How to Remove Favorites From the iPhone Phone App

Relationships change. So should your Phone Favorites

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. However, not all relationships last, and they definitely all change, which means that sometimes you need to rearrange the list or delete people from it altogether. Fortunately, both deleting and rearranging contacts are almost as easy as adding people to your Favorites list in the first place. 

Instructions in this article apply to iOS 12, iOS 11, and iOS 10.

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 in the bottom left corner of the screen.

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

  4. A red circle icon with a minus signappears next to each favorite in the list. Tap the red icon next to the Favorite you want to delete.

  5. Tap the Delete button that appears to the right of the contact to remove the favorite.

    Three iOS screens showing Edit button, red circle with a line in it button and Delete button

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. Briskly swipe right to left across the contact you want to delete without even tapping Edit.

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 in the bottom left corner.

  3. Tap the Edit button in the top left corner of the screen.

  4. Look for a three-line icon to the right of each Favorite at the far right side of the screen. Tap and hold the three-line icon so that the favorite hovers above the rest of 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 Using the 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).

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

In iOS 11 and iOS 12 the contacts are displayed in the same order as you see them on the Favorites screen.

Pop-up 3D touch Favorites screen on iOS

In iOS 10, the contact in the No. 1 position on your Favorites screen shows up at the bottom right corner of the shortcut menu. It works this way to make it easiest for you to tap your most commonly used contact.

To change which contacts show in the shortcut or to change their order, rearrange your contacts on the Favorites list.