iCloud is a great way to make sure you always have a backup of your Calendar, Contacts, Mail, and more from your iPad or iPhone. However, there are times when your contact list in iCloud becomes polluted with multiple instances of the same contact. When this happens it can make your contact list almost unuseable.

In previous articles we have discussed how to remove all the contacts off your iPad and replace with the contacts on iCloud, how to remove duplicate contacts from your Gmail contact list, and how to sync your Gmail contact list with your iPad using Exchange. However, there have been times when I’ve had to remove all the contacts from iCloud and then resync the contacts on my iPad to clean up the list and make it useful. If you are in this same situation, here is how to delete all the contacts from iCloud and start over.

1) On your iPad or iPhone, go to the Settings icon, then to iCloud and swipe the toggle for Contacts to Off. When you do this a message will appear to Keep on my iPad. Choose to Keep the contacts on your iPad (as long as these are the ones you want to keep). If this list is polluted with duplicates as well (and you have the contact list synced with Gmail or backed up) then you might want to choose Delete from iPad to remove all the contacts off the iPad as well.

2) Now, in a web browser on a PC or Mac, go to iCloud by clicking on the link below


3) Log in with your Apple ID username and password

4) Click on the Contacts icon

5) Now you should see a list of your contacts on iCloud. If these contacts are duplicated, then you’ll want to delete all the contacts and resync from your iPad.

6) Click the actions menu at the bottom of the page. The actions menu appears as a small gear icon.

7) From the actions menu, choose Select All

8 ) Now click on the actions menu again and choose Delete. If it asks if you really want to delete them, choose Yes. This will delete all the contacts from your iCloud backup.

If the correct set of contacts is located on your iPad, then go back to the iPad into Settings and iCloud and swipe Contacts to On. This will begin uploading the correct contact list back to iCloud.

Note: In some instances you may have to delete all the contacts from your iPad as well, resync from Gmail (if that is where your contacts list is) and then upload or resync to iCloud. Read my post on How to Remove Duplicate contacts from Gmail for more information.

To resync your contact list from Gmail, follow the steps in this post about setting up Gmail and the iPad using Exchange.


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