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Quick Tip: Clear unwanted contacts from Messages

These days, my iPhone is a portable computer that happens to make phone calls. It can store quite a bit of data. Between music, apps, videos, and other data it is quite easy to create a slick looking device that is extremely cluttered.

I do my best to keep my address book free of people that I no longer communicate with. One of the little known facts about the iOS Messages app is its Recents list. Who’s in this list? Well, a lot of people. Anyone you’ve ever been in a group message with or anyone who has ever been in your contacts can be recalled.

Why is this a problem? As you go to type someone’s name in the “To:” field, it not only shows your current contacts, but also that mysterious recently contacted list. If you are like me, you only want folks showing in that list if you actually have them in your contacts.

Thankfully, iOS makes it easy to clean up.

If you want to start a massive cleanup session, you will want to start a message with each letter of the alphabet and look for contacts with the “i” symbol to the right. If you tap on that, you will see the option to “Remove from recents.” Tap it and that contact is gone. Just repeat this process for each contact you want removed. You can then move onto the next letter of the alphabet. While this can take a while, it’s a great way to pass some time in a waiting room.

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