Deleting mass contacts from an I pad 2

iOS & iPadOS
Dear All, As a university manager in the United Kingdom, I use my university e-mail account on my I pad 2. When I went to contacts the other day, I found that my whole contact list, including work, personal, and other activity e-mails have been copied to my I pad 2 contacts list. I only want my personal contacts on the I pad 2, so started to delete the ones to do with work. However, there are over 700 of these and It's going to take quite a long time to do one-by-one. Rather than doing this I would like to delete all the contacts at once and then write in my personal ones again, which account for only about 40. Apart from being very sad by only having 40 personal contacts; does anyone know how I can go about doing this because I can't find a delete all option on the I pad 2. I am running the latest version of IOS. Kind regards, Steve.



Submitted by Siobhan on Monday, January 21, 2013

Hi steve. Unfortunately there's no select all when it comes to anything like mesages, email, or contacts. I'm sorry I can't be of more help.

Submitted by Vash Rein on Monday, January 21, 2013

If you are using google contacts or windows contacts contacts and are syncing through iTunes, you can go into your email address on whatever website directly and mass delete whatever contacts you don't want anymore. For example, if your email uses google sync, then go to, log in, find the contacts link or tab, and then select the contacts you don't want and delete them. The same exact thing can be done in your university email as it might be saving email addresses when you send or receive messages. Hopefully, it helps. I used to have the same exact issue with my gmail and aol account because I was using sync and going into the email directly and deleting the contacts worked.

Submitted by Esther on Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Dear Steve, I agree with the previous two comments: there is no "delete all" button option for the contacts on the iPad, and if I wanted to make such major adjustments in my contacts I would do it from the other end -- which for me would be in the Contacts app on my Mac. I don't use work email accounts on my iOS devices. However, here's an idea for something you can try. Navigate to Settings > iCloud on your iPad, and then check the switch button setting for "Contacts", which should be listed just after "Mail". If "Mail" is set to "On" and "Contacts" also has a switch button set to "On" under iCloud, then try double tapping to toggle the switch button for "Contacts" only to "Off". When I do this, an alert appears that announces, "Turn Off Contacts, What would you like to do with the previously synced iCloud contacts on your iPad?" The button options are "Keep on My iPad", "Delete from My iPad", and "Cancel". Since I don't want to delete my contacts I doubled tapped "Cancel", but if this switch for Contacts is set to "On" for you in your Settings > iCloud menu, you might want to select the "Delete from My iPad" button, and leave all the other switches in place. This might do what you want in letting you delete the over 700 contacts that are currently on your iPad. HTH. Esther

Submitted by steven carey on Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Thank you everyone, I'll try what you suggest tonight when I get home. I wonder whether Apple should add an option in the next IOS upgrade. However, there must be a very good reason why they have not. Steve.