How to Unlink Contacts on iPhone- A Complete Guide

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How to Unlink Contacts on iPhone

Linking contacts on your iPhone allows you to get and organize all your contacts under the same roof. Some unintentional mistakes might require us to unlink our linked contacts on the iPhone. But you are wondering how to unlink contacts on iPhone, right?

Do not worry. Humans are to err. We can make mistakes. But there is always a way to rectify our errors.

To unlink linked contacts on your iPhone, you can use the Phone book of your iPhone. From the contact list, there are options in the Edit section to unlink your unintentionally linked contacts.

It does not matter if you have unintentionally merged a wrong number, wish to keep your professional and personal contacts separate, or the system has automatically merged a wrong individual under a wrong contact. We can guide you through every step of how to unlink contacts on an iPhone.

Let us just get into the topic and solve your issue.

What are Linked Contacts on iPhone?

Linked Contacts on iPhone is a feature that gives you the facility to merge or keep all of an individual’s contacts under the same contact.

It groups up and keeps various contacts in various platforms like emails, phone numbers, or any other details organized under one contact that is created for that individual.

To understand linked contacts on the iPhone better, you need to know how linked contacts actually function.

How Linked Contacts function?

The iPhone smartly suggests grouping akin contact entries together when it finds similarities among them. The similarities could be names, email addresses, phone numbers, or any other important information that is alike or similar.

The iPhone might recognize a connection and recommend linking two entries for an acquaintance if you have two distinct entries for them—one with their email address and the other with their phone number.

Advantages of Linked Contacts

Certainly, there are advantages to linked contacts; otherwise, the iPhone would not have introduced this feature in iOS.

The advantages are:

  • Keeps various contacts of an individual of different platforms under one individual contact
  • Keeps contacts organized
  • Reduces contact clutter
  • Manages different contacts within one contact

Knowing all the advantages, you might be wondering why you had the thought of unlinking contacts on your iPhone; it might be a foolish act.

No, no. Sometimes you would certainly need to unlink your linked contacts. There are reasons to do so.

Let us discuss why anyone would like to unlink contacts on the iPhone.

Why Would I Like to Unlink Contacts on an iPhone?

There are reasons to do so. You might need to unlink one of your liked contacts anytime. The reasons to do so might be:

Mistakenly merged the wrong contact

You might have mistakenly linked the wrong contact with the wrong individual.

In this case, you have to unlock the mistakenly merged contact as soon as possible. Otherwise, you might mistakenly contact that person with inappropriate pieces of information.

Automatically wrong contact merged with the wrong individual

Suppose a friend of yours and a colleague from your office has the same name. You are saving one of their contacts in your phone book, but the system of the iPhone has mistaken both of their contacts as the same individual and merged the contacts automatically.

In these types of scenarios, you have to unlink the contacts as soon as possible.

To separate personal & professional contacts

Our iPhones are often utilized for both personal and professional reasons. Mixing business and personal contacts might cause confusion and privacy issues.

Maintaining a certain boundary among your different communication fields is made easier by unlinking these contacts.

To restrict access to some third-party apps

Sometimes we might need to bind some of our contacts from the phonebook with any third-party app.

But we do not know whether that app has a backdoor or not. It might access your phonebook-linked contacts and leak that data to inappropriate groups.

In this type of scenario, if you unlink that contact and then bind, that app will not be able to access other contacts as they are under the security of iCloud from Apple.

Things to know before unlinking contacts on iPhone

It’s crucial to be prepared as well as aware before beginning the process of unlinking contacts on your iPhone. Caution can help assure an easy run-into and avoid any issues or accidental data loss.

So please keep these things in your mind before unlinking any of your contacts on iPhone:

  • Identifying the linked contacts properly
  • Creating a backup of that contact
  • Temporarily disabling iCloud as it might sync that contact again.
  • Keeping some important shared information

These things can help you later if you accidentally delete that contact with shared important information.

How to Unlink Contacts on iPhone?

Unlinking iPhone contacts can be done by following some simple steps. You can do this from the Phonebook of your iPhone.

