How to Remove Favorites From the iPhone Phone App

Hand holding an iPhone X with Favorites onscreen

The Favorites screen in the iPhone's Phone app makes it easy to get in touch with your closest friends and family members quickly. But not all relationships last, and they definitely all change, which means that sometimes you'll need to re-arrange the list or delete people from it altogether. Luckily, both deleting and re-arranging contacts are almost as easy as adding people to your Favorites list in the first place. 

How to Delete iPhone Favorites

To delete a contact from the Favorites screen in your Phone app:

  1. Tap the Phone app on the iPhone's home screen to launch it.

  2. Tap the Favorites icon at the bottom left.

    Three iOS screens showing Phone app icon and Favorite button
  3. Tap the Edit button in the top left.

  4. A red circle icon with a minus sign in it appears next to each favorite in the list. Tap that red icon for the Favorite you want to delete. (You can also swipe right to left across the contact you want to delete.)

  5. A Delete (or, in some cases Remove) button appears at the right.

  6. Tap the Delete button.

    Three iOS screens showing Edit button, red circle with a line in it button and Delete button
  7. The Favorite is removed and you're looking at your newly updated favorites list.

Don't worry: This only deletes the Favorite. It does not delete the contact from your address book, so you haven't lost the contact information.

For a faster way to delete a Favorite, go into the Phone app and go to Favorites. Swipe right to left across the contact you want to delete without even tapping Edit. This reveals the Delete button from step 5 above. 

How to Rearrange iPhone Favorites

Deleting contacts isn't the only thing you may want to do on the Favorites screen. To change their order, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the Phone app to launch it.

  2. Tap the Favorites icon at the bottom left.

  3. Tap the Edit button in the top left.

  4. Look for a three-line icon next to each Favorite at the far right side of the screen. Tap and hold the three-line icon so that it sort of hovers above the list. If you have an iPhone with 3D Touch, don't press too hard or you'll get a shortcut menu. A light touch is enough.

  5. The contact is now movable. Drag the contact to the new order you want it to have on the list. Drop it there.

    Three iOS screens showing Edit button in Favorites screen, moving icon, Favorite moved up two slots
  6. When your Favorites are arranged in the way you want, tap Done in the top left to save the new order.

You can make incoming calls for your contacts show full-screen photos with just a few steps. Read all about it in How to Get a Full-Screen Picture in iPhone Calls.

How to Select Contacts for the Phone App's 3D Touch Menu

If you have an iPhone 6 series or newer iPhone, the 3D Touch screen offers one other way to reach your Favorites. If you hard press the Phone app icon, a shortcut menu pops out that offers easy access to three favorite contacts (or, on larger screens like the iPhone X, four contacts).

Here's what you need to know about which contacts appear in that list and how to make sure they're the ones you use the most:

The 3D Touch shortcut for the Phone app displays your top three (or four) favorites this way:

  1. In iOS 11, the contacts are displayed in the same order as you see them on the Favorites screen.

    Pop-up 3D touch Favorites screen on iOS
  2. In iOS 10, the contact in the #1 position on your Favorites screen shows up at the bottom of the shortcut menu. It works this way to make it easiest for you to tap your most-commonly used contact.

The middle contact in the 3D Touch shortcut is the contact in the #2 position on your Favorites screen

The contact at the top of the 3D Touch menu is the one in the #3 position on your Favorites screen.

To change which contacts show in the shortcut or to change their order, use the steps in the second section of this article to re-arrange your Favorites.