How To Unmerge iPhone Contacts

Published by Technastro on

Merging contacts is a great way to keep your iPhone contact list more organized, but things can begin to get confusing when different contacts on your list merge as one. While merging two or multiple different contacts as one can be a mistake from your end, some other factors can as well merge your contacts unnecessarily.

In this guide, you’ll find how to unmerge contacts on your iPhone in only a few taps to restore things to normal in your contact list.


How To Unmerge iPhone Contacts

Separate contacts merging as one on your iPhone can be a source of confusion. This is because you’ll continue to mistake calls and texts from the merged contact for another person. Unlinking contacts on iPhone is an easy process, and doesn’t require much except for reversing the process of merging contacts.

Follow the below guide to continue with unmerging contacts on your iPhone;

  • Tap on the Contacts app on your Home screen to open it
  • Find the merged contact by scrolling down or using the search box
  • Tap on the contact
  • Tap on edit at the top right corner of  the screen
  • Scroll to the bottom, and tap the red circle enclosing a minus sign to the left of the contact you want to unmerge
  • Tap on Unlink
  • Complete the unmerging by tapping on Done at the top right corner of the screen

Why Are My Contacts Merging On My iPhone?

There are a couple reasons your contacts may be merging on your iPhone, even without your notice. I’ll go over the possible culprits below as well as how you can stop them from continuing to merge your contacts on iPhone. 

1. Synced iCloud Contacts On Multiple Devices

Sharing one iCloud account on two or more devices could be responsible for merging contacts. If you have an iPad that you probably use for work and your iPhone shares the same iCloud account, any contact changes you make on your iPad will immediately take effect on your iPhone and vice-versa.

So if you’ve gone ahead to merge some contacts on your iPad, do not be surprised when you also find them merged on your iPhone. True, they are different devices but receive the same information from one iCloud account. 

To stop this, you’d have to turn off iCloud sync for contacts in the settings, it can be done from either of the devices. However, to turn off contact sync on your iPhone, follow the below guide;

  • Open iPhone setting
  • Tap on your name just below your profile image
  • Open iCloud
  • Find and toggle the button to the right of contact to off. 

This will unsync further edits you make on your contact app from storing on iCloud and other of your devices will not be affected when any change is effected on one device. However, if you wish to continue having your contacts synced to iCloud, then you’d have to create separate iCloud accounts for your individual devices.


2. Buggy iOS

While this can prove to be very unobvious, it has been the culprit responsible for unnecessary contact merging for many iPhone users. A bug in your current IOS version may be telling the contact app to merge contacts it deems as duplicate which is not always right. 

As you’d expect, the simple fix to  this would be to upgrade to a newer IOS version as Apple usually does not fail to fix bugs in their previously released IOS updates.

To continue with updating your iPhone, follow the below steps;

  • Connect to a WIFI and open the settings app
  • Tap on general
  • Tap on software update
  • Tap on the software updates to download and install it. You may find two updates available, tap on the most recent to download and install it on your iPhone.

What Does It Mean To Merge Contacts?

Merging contacts is a way of keeping your contact list as light as possible. Here’s what I mean. If you have saved a contact’s Home line and afterwards also had to save their work line on your iPhone, the best way to treat them is to merge them as one contact card, otherwise they’ll line up on your contact list as separate contacts.

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Merged contacts will have just one contact name representing all of the other numbers saved. Just one name will be displayed as the caller ID when you receive calls and even texts from the contact. If you’ve found individuals having multiple contact details showing up on your contact app, merging them will be your best go to. Follow the below steps to merge your contacts;

  • Open the Contact app on the Home screen
  • Locate the contact you want to make as the primary contact with which all other contact cards will be merged with.
  • Tap on it and tap on the Edit button at the top right corner of the screen
  • Scroll down and tap Link contacts under the Linked contact section
  • Your contact list will be opened for you to choose the contact or contacts you’d want to link to the main contact as secondary.
  • Tap on the Link button after selection
  • Tap on Done to complete the contact merge 

Apple has made this process reversible on the iPhone, hence you can unlink the contacts any time you want.


How Do You Delete Multiple Contacts At Once?

It’s not uncommon to have a lot of contacts on your iPhone that you may not need anymore, deleting them in their mass will save you a lot of time. Sure, you would have tried to delete manually one after another on the Contacts app to find that it’s a daunting task anyone will ever want to do, as the Contact app will not let you select multiple contacts at once.

So is there a way to delete your unwanted Contacts in bulk? Sure, and you’re just about to find out. However, bear in mind that you would have already set your contacts to save on iCloud to be able to delete multiple contacts at once.

Also ensure you have you have your computer logged into your iCloud accounts and continue with the below steps;

  • Now logged into your iCloud account, click on Contacts
  • You’ll find a list of your contacts saved on iCloud. Select the contacts you want to delete.
  • How to select contacts will vary depending on your computer’s operating system. 
  • On Mac, here’s how to select, hold the Command key and click on the contacts you want to delete. 
  • Whereas on Microsoft, hold down on the CTRL button and select the contacts
  • After selection, click on the gear icon and select delete
  • A prompt asking you to confirm your decision will pop up. Tap on Delete to confirm

Note however, that contacts saved on SIM will not appear on iCloud contacts and will need to be deleted individually. However, contacts saving on a SIM card is not usually the case these days.



The concept of merging and unmerging contacts on an iPhone may seem very simple and of course it is, but I believe it includes one of the hidden features on iPhone a lot of people actually do not know about. But now you do, merge or unmerge your contacts just as many times as you need with the guide provided in this article.


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