Unknown Contact Appearing on Phone Here's Why And How to Fix it

Unknown Contact Appearing on Phone? Here’s Why And How to Fix it

Who wouldn’t be irked when unknown contacts repeatedly flood your phone like digital parasites? But don’t let this blow your top just yet, as there are known solutions to this issue that should effectively give you control over your device. 

In this post, we’ll show you seven proven troubleshooting tricks to help eliminate the issue for good so you can keep only the people you want in your contacts. 

Why does my phone have so many unknown contacts? 

Unknown contacts may appear on your phone’s recent calls or contacts list for many reasons. It could be a software glitch or oversight, such as when you sync with your PC to update your smartphone’s phonebook. 

But there are two far more sinister reasons. First, contacts in your phone will appear if you get bombarded by calls from unknown callers, which happens if you’re a target of scammers and persistent telemarketers.

Second, this happens if other people access your phone or accounts. In such cases, your contacts list may get entangled due to synchronization, which causes them to appear as unknown contacts on your phone.

How to Get Rid of Unknown Contacts on My Phone

The solutions are not experimental; they’ve been proven and tested. We recommend you apply them in the order they are presented so you get results far more quickly than if you apply them in random order. 

WARNING: Note that some of these procedures may differ slightly depending on the OS version installed on your phone or the device’s model.

FIX 1. Stop sharing your accounts with other people

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps4
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things Needed• Any smartphone

The best way to prevent having unknown contacts saved in your phone is to stop sharing your accounts with other people. This way, their contacts won’t get mixed up with the ones saved in your device due to automatic contact synchronization.

It’s why this issue is common for households that share one device with multiple account sign-ins. If possible, you must refrain from logging into your accounts using someone else’s device or letting others open their accounts on your phone.

If someone else’s account is already signed into your device, you need to sign out of it and log in using your account. Doing so should stop their contacts from syncing with your device’s contact list.

You can do this on iPhones by signing out the Apple ID in question so you can use a personal account instead. For Android devices, you need to sign out of the active Google account if it’s not yours.

Step 1: Open iPhone Settings.

Step 1 Stop sharing your accounts with other people

Step 2: Open the Apple ID profile.

Step 2 Stop sharing your accounts with other people

Step 3: Scroll down and choose the option to Sign Out.

Step 3 Stop sharing your accounts with other people

Step 4: Enter the password for the Apple ID to continue.

Step 4 Stop sharing your accounts with other people

FIX 2. Use the Android feature for blocking unknown numbers

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things Needed• An Android phone

If you’re an Android user, you can make use of your phone’s built-in feature that blocks incoming calls from unknown numbers. This action prevents unsaved phone numbers and known scam callers and spam callers from getting in contact with you.

It also prevents these unknown numbers from being saved on the recent calls tab of the phone app or the messages list on your device’s messaging app. We think it’s a good precautionary measure to take if you don’t want to deal with unknown numbers.

Step 1: Go to the device’s Phone app.

Step 1 Use the Android feature for blocking unknown numbers

Step 2: Tap the kebab menu to access more options.

Step 2 Use the Android feature for blocking unknown numbers

Step 3: Go to the phone app’s Settings menu.

Step 3 Use the Android feature for blocking unknown numbers

Step 4: Go to the Block Numbers menu.

Step 4 Use the Android feature for blocking unknown numbers

Step 5: Toggle off the Block Unknown Callers/Numbers switch.

Step 5 Use the Android feature for blocking unknown numbers

Note: Unknown numbers will no longer show up on your contacts and recent calls list. You can only see them when you return to the Block Numbers menu.

FIX 3. Disable your phone’s Google backup feature

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix20 seconds
Things Needed• Any smartphone

If the situation makes sharing a device or accounts with other people unavoidable, some viable options will stop unknown contacts from being saved in your phone. For one, disable the backup feature on the Google account linked to the device.

Doing so will stop the Google account in question from backing up and saving the information on the devices it’s connected to, which may include various contacts. Contacts won’t be saved on other devices the Google account is signed into.

It’s a good compromise to take when sharing one Google account across multiple devices or vice versa. This will prevent confusion with any contacts that are saved as an unknown number when Google sync kicks in.

Step 1: Go to your device’s Settings.

Step 1 Disable your phone’s Google backup feature

Step 2: Scroll down and open your Google account’s settings menu.

Step 2 Disable your phone’s Google backup feature

Step 3: Scroll down and open the Backup menu.

Step 3 Disable your phone’s Google backup feature

Step 4: Scroll down and turn off the Backup by Google One switch.

Step 4 Disable your phone’s Google backup feature

Step 5: Confirm this action by clicking the “TURN OFF & DELETE option.

Step 5 Disable your phone’s Google backup feature

FIX 4. Turn off Google Contacts sync on your phone

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix25 seconds
Things Needed• Any smartphone

Speaking of Google sync, you can also turn this feature off to prevent saved contacts from being shared between multiple devices. It’s an alternative solution you can take if you still have unknown contacts saved in the phone even with the backup disabled.

