How to Unlink Contacts on iPhone

One of the best sides of using an iPhone and being a part of Apple ecosystem is that you have access to all contacts from any device thanks to automated syncing through iCloud. However, some users may not want to share contacts across devices, which is why learning how to unlink contacts on iPhone can be very important. This article will present several ways to accomplish this essential task.

Author Avatar Joy Taylor Last Updated: Sep. 28, 2022

Whenever you enter a new contact into your iPhone, it will be automatically linked to your account and saved in the cloud. This is typically a good thing, as it reduces the chances of losing important phone numbers in case your phone is stolen or damaged and makes phone numbers or mail addresses visible from a different device. However, there are situations where contact sharing is not desirable, for example when you get a new iPhone and want to start building a contact database from scratch. This is why many users are interested in how to unlink contacts on the iPhone.

Reversing the default settings on your iPhone may seem like a complicated operation, but in reality it’s not very hard to unlink contacts and stop seeing old phone numbers on a new device. In fact, there are multiple ways to do this and all of them are pretty simple to learn. Choosing the most optimal method is a matter of personal preference, as each of them involves a different approach and may have some unique advantages or limitations.

This article will show you how to utilize different features of the Apple ecosystem to immediately unlink contacts and stop syncing them in the future.

3 Ways to Unlink Contacts on iPhone

If you decided to stop sharing your iPhone contacts across devices and don’t want them to be saved to iCloud any longer, you have several courses of action you could take. The best way to decide which one to use is to understand the exact procedure and all requirements for each method. That way you can select the approach that is certain to succeed and that won’t result in loss of any data that you would like to keep.

Method 1. Reset Your Apple ID Password

Perhaps the quickest way to stop syncing contacts from your iPhone is to reset the Apple ID password associated with that device. This action will prevent the contacts from being stored in the cloud, as the phone’s Apple ID won’t match the one associated with your iCloud account. Importantly, this method won’t erase your contacts, either from your phone’s memory or from your existing iCloud backups.

Here is how you can set up a new Apple ID password for iCloud:

Step 1. Open the Settings menu on your iPhone, tap on your name, and select Password and security item.

Select Password and Security

Select Password and Security

Step 2. Click on the Change password button under your current Apple ID.

Step 3. Enter the old password, followed by entering and confirming a newly selected password.

Step 4. Use the new password to log into iCloud or any other Apple service.

Method 2. Disable Sync Contacts to iCloud

Another possibility you have is to simply switch off the syncing feature on your phone. This is very easy to do, as you only need to find this option in the menus and move a single sliding bar. After you change the status of this feature, the phone will stop sending contacts to iCloud and will only keep them locally. That’s why this method is highly suitable for people using more than one phone at a time.

Deactivating the contact sharing feature on iPhone can be done in the following way:

Step 1. Open the Settings app on the device, then tap on your name and Apple ID on the screen.

Step 2. Select iCloud tab from the next screen.

Select iCloud tab

Select iCloud tab

Step 3. Find the Contacts feature, and move the slider next to it into disabled position.

Step 4. You will be asked whether to delete or keep any contacts previously synced to iCloud.

Method 3. Erase the Old Device in Find My Phone

Find My Phone is a very useful security feature that can also be used to stop syncing contacts between previously connected devices. By erasing your old iPhone in this app, you can prevent the contacts stored on it from appearing on your new device. You don’t need to be in physical possession of the old device in order for this method to work, but you should keep in mind that it could result in data loss if your contacts aren’t properly backed up.

Here is the sequence of steps you need to follow if you want to erase an old iPhone and stop syncing contacts with your new device:

Step 1. Navigate to Find My Phone feature on your iCloud account.

Step 2. Tap on All devices, and select the old iPhone you would like to unlink.

Step 3. Tap on the Erase iPhone icon located at the bottom of the screen.

Tap on the Erase iPhone icon

Tap on the Erase iPhone icon

Step 4. Enter your Apple ID to confirm your identity and answer a security question if asked.

Back up Your Data Before Unlinking Contacts on iPhone

Even if you decide to unlink contacts, you still might want to keep contacts backed up so you can access them later. That’s why it’s a smart idea to download third-party data management software and use it to back up your contacts on your iPhone before you execute one of the previously described techniques for unlinking. AnyTrans is one of the best apps of this kind that can perform many duties and help you keep your iPhone tidy at all times. With AnyTrans, you can backup and restore contacts on iPhone. You can also selectively back up iPhone contacts to computer in readable formats but also does no harm to your existing content when restoring the backup.

AnyTrans allows you to easily transfer many different types of data, such as messages, contacts, music, photos, WhatsApp chats history and etc. from iPhone to iPhone and from Android to iPhone without worrying about compatibility.

AnyTrans – Professional iOS Manager

  • Directly backup contacts from iPhone to computer.
  • Support users to check the backup files at any time.
  • No harm to the iPhone’s existing content when restoring the backup.
  • Work well with all iPhone models, including iPhone 14 and iOS 16.

Free Download100% Clean & Safe

Free Download100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Here is what you need to do to back up your data using this practical and user-friendly software:

Step 1. Download the latest version of AnyTrans and run it on your computer > Connect the iPhone with a USB cable > Go to Device Manager > Choose the More option.

Choose Device Manager and Click on More

Choose Device Manager and Click on More

Step 2. Scroll the left panel screen down and choose Contacts > The list of contacts will be displayed on the screen, select those contacts that you want to back up > Tap the To Computer button and set up the exporting format of the iPhone contacts.

Click on To Computer Button to Back up Contacts

Final Words

While contact syncing is generally a useful feature that makes the transition to a new iPhone easier, for some users it causes unwanted contacts to appear on the device. This can be easily prevented if you use one of the methods for contact unlinking described in this article. All of the methods can be executed quickly, but certain conditions need to be met, i.e. you need to know the Apple ID password used to sync the device. To eliminate any possibility of permanently losing your contacts, it makes sense to create a backup using AnyTrans and keep old contacts on a computer.

Free Download

Free Download

* 100% Clean & Safe

Free Download * 100% Clean & Safe

Author Avatar
Joy Taylor Twitter Share Facebook Share

Senior writer of the iMobie team as well as an Apple fan, love to help more users solve various types of iOS & Android-related issues.

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