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How to delete Read-only Contact on iPhone

So, I recently have created an ordinary contact on my iPhone, then tried to delete it normally.

The thing is, I got a message saying "Not all contacts were deleted - One or more of the contact may be read-only".


I do not sync my contacts with any other email accounts unless my iCloud on my iPhone.


This is the first time I face such an error, and this happened the same day I have upgraded to the new iOS 15.4


Any ideas?


[Re-Titled by Moderator]

iPhone 13 Pro, iOS 15

Posted on Mar 17, 2022 1:29 AM

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Question marked as Best reply

Posted on Mar 17, 2022 5:14 AM

Close Contacts app. then

Settings, your name, iCloud

Turn off Contacts

Say yes delete contacts from device

Restart the phone

Open Contacts app. It should be empty.

(If Contacts not empty then you have contacts stored elsewhere and it needs to be addressed -come back)

Assuming they are empty, turn Contacts back on in iCloud settings as above

Try again.

92 replies
Question marked as Best reply

Mar 17, 2022 5:14 AM in response to saeed.ayman

Close Contacts app. then

Settings, your name, iCloud

Turn off Contacts

Say yes delete contacts from device

Restart the phone

Open Contacts app. It should be empty.

(If Contacts not empty then you have contacts stored elsewhere and it needs to be addressed -come back)

Assuming they are empty, turn Contacts back on in iCloud settings as above

Try again.

Mar 25, 2022 1:08 AM in response to LD150

I am also having the same problem. If I add a co tact and then try to immediately delete it I get the same error. I turned off contacts for all of my email accounts, so only contact are on in my iCloud account. I have also turned off contacts in iCloud and deleted all contact from iPhone (contacts are then completely empty). After turning back on and letting phone contact populate I still have the contact I want to delete and receive the same error. I have never had this problem prior to iOS 15. Is there a way to delete this contact?

Apr 3, 2022 3:20 AM in response to LD150

So, I found a solution.


There’s several hundred “Me toos,” and more than this one thread containing complaints recently. Clearly this IS a new bug, and I concur it was introduced in 15


This is how I fixed it after observing the behavior:


  1. open the affected contact, remove ALL fields so there’s no data left (no phone, no name, no email, etc. - clear EVERY field)
  2. you will not be able to hit “Done,” until there’s at least some info somewhere, so I put three blank spaces in the field for “Notes” and then was able to hit “Done.”
  3. close out Contacts, and reopen it - if you did like me, you’ll have a ton of “No names” at the bottom of your contacts
  4. you should now be able to successfully remove these Contacts that you could not before


Sincerely,


Someone who works in software QA for decades…


[Edited by Moderator]


Mar 18, 2022 9:46 AM in response to Prisha29

If you turned off all the accounts (check!) and you still have contacts then they are also on the iphone's memory. You will have to delete them once you have checked that they are also on the email accounts

It's a manual process.

Sign into each email accounts on a computer browser and print off the contacts.

Mar 25, 2022 1:46 AM in response to kingkong6937

If the above did not work then use a computer to sign into iCloud.com and enter Contacts

Or use Mac contacts app

Try to delete it there.


If that fails try the more complex process that has some risks.

In iCloud.com or in the Mac Contacts, select all contacts and "export as vcf"

(This is a good backup strategy anyway and should be done regularly)

Look at the resultant folder of vcards and make sure they are all there.

Delete the bad one from the folder

Clear all your contacts from iCloud or the Mac contacts app.

Import the modified folder of vcards

NB this will add all the vcards to whatever is there so make sure you have cleared all existing contacts first.




Mar 27, 2022 2:32 AM in response to kingkong6937

This means that you have your contacts saved in multiple accounts. Try to deactivate the multiple and leave one open. Go to settings go to contacts go to accounts. You will see the multiple accounts turn off contacts unwanted account and leave the main account opened. Close the app and launch the contact icon again and try to delete. This apply to those who have multiple email accounts. I hope this helps!

Mar 28, 2022 12:14 AM in response to LD150

I have tried logging into iCloud online and deleting contacts. After doing so I am able to re-enable contacts on my phone and delete.


As a test I kept contact disable on my phone iCloud account, and reverified contacts were off on all other accounts). Then I added a contact and tried to delete, but kept getting same error. In order to delete I had to turn back on contacts, merge contacts, log into iCloud on desktop and delete, then turn off/on contacts on phone in order to delete. Why are all contacts read-only even if it is on a single device and/or I disable contacts in iCloud? This is quite cumbersome.

Mar 31, 2022 2:54 AM in response to LD150

I don’t know if this is an update issue, but prior to iOS 15 I also didn’t have this problem. Previously I was able to have contacts on for multiple accounts and was able to delete with no problem. Even after turning off all co tact’s on all accounts I still can’t delete. I have to log in online to delete and that doesn’t always work while testing either. Even if I turn off contacts on all accounts on my phone and simply store the contact on my phone it will not delete. I have to turn back on, merge contacts, rinse and repeat until it deletes. Wish there was a better way.

How to delete Read-only Contact on iPhone

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