Android How to delete read-only contacts

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

Android
Simulator

Explained step by step - 135 simulator instructions
    1. Home screen

      1. Apps & Shortcuts

      2. Folder

      3. Widgets

    1. Network

      1. Mobile network

        1. Mobile data

          1. Data warning and limit

      2. WLAN

        1. Wi-Fi Direct

        1. Tethering

          1. WLAN-Hotspot

    2. Display

      1. Status bar

        1. Font

        2. Screen saver

    3. Volume & Tones

      1. System sounds

      2. Volume

      3. Do not disturb

      4. Vibrations

    4. Storage

      1. Memory card

    5. Battery

    6. Lock screen

      1. Screen lock

        1. Settings

        2. Smart Lock

    7. Security & Privacy

        1. Fingerprint

      1. Privacy

      2. Location

    8. Apps & Notifications

      1. Screen reader

      2. Display enhancements

      3. Interaction and dexterity

      1. Date & Time

      2. Languages & Input

          1. Text correction

        1. Developer Options

  1. Functions

    1. Phone

      1. Display

      2. Settings

    2. Messages (SMS)

      1. Settings

    3. Contacts

      1. Settings

      2. Groups

      1. Shutter

      2. Settings

      1. Timer

      2. Alarm clock

    4. Browser

Answer from Shona_71

I unlinked the contact but it's still there. It gives me the Link option instead and when I try to delete it, I still get that Read-Only message. Help!!!

Answer from Gzaliab

I've unlinked the contact but still can't delete it. The ones I'm trying to delete are linked to Skype but in Skype they either don't exist or I've deleted them there.

Still questions?

Do you have a question or a feedback to "Android - How to delete read-only contacts"? Write here:

Android - manuals and news

You will be perfectly prepared with our manuals for Android. And if you already know everything, you will find actual news and informations about Android.

Add personalized ringtones
Android: Add personalized ringtones

Many of us may remember the popular ringtone Badinerie (Bach) on the Nokia 3310. Like back then, we can still add personalized ringtones to Android devices.Back then we had to pay expensive...

2865
How to start your device in safe mode
Android: How to start your device in safe mode

Most User will remember the safe mode from their Windows PC. This mode is also present on the Android device. In this guide we will show you how to activate or deactivate the safe mode.[caption...

3808
How to start and use the recovery mode
Android: How to start and use the recovery mode

The recovery mode is some kind of second operation system that is made to save the Android device if nothing works anymore. But what exactly can i do with the recovery mode and how do i use...

7249
How to take a screenshot with Android
Android: How to take a screenshot with Android

There is no need for additional software if a picture of the actual screen is needed. Android  offers some possibility to take a screenshot.  The most popular way to do this by pressing...

4172