Contact Groups on iPhone

A few days ago, we published a post explaining how to create contact groups on Mac, so we thought it would be a good idea to show you how to do that directly from your iPhone or iPad as well. Creating contact groups on iPhone is a fairly simple process, however, it does require to install a third-party application as the stock Contacts app for iOS doesn’t let you create and edit groups on the fly.

No one will argue that not being able to manage contact groups directly from your iPhone is a terrible limitation of iOS, but we’re not really here to discuss what could and should be.

In this post, we will show you how to manage contact groups on iPhone or iPad by using an application called Address Book Plus. Not only we will explain how to create contact groups, but we will also show you how to manage and edit these groups…

There are many applications in the App Store that let you create groups of contacts on iPhone and iPad. From my experience, Address Book Plus is one of the best out there as it is inexpensive, simple, and offers a nice design updated for iOS 7. However I understand you might want to explore your options, which is why I listed several alternatives at the bottom of this post.

How to create a group of contacts on iPhone

Note that in this post, we will show you how to manage groups of contacts on your iPhone, but creating contact groups on iPad follows the exact same process, assuming of course you use the same application. In other words, these tips will work whether you use an iPhone, iPad or iPod touch.

Step 1: Launch Address Book Plus and grant it access to your contacts (only required the first time you launch the application).

Step 2: Tap the + icon at the upper right, which should take you to the Add Group screen.

Step 3: Type in a group name. For the purpose of this tutorial, we will call this group “Friends,” but you’re obviously free to name it whatever you want. Tap Done once you have typed in the name of your new group.

Step 4: You will then be taken back to the main screen of the application. From there, you should see your newly created group, as well as other groups that you might have created before on Mac OS X for example.

How to add contacts to groups

Now that we have created a new group, we’re going to add contacts to this group.

Step 1: On the main screen of the Address Book Plus app, tap All Contacts. This will take you to a list of all the contacts that are on your iPhone.

Step 2: Scroll until you find a contact you want to add to one of your groups. Once you have found him, tap the ” i ” icon located on the right hand side of the contact name. This will take you to a screen where you can assign this contact to a group.

Step 3: Select what group you want to add this contact to. Note that you can add one contact to multiple groups. Once you have assigned your contact to one or several groups, tap the All Contacts button in the upper left of the screen to go back to your list of contacts.

Step 4: Repeat step 3 until you have added all the contacts you want to one or several groups.

How to remove contacts from a group

Now that we have figured out how to add contacts to groups, we are going to see how to remove a contact from a group. Note that removing a contact from a group does not delete this contact from your address book.

Step 1: Go back to the main screen of the Address Book Plus app. Tap on a group from which you want to remove one or several contacts. This will show you all the contacts that have been assigned to this group.

Step 2: Select what contact you want to remove from this group and tap on the ” i ” icon on the right hand side of the contact name. You will then see what groups this contact has been assigned to.

Step 3: Simply tap on a group to uncheck the contact‘s assignment to this group. At this time, you can easily reassign this contact to other groups, or to no group at all.

Step 4: Repeat the process for each contact you wish to remove from a group.

Other apps that let you create and manage contact groups

As mentioned above, there are many apps in the App Store that let you create contact groups on iPad or iPhone. This is a selection of some of these apps, in no specific order of preference.

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  • David Gitman

    I love those tips! thank you Sébastien!

    • My pleasure 🙂

      • David Gitman

        I am so happy you replyed ^.^

  • Framboogle

    Hey Sebastien, what’s Tim Cooks number?

    • I could tell you but then I’d have to dispose of you, which I don’t want to do :p

      • hdofu

        You might want to send him an iMessage “Hey Tim, it’s Sebastian… got a quickie. Were running iOS 7 already why is a feature so fundamental as group management missing from the native interface of contacts? I mean i have to advertise a third party app called address book plus to users for this feature. Just saying I think it’s about time”

  • Parker Crain

    I smell a new jailbreak tweak…

    • Ideally, such a jailbreak tweak would be completely integrated into the Contacts app. I’m sure it wouldn’t take too much work either as it is relatively basic. Not sure why Apple hasn’t integrated that in iOS to be frank.

  • therealjjohnson

    Does this allow you to send a iMessage to all of these contacts at once?

    • No it doesn’t, but I’ll have a post about this soon

      • therealjjohnson


      • Frank Johnson

        I just went through the process of purchasing the app and making groups on my iPhone, but when I went to send a text message to a group as a test, I saw that it was not possible. The app does not allow you to send messages to the groups. Please tell me what the purpose of making a group is if you cannot communicate with the group. Unless I’m missing something, this was a complete waste of time…and money. What am I missing?

      • Bobby

        I agree – I just did the same thing!!! What a waste of money.

  • ConduciveMammal

    Or, instead of using a third party app on your phone/iPad, you can add contact groups through the iCloud website

    • Jordan

      not as easy as straight from the device ur using

  • Yes.

    • Onyx

      Cool. Thank you! I will check out Address Book Plus 🙂

  • after that, can i send message to a group?

    • Matt

      nope. completely uselesss.

  • Chris

    Hi Sebastien, I installed Address Book Plus but when I want to send a group email from my iPad I select the group, select ‘done’ the system then shows me all the people in the group but I have to add them to the recipients box individually. Is this correct?

    • That is correct

    • Use the Simpler Groups app, it’s free and it automatically populates the recipient box.

  • Senseatlast

    Sorry, but the app Address Book Plus does not work on iPhone 4s/7.1.1. It does not offer option to create or edit Contact Groups. Another free app, SuperGrouper, DOES work. I suggest you recommend that instead.

  • John O’Reilly

    The App does not work.

  • Daniel

    What’s the point in creating a group if you can’t send a text to that group! Am I missing something?

  • Alisha Gregg

    Sebastien, have downloaded and created the group per instruction; so easy! But, cannot send a calendar event to the group; still makes me select them individually when I change to the Group for Invitees. Another limitation?

  • Evilyn Smallwood

    Is there a way to set up group texts so that only the sender gets all of the responses? I don’t want everyone in the group to have to see all the chatter. Thanks

  • Caroline Danon

    Just doesnt work after creating a group the email program does not understand it.

  • mleeper

    Eddy is spelled with a y.

  • Yvonne Dickson

    Hi there does anyone know how to send a group message out using address book plus, I have installed it but cant seem to send a message out to all in the group without first selecting the recipients all individually. Y

  • Charles

    I like GContact Lite. so cool

  • Angela da Silva

    Stupid me, should have read the comments: spent the money and installed everything – but can’t group text/message which was the whole point. What group text app works with this one?

  • OK, but how do I send an email to the group I created? It’s listed in my contacts. Thanks!

  • Ceww

    I have followed the steps but when I try to add a person (with picture or not) it states ‘unable to add to group’. I have tried numerous names and various groups and the same statement appears. So far, I have been able to add 1 member to the family group. HELP.
    I have an iPhone 6.

  • Lacadia S. O. Johnson

    With this app, can you share a group contact list? Can you send a group to someone else?