How to Delete Read-Only Contacts?

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Sometimes, realization (finally) dawns upon us that we should organize our phones, starting with deleting clone contacts that have been ignored forever. 

The catch is, a lot of these clones are read-only contacts, and when you attempt to delete them, ‘FOR GOOD,’ you receive a dialog box that says something like, “Read-only contacts can not be deleted. They can only be hidden”.

The question is, how do you delete these unwanted contacts? This is what we will discuss in this post and look at various solutions to delete these read-only contacts.

What are the Read-only Contacts?

Read-only contacts are actually those contacts that are not added manually by a user but by 3rd party communication apps like WhatsApp, Skype, Messenger, etc. 

Since these are read-only contacts, they are saved temporarily on your device, but you can’t simply delete them like the normal contacts. So, by now, you know what a read-only contact really is, and you will likely want to learn how to delete these contacts as we move further (which is possibly the whole point of why you are reading this article, anyway).

The read-only contacts occupy space on your device, and some unwanted contacts may be saved on your device, which can’t be deleted or removed easily, and this becomes very unpleasant for many people. 

It often happens that there are multiple duplicate contacts for a single contact, which expands your contact list, and it’s difficult to know which one of them is original. 

Deleting the read-only contacts can become tricky if you don’t know what you are dealing with.

The methods elaborated on below are quite handy, and if not all, one of these below-mentioned methods will definitely work for you. 

Method #1 By Unlinking the Contact

In this method, you will learn how you can delete read-only android contacts by just unlinking a particular app. 

The definitive steps are different in this method for different Android versions.

Android Pie or 9.00

  • Open the Contacts app, and scroll down to the contract that you want to delete.
  • Tap on the menu option ( 3 dots icon on the top right side of your screen ), then tap on the ‘View Linked Contacts’ option.
  • A pop-up window will appear; tap on the Unlink button. You have successfully unlinked the particular contact from the particular app.
  • Now, once again, you need to go to the contact and tap on the menu option. Tap on the Delete button, and confirm it from the pop-up window. 

Android Oreo or 8

  • Open the Contacts app, select the contacts you want to be deleted, and tap on the menu option.
  • From the drop-down menu, tap on ‘View linked contacts,’ then tap on the Unlink button. 
  • Now you have unlinked the contacts and can delete them from your contacts. Just go to contacts, select the contacts you want to delete, and then tap on the Delete button.

Method #2 Using the Google’s Contact App

In this method, we will be using the Google Contact app to delete a read-only contact. In the latest Android phones, Google contacts are pre-installed, but some android devices come with a default custom Contact app with a better utility which is developed by the phone. In case if Google contact is not pre-installed on your device, install it.

Turn on the Sync option to sync and save all your contacts to your Google account. 

Next, follow the steps given below:

  • Visit, using any browser available on your device. Sign in with the Google account, in case you haven’t already, that you are currently using on your device to sync data. 
  • On the new page, you will have a list of contacts saved to your Google account; scroll down to the contact which you want to delete.
  • Tap on the menu button (located on the top-right side of your screen ); tap on the Delete option from the drop-down menu.
  • Click on the Delete button from the pop-up window, and confirm to delete.
  • Now sync the contacts on your device, and you will see that the read-only contacts are no more available.

Method #3 Uninstall the App

By now, you know that read-only contacts are related to third-party communication apps. In this method, you are going to learn how to delete read-only contacts related to messaging apps like WhatsApp, Viber, Imo, Messenger, etc.

As much as we would like to elaborate, this method is the easiest – all you have to do is just uninstall the app related to those read-only contacts and then reinstall it. After reinstalling, you will find that those contacts are deleted from your device.

Method #4 Using a third-party app

Herein, we will delete the read-only contacts by using a third-party application called Easy Contacts Delete. It is not necessary to use the particular app; you may use any other application available on the Google Play Store. Make sure they actually work and have enough positive customer reviews to push you to download the application.

Once you have the app installed on your device, follow the steps given below:

  • Open the app. It will ask for contact access; allow it.
  • Next, you will see a list of contacts saved on your device; scroll down and select the contacts you want to delete. 
  • Finally, tap on the cross button at the bottom, confirm the pop window. 



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