When you save a number on your mobile device, you always have an option to delete it whenever you want. But sometimes, some stubborn contacts just won’t get deleted no matter how hard you try.
If you are trying to delete a number from your contacts and are unable to do so, these contacts might be read-only. Read-only contacts are the ones you haven’t created manually but that are linked to other apps like Whatsapp or Skype.
Can you delete unwanted read-only contacts that keep showing in your phonebook?
- How do you remove unwanted numbers from contacts?
- How do I permanently delete blocked numbers on Android?
- How do I delete phone numbers from my Samsung Galaxy?
- Why can’t I delete some contacts on Android?
- Why do my deleted contacts keep coming back?
- How do I delete synced contacts on my phone?
- How do I delete encrypted contacts?
How do you remove unwanted numbers from contacts?
There are two methods to delete numbers from contacts.
1. Delete numbers one at a time
You can delete specific numbers from your contacts one by one as follows:
- Open “Contacts” app.
- Tap on the contact you want to remove.
- Tap on “Details”
- Tap on the three dots on the top right corner of the screen (menu).
- Select “Delete” > Confirm
2. Delete several contacts at once
If you have more than one contact you want to remove from your phone, you can delete several contacts all at one as follows:
- Open “Contacts” app.
- Tap and hold on a number you want to delete.
- A check mark appears on the left of the contact, indicating multiple contact selection is enabled
- Check all the contacts you want to delete.
- Choose“Delete” on the top right corner of your screen.
How do I permanently delete blocked numbers on Android?
The numbers you have blocked will still be listed in your contacts. If you want to get rid of them permanently, you need to remove them yourself from Android.
Delete the number by following the two methods described in How do you remove unwanted numbers from contacts. The numbers will be deleted from your phone, and the contacts will still be blocked – so you won’t hear from them.
How do I delete phone numbers from my Samsung Galaxy?
You can delete phone numbers from your Samsung Galaxy using the single delete or multiple delete approach:
1. Single contact delete
You can delete contacts one at a time:
- Open the “Contacts” app on your Samsung.
- Choose the contact you want to delete.
- Tap on the three dots on the top right corner of your screen.
- Tap on “delete” and confirm to delete the contact.
See section How do you remove unwanted numbers from contacts for more details.
2. Multiple contact delete
You can select and delete multiple contacts at once:
- Tap and hold the contact you want to delete on your Samsung.
- Select the other contacts to delete.
- Tap “Delete”.
See the detailed steps in section How do you remove unwanted numbers from contacts.
The deleted contacts will be moved to “Trash”. From there, you can permanently delete them or restore them.
Why can’t I delete some contacts on Android?
While you typically add contacts in your phone manually, some contacts may be added through third-party apps like Whatsapp, Skype, etc. These contacts are generally “read-only”.
You can only edit or delete contacts you have added manually. Those added through an app don’t have these options.
You cannot delete read-only contacts because they are linked with other apps. If you try to delete these contacts, you’ll get the message “You can’t delete read-only contacts but you can hide them in your contacts’ list”.
See also: Why can’t I delete WhatsApp contacts?
Why is a contact read only?
A contact is read-only when a third-party app like Whatsapp, Skype or Messenger saves it in your contacts. Such contacts do not have an edit option so you can’t delete them or change them.
Contacts that you add manually yourself can be read, written or deleted, while contacts saved by the apps are read-only.
How do I delete read only contacts?
There are three approaches for deleting read-only contacts from your phone. For most people one of these methods (sometimes two) will work
1. Unlink & delete contact
One way to delete a read-only contact is by unlinking it before delete it:
- Open the “Contacts” app.
- Select the contact you want to delete.
- Tap on the three dots at the top right corner of your screen.
- Tap “Manage Linked Contacts”.
