How to Erase All Contacts on a Samsung
By Andrew Tennyson
Whether you're selling your device or just want to start over fresh, erasing all your contacts is the best way to get rid of private contact information. Samsung's newest 2014 smartphones and tablets, including the Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 8.0, run on the Google Android 4.4 operating system. In previous versions of Android was an option to delete all contacts directly from the native Contacts app. On these newer devices, you must use the Settings app to delete all of your contacts at once.
Tap the "Apps" icon in the bottom-right corner of your Samsung's screen to load a list of applications on the device. Swipe through the applications and tap the "Settings" app icon. The Settings app icon resembles a small gear or cog.
Scroll down the Settings screen and tap the "Application Manager" icon located near the bottom of the Settings screen in the Applications group.
Swipe to the right to load the All tab, on which is displayed a list of all applications currently installed on your device. When you first load the Application Manager, it will likely display the Downloaded tab. The All tab is located three spots to the right of the Downloaded tab.
Scroll down the alphabetical list of apps and tap "Contacts Storage" to load information about the Contacts Storage utility, which is connected to the Contacts app and other apps that rely on contact data. The screen you see next displays storage, permissions and a variety of other information about the Contacts Storage utility.
Tap the "Clear data" button and then tap "OK" to confirm that you want to remove all of the contacts from your Samsung device.
- Because your Contacts app may be synchronized with contacts located elsewhere, such as your Gmail account, you should back up those contacts if you want to save them. Depending on your sync settings, deleting all of the contacts from your Samsung device may result in the loss of contacts stored elsewhere as well.
- If your Samsung device is running an older version of Android, you can delete all contacts directly in the Contacts app. On earlier versions of Android 4, tap the "Settings" icon to load the Settings app, tap "Apps" and then select "Contacts Storage." Tap the "Clear data" button to remove all of your contacts.
- On flip phones and other older Samsung devices running proprietary Samsung operating systems, you delete all of your contacts using the Erase or Erase/Reset tool. Press the "Menu" key, select "Settings" and then select "Security" or "More," depending on your device. Select "Erase/Reset" or "Erase," depending on your device, and then select "Erase Contacts." Select "Yes" when asked to confirm if you want to erase all of the contacts from the device.
- You can also download third-party software from the official Google Play store designed to remove all of your contacts in one fell swoop (links in Resources).
- Third-party software is also the only solution when deleting all contacts on the small number of Samsung devices that run the Windows Phone operating system. Otherwise you must delete contacts individually as outlined by Microsoft on the official Windows Phone 8 website (link in Resources).
- Information in this article applies to Samsung smartphones and tablets running Google Android 4.4.2. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.
Andrew Tennyson has been writing about culture, technology, health and a variety of other subjects since 2003. He has been published in The Gazette, DTR and ZCom. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and a Master of Fine Arts in writing.