Or simply check whether the contact can be edited or removed. I think now you will be able to identify the read-only contacts in your iPhone.

How to Delete Read Only Contacts on iPhone?

You can’t directly delete read-only contacts from your iPhone. But there are various ways to delete read-only contacts from your device. Let’s dig out those procedures.

From Device Settings

  1. Open the Settings application.
  2. Scroll down and find “Contacts.” Open it.
  3. Go to “Accounts”.
  4. You will see your iCloud account there. Choose the option “iCloud”. You will be directed to a page with contact names.
  5. View the iCloud option there and turn off the Contacts and tap “Delete from my iPhone.” Finally, turn on the “Contacts.”
  6. Repeat the same process for your Google accounts and Gmail. If you have any other accounts do the same as this.

Then restart your device and check whether the contacts have been removed. If not, we should go for the second option.

Using a Third-party App

Here, I choose WhatsApp to teach you the procedure.

  1. Open WhatsApp and click on the writing sign in the top right-hand corner. You will be able to find the contact list there.
  2. Go to or view the contact you prefer to delete and select “Edit” there. And tap “Delete Contact.”

Go to your contact list and check whether the contact still appears on the list. Most probably, this time, the read-only contacts will be deleted permanently.

Also, you can go to WhatsApp’s general settings and “Reset”. Select “Erase all content and settings” there. Make sure you have kept a backup of WhatsApp. Otherwise, those memories we collected might destroy.

How to Prevent Read Only Contacts from Appearing on iPhone?

Although there isn’t a specific method, constantly update your contacts by turning on iCloud Contacts Sync.

Keep your phone updated. That can fix bugs and any issues while improving performance.

When syncing your contacts from external services, sync the contacts only that you want to sync. If you have read-only contacts in the accounts, remove them from the source.

If you don’t need to sync the read-only contacts adjust the settings in services like iCloud and Google to exclude them. Additionally, it is better to edit the contacts manually, if you want to prevent read-only contacts from appearing on iPhone.

Why Can’t I Delete Read Only Contacts from My Phone?

The read-only contact is secured by an additional system or piece of software. That is the major reason you can’t delete it.

Some contacts cannot be deleted from the iPhone since they are either preserved on iCloud or WhatsApp. So, it is imperative that you stop synchronization before attempting to delete the read-only contacts once more.

Also, this may be because of issues in the software also. That is why it is advised to update your system. And if the contacts have read-only permissions set by the contact owner, it is not possible to delete the contact on your own. You have to contact the owner.

If your phone settings and the settings of your syncing service do not have access to delete read-only contacts, it will also cause an issue when deleting the read-only contacts.

Why Do Deleted Contacts Still Appear on iPhone?

If the syncing is delayed, the contacts you deleted will still appear on your iPhone. Sometimes it can take even a few hours to delete those contacts completely. Also, if you have created groups, including those read-only contacts, the contacts will still appear in those groups. Therefore, it is better to check the groups you have created.

If the deleted contacts are still appearing even though you have done the syncing procedures correctly, try resetting the iPhone, or you have to consult a tech professional or Apple support for further pieces of advice.

Watch this one,

Video Credits – Trevor Nace

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