Some contacts are double in your list, some of them wont be deleted even if you try a thousand times? The message "Contacts from your read-only accounts cannot be deleted, but they can be hidden" exasperated a lot of users already. But fear not, there is a way to delete them, and we will show you how in this guide.

Android manages several addresslists

There used to be only one address list on a device, but nowadays there are way more, thousands of different lists. In addition to the SIM card, contacts can be saved in the  phone storage, in a cloud, at Google, Microsoft Exchange, apps like Messenger or WhatsApp and many other places. The contact app from Android manages all approved address books on one place. This means, as soon as there is a contact saved on the SIM-card, for example Jane Doe with the phone number 0123/456789, WhatsApp recognizes this contact and opens up its own address book. In order to avoid double contacts, , they will be connected to one contact. This is how a contact becomes read-only.

Deleting a read only contact

If you try to delete such a contact, you will receive a notification that this is impossible, because the contact is existing in many address lists and connected to them. To delete a read-only contact, you need to remove the connection. Depending on which Android version you are using, there are different ways to approach this:

Android 9 "Pie"


Step 1:  Open  Contacts
Step 2:  Choose the  contact  you want to delete
Step 3:  Open the  menu
Step 4:  Tap on  View linked contacts
Step 5:  Tap on  Unlink
Step 6:  Confirm with  Unlink
Step 7:  Tap on the  contact  you want to delete
Step 8:  Open the  menu
Step 9:  Tap on  Delete
Step 10:  Confirm with  Delete
  1. Open Contacts
  2. Choose the contact you want to delete
  3. Open the menu
  4. Tap on View linked contacts
  5. Tap on Unlink
  6. Confirm with Unlink
  7. Tap on the contact you want to delete
  8. Open the menu
  9. Tap on Delete
  10. Confirm with Delete

Android 8 "Oreo"


Step 1:  Tap on  Contacts
Step 2:  Choose the  contact  you want to delete
Step 3:  Open the  menu
Step 4:  Tap on  View linked contacts
Step 5:  Tap on  Unlink
Step 6:  Confirm with  Unlink
Step 7:  Tap on the  contact  again
Step 8:  Open the  menu
Step 9:  Tap on  Delete
  1. Tap on Contacts
  2. Choose the contact you want to delete
  3. Open the menu
  4. Tap on View linked contacts
  5. Tap on Unlink
  6. Confirm with Unlink
  7. Tap on the contact again
  8. Open the menu
  9. Tap on Delete

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