How to Manage Favorite Contacts in the iPhone Phone App

Designate Contacts as Favorites for One-Touch Communication

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The iPhone's pre-installed Phone app makes it easy to call the people you talk to most by adding them to your Faorites list. With favorites, you just tap the name of the person you want to call, and the call starts. Here's what you need to know to add and manage names and numbers in your iPhone's Favorites list.

How to Add Favorite in the Phone App

To designate a person as a favorite, you have to have already added the person to your iPhone's Contacts app (either through the standalone app or in the Phone app). You can't create new contacts during this process. Once the person you want to make a favorite is in your Contacts, add them to your Favorites list by following these steps:

  1. Tap the Phone icon on the iPhone's Home screen.

  2. Tap Favorites at the bottom of the screen.

  3. Click the + at the top of the screen to add favorites to bring up your full Contacts list.

  4. Scroll through the list, use the search field, or jump to a letter to find the contact you want. When you find the name, tap it.

  5. In the menu that pops up, you can choose from various ways to contact the person, including Messages, Call, Video, and Mail. (The options you have depend on how much information you've added about the person in the Contacts list). The option you choose is how you contact the person from the Favorites screen. For example, if you always text someone, tap Messages to make tapping them in the Favorites list open the Messages app. If you prefer to video chat, tap Call > FaceTime, which only works if the contact has FaceTime, too.

  6. Tap the contact option to add it or tap the down-arrow to choose from options in each category. When you tap the down arrow, the menu shows all the options for that type of communication. For example, if you have both a work and home number for someone, you select which one to assign as your favorite contact method (you can add each number as its own, individual favorite). 

  7. Tap the option you want to add it to your Favorites list.

That name and phone number are now listed in your Favorites menu. Return to the Phone app and tap Favorites at the bottom of the screen. Under the person's name is a note indicating the contact method you chose. If you have a photo of the person in the Contacts app, you'll see it next to their name. If you tap any name on this screen, your chosen communication is launched immediately. For instance, if you assigned a phone number as the preferred method, the iPhone dials it.

Want your Favorite contacts, or all of your contacts, to have full-screen photos when they call you? Find out more about how to make this happen in How to Get a Full-Screen Picture in iPhone Calls.

How to Rearrange Favorites on iPhone

After you have designated a few favorites, you may want to rearrange their order. Here's how:

  1. Tap the Phone app.

  2. Tap Favorites.

  3. Tap the Edit button at the top of the screen to bring up a screen with red buttons to the left of each contact (don't tap those unless you want to delete the contact) and an icon that resembles a stack of three lines to the right of each contact.

  4. Tap and hold the three-line icon. The favorite you select becomes active and appears slightly raised above the other favorites.

  5. Drag the favorite to the position in the list you want it to have and let it go.

  6. Tap Done in the top of the screen to save the new order of your favorites.

Arranging Favorites in the 3D Touch Menu

If you have an iPhone with 3D Touch — a feature introduced with iPhone 6S and present on models released after that — you have another favorites menu. To reveal it, press firmly on the Phone app on the Home screen. When you do that, three or four favorites (depending on your version of iOS) are shown by picture and name. They are the first three or four people on your Favorites list. If you want to change the order of favorites in the pop-out menu, change them on the main favorites screen.

How to Remove Favorites from the Phone App

Removing a contact from your Favorites list is just as easy as adding them in the first place. For the full set of instructions, check out How to Remove Favorites From the iPhone Phone App.