- Tap on the “minus” sign next to the linked contacts.This unlinks the contact
- Now find the contact and delete it as usual
2. Use Google’s contacts app
You can use Google’s contacts app to delete read-only contacts from your phone. Many newer Android phones come with the Google “Contacts” app pre-installed. If you don’t have the app, you can download it here
This method only works if your contacts are synced and backed up by the Google Contacts app.
You first need to download and sync your contacts if you haven’t already done so. After syncing and backing up your contacts, follow these steps:
- Open “contacts.google.com”.
- Sign in to your Google account you use on your Android phone.
- You will see a list of contacts you’ve saved.
- Look for the read-only contact that you want to delete.
- Tap on the dots next to the contact to open the drop-down menu.
- Tap “Delete”.
- Confirm to delete the contact and resync the contacts on your phone.
The read-only contact will be gone permanently.
3. Uninstall the app with linked contacts
As mentioned earlier, read-only contacts are saved by third-party apps and cannot be deleted in the usual way. If you want to delete these contacts, you can uninstall the app the contacts are linked to.
Once you delete the app, all the contacts linked by this app will be deleted from your phone. After that, you can reinstall the app, you will no longer see the read-only contacts in your phone.
How do I delete hidden Contacts?
Deleting hidden contacts is similar to deleting non-hidden ones, with just two extra simple steps before deleting:
- You need to unhide the contacts to delete them using the “Hangouts” app.
- You need to unlink these contacts before deleting them.
To unhide the contacts on your phone:
- Open the “Hangouts” app on your phone or visit “https://hangouts.google.com”.
- Open the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines).
- Tap “Settings” > “Hidden Contacts”.
- In the list of hidden contacts, unhide the ones you wish to delete.
After unhiding the contacts, follow the steps in the section How do I delete read only contacts? to delete these contacts from your phone.
Why do my deleted contacts keep coming back?
There are a few possible reasons your deleted contacts keep coming back on your phone:
1. Contacts syncing with third-party servers
If you are syncing contacts on your phone using a third-party server, everytime you try to sync in your deleted contacts will come back to your device.
This is because the contacts merely get deleted from your phone but not from the third-party servers holding all the records of your data.
2. Contacts synced with Google
If you are signed in to your Google account on your phone, all your contacts synced with Google also appear in your contacts app.
To prevent this, you can disable Google sync before deleting a number so the contact won’t come back to your device. However, this is a temporary solution as the deleted contact will come back again the next time you sync your contacts with Google, either automatically or manually.
For a permanent solution, you need the contact from Google as well – see section How do I delete read only contacts?.
3. Contacts saved through third-party apps
Third-party apps like Messenger or Whatsapp often use some of your contact numbers. If you delete those numbers on your device, they will reappear on your phone because the apps are still using it.
Try uninstalling the app to get rid of this issue. If the issue goes away, it means the third-party app was the culprit.
4. Data fetch from cached files
Some apps fetch data from cached files, and some of your deleted contacts may be saved in these cached files.
This can be a reason your contact keeps coming back to your phone.You can try clearing your cache on Android to get rid of this issue.
How do I delete synced contacts on my phone?
In order to delete synced contacts on your phone you first need to disable automatic sync from Google:
- Open “Settings” > “Google”.
- Tap “Settings for Google Apps”.
- Tap “Google Contacts Sync”.
- Tap “Manage Settings”.
- Toggle off the switch next to “Automatically Sync”
After turning off the contacts app sync with Google, clear your contacts app data to delete the already synced contacts. To do this:
- Open “Settings” > “Apps”.
- Tap on the three dots shown at the top right corner of your screen.
- Choose “Show System Apps”.
- Tap on the “Contacts Storage” app.
- Click on “Storage”.
- Tap on “Clear Data”
How do I delete encrypted contacts?
There is no such thing as encrypted contacts in android. However, there is a virus becoming quite common in Android devices that displays a message on screen saying your messages and contacts are encrypted.
You can get rid of the virus by installing an antivirus app e.g. Avast antivirus.