The process to unlink iPhone contacts:

Unlinking Contacts Individually

Unlinking Contacts Individually 01
  • Go to the Contacts app
  • There is an option named Contacts at the bottom of the screen
  • Tap on the contact that you want to unlink
  • There is an Edit option at the top right corner of the screen. Tap on the “Edit”
Unlinking Contacts Individually 02
  • Now the Contact Profile Page will appear on your screen
  • Scroll down that page and navigate to the Linked Contacts section.
  • Here, you’ll find all the linked contacts for this particular contact that can be unlinked.
  • On the left side of the linked contacts, you’ll find a small red minus sign. Tap on this sign.
  • Tap on the “Unlink” button
  • Look for the “Done” option at the right top of the screen

You are all done. You have successfully unliked the contact on your iPhone.

If you need to unlink more than one contact at a time, then you will need to repeat the same process again and again for each contact.

But if you are wishing to unlink all of the contacts from that particular account all at once, then follow the next method.

Unlinking Contacts All Together

To unlink all contacts together, you need to access iCloud and turn it off to unlink and stop syncing your contacts anymore.

Follow these steps to do so:

  1. Go to Settings
  2. Find the Contacts
  3. Tap on Accounts and select the iCloud account from which you want to unlink all contacts.
  4. Toggle off sync of that account
  5. Tap on “Confirm”

You are done unlinking all of your contacts on your iCloud account.

Repeat the same process to link the account and contacts again.

How to Manage Unlinked Contacts on iPhone?

As you have unlinked your contacts, you now have to manually manage all of your old and new contacts to keep them organized.

To do so, you can follow these tips:

Review all the entries

Review properly before entering any new contact. Check if you are merging within the same individual contact or not.

Applying Groups

You can apply the group option to make a group of your certain priorities.

You can create a group only for your family members and save their contacts only within that group. Can create another one for your office colleagues to access their contacts all at once and keep them organized in one place.

Using Labels

You can also use labels to clutter different types of contacts according to your relationship with them.

You might label your family members in the family label. Keep the contacts of your friends in the friends label and so on to organize them properly. This will facilitate you to find them quickly whenever you will need them.

How to stop my contacts from syncing to another iPhone?

As you have unlinked some of your contacts. But are they getting linked again automatically?

Then you can do these things to solve this issue:

Disabling iCloud Contact Sync

  1. Go to Settings > Contacts
  2. Tap on Accounts and select the iCloud account from which you want to unlink all contacts.
  3. Toggle off sync of that account
  4. Tap on “Confirm”

Resetting Apple ID Password

Resetting Apple ID Password
  1. Go to Settings > Apple ID
  2. Tap on Sign-In & Security
  3. Tap on Change Password
  4. Enter the previously used password
  5. Type the new password
  6. Re-type the new password.

Disabling Email Contact Sync

Disabling Email Contact Sync 01
  • Go to Settings > Contacts > Accounts.
  • Then tap on Outlook.
Disabling Email Contact Sync 02
  • Now turn off the toggle for Contacts.
  • After that, tap on Delete from My iPhone to remove all Hotmail contacts from your contacts.
  • Repeat the same process from step 2 for Gmail to delete all Gmail contacts linked to your contacts.


We are at the end of the article and have already discussed how to unlink contacts on iPhone and manage the unlinked contacts after unlinking them. We have also put light on what is a linked contact on iPhone and why you would need to unlink one contact.

The linking feature of the iPhone has made things so easy to manage all the contacts within a single tab. But sometimes this facility creates problems. That is why we require to unlink the contacts.

We have demonstrated all the steps properly. It will make things easy for you to unlink your contacts easily within a few steps.

Do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries or suggestions on how to unlink contacts on your iPhone.

Hope you have got the idea and can unlink and manage or re-merge the contacts as per your wish.

Abid is a tech enthusiastic and iPhone app reviewer. Currently, he is working as an editor of XlightMedia. He reviews different iPhone apps based on different categories including utility, photography, music, and so on.