How To Delete All Contacts From Gmail

Update October 2010: These instructions are no longer valid. Take a look at voyageurs60’s comment.

If you’ve ever tried to delete more than 20 contacts in gmail, you might have noticed an error message informing you that you’re only allowed to delete 20 contacts at a time.

I don’t really think of Google as a company that puts abitrary limits on features. Who knows why they decided upon this limit.

Suppose you’ve accidentally quadrupled your contacts list in some sort of import mishap and you just want to start over. There’s a fairly simple – if somewhat non-intuitive – workaround for this. Click the “older version” link it the top navigation bar (http://mail.google.com/mail/?ui=1). This will allow you access to the old contacts list interface.
From there:
1) click “all contacts” tab
2) scroll down to the bottom, select “all” (no idea why this option is not at the top of the interface)
3) Delete!

23 thoughts on “How To Delete All Contacts From Gmail

  1. I had the same problem. Just go up in your contact list and uncheck the entries for “friends”, “Families” and for ‘coworkers’. Then try to delete again. Worked for me. It is telling you that you can’t delete the friends, family, and coworkers groups because they are part of Gmail. I didn’t think they would show up in the contacts list, but they do.

  2. I had the same problem. Just go up in your contact list and uncheck the entries for “friends”, “Families” and for ‘coworkers’. Then try to delete again. Worked for me. It is telling you that you can’t delete the friends, family, and coworkers groups because they are part of Gmail. I didn’t think they would show up in the contacts list, but they do.

  3. Thanks so much for this piece of advice! I have been looking for a way to do this (for some reason Google imported a bunch of junk, and my Contacts list got sloppy), and you were spot on where others missed the mark. I am now trying to find a good program to automagically sync Google Contacts with Outlook – any ideas there? Thanks in advance –

  4. Thanks so much for this piece of advice! I have been looking for a way to do this (for some reason Google imported a bunch of junk, and my Contacts list got sloppy), and you were spot on where others missed the mark. I am now trying to find a good program to automagically sync Google Contacts with Outlook – any ideas there? Thanks in advance –

  5. 2010-0915 – slight change I think… at bottom of contact list page there is a Gmail View with a number of options. I chose “older contact manager” – once this displays you have columns. At the top of the column with the contact names I selected “ALL” then to the right there is the “Delete All” button. The categories/groups still exist but this was not the problem – duplicates were… give it a try and good luck if you must take the drastic measure…

  6. It works but slightly different…
    Scroll down to the bottom of the page in your gmail account and
    click the “older contact manager” link (it’s in small fonts)
    Once it loads up your contacts just select “ALL” and click “Delete contacts” button on the right.
    That’s it! Enjoy!

    Remi
    http://remivladuceanu.con

  7. Thanks, worked like magic. It actuary creates labels so you can delete all the unnecessary ones.

  8. if you go to gmail account, look at the very botton of the page and you will find slection says ” use old contact manager” . click on it. on the old contact manager select all contacts. all your contacts will be selected no matter what the numbers is. Then click delete. Then You are happy man with zero contacts. I have just deleted more then 13000 contacts

  9. For the life of me I could NOT find the “older contacts manager” link.  Found a way to get to it finally: go to your gmail account and log in, then use this url: http://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#cm1  This brought right to the “older contacts manager”.  Then, Select All > Delete.  Done.

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