With Google Contacts sync turned off, your phone won’t save the contacts that are linked to the Google account connected to it. You can also prevent multiple devices using the same Google account from sharing their contacts list with the sync.

Step 1: Follow Steps 1 and 2 on the previous solution to open the Google settings menu on your phone.

Step 1 Turn off Google Contacts sync on your phone

Step 2: Scroll down and open the Settings for Google apps menu.

Step 2 Turn off Google Contacts sync on your phone

Step 3: Open the Google Contacts sync menu.

Step 3 Turn off Google Contacts sync on your phone

Step 4: Select the Status tab and turn off Auto-sync for Google contacts.

Step 4 Turn off Google Contacts sync on your phone

Step 5: Go to the Also sync device contacts tab and turn off synchronization from other devices connected to your Google account.

Step 5 Turn off Google Contacts sync on your phone

FIX 5. Reconfigure your Google account’s contact settings

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix40 seconds
Things Needed• Any smartphone or PC
• A working internet connection

Another alternative solution you can try is managing the privacy and sharing settings on your Google account. You can do this by logging into your Google account using the browser of your phone or a PC.

Once signed in, you need to manage the settings configuration of your Google account to stop your saved contacts from being saved on the devices it’s connected to. This method will also prevent your Google account from saving contacts from your devices.

Step 1: Go to Google’s web page using your phone or PC’s browser and click the Sign In button.

Step 1 Reconfigure your Google account’s contact settings

Step 2: Enter your login credentials to open your Google account.

Step 2 Reconfigure your Google account’s contact settings

Step 3: Click your Google account’s profile icon and click Manage your Google Account.

Step 3 Reconfigure your Google account’s contact settings

Step 4: Go to the People & sharing tab.

Step 4 Reconfigure your Google account’s contact settings

Step 5: Navigate to the Contacts section and turn off the options for “Contact info saved from interactions” and “Contact info from your devices.”

Step 5 Reconfigure your Google account’s contact settings

FIX 6. Disable the contacts syncing on Facebook

Difficulty Easy ●●○○○
Number of Steps10
Time to Perform Fix60 seconds
Things Needed• Any smartphone

The unknown contacts saved in your phone may also come from other sources such as your Facebook app. After all, contact syncing is a permission that most apps on your phone may have been given access to, with or without your knowledge.

We think that it’s best to check the device permissions you have on your Facebook app to see if it has access to your contacts list. If it does, that would explain why you have some unknown numbers saved on your phone due to synchronization.

As such, your only option to stop this is to revoke the contact permission for your Facebook app. Please note that this also extends to other apps installed on your phone that may have access to its contacts list.

Thus, we recommend performing this action on other apps that you also suspect are syncing their contacts with your phone.

Step 1: Go to the device’s Facebook app.

Step 1 Disable the contacts syncing on Facebook

Step 2: Tap the hamburger menu on your Facebook app.

Step 2 Disable the contacts syncing on Facebook

Step 3: Scroll down and click Settings & Privacy to access a drop-down menu and open Settings.

Step 3 Disable the contacts syncing on Facebook

Step 4: Scroll down and open Device permissions.

Step 4 Disable the contacts syncing on Facebook

Step 5: Click the See Info button beside Contacts to check its details.

Step 5 Disable the contacts syncing on Facebook

Step 6: Click Update Settings if Contacts permission is allowed.

Step 6 Disable the contacts syncing on Facebook

Note: If it’s not allowed, you don’t have to continue to the next steps.

Step 7: Select Open Device Settings.

Step 7 Disable the contacts syncing on Facebook

Step 8: Go to App permissions.

Step 8 Disable the contacts syncing on Facebook

Step 9: Click on Contacts.

Step 9 Disable the contacts syncing on Facebook

Step 10: Select Don’t Allow.

Step 10 Disable the contacts syncing on Facebook

FIX 7. Double-check your iPhone’s Apple ID and iCloud feature

Difficulty Very Easy ●○○○○
Number of Steps5
Time to Perform Fix25 seconds
Things Needed• Any smartphone

For iPhone users, we suggest checking whether the Apple ID signed in to your device is yours or not. 

Plus, you need to ensure that the iCloud and iCloud Drive features on your iPhone are turned off to prevent the contacts of other Apple IDs from syncing.

We recommend performing this action if you share an iPhone with a family member or friend while using separate Apple IDs. 

This way, there won’t be any unknown contacts saved in your phone every time you or someone else signs in and out of an Apple ID.

Doing so will save you from the potential headaches that repeated switching will cause.

Also, you won’t have to worry about answering an unknown contact or that someone will have access to a message that isn’t intended for them.

Step 1: Open iPhone Settings.

Step 1 Double-check your iPhone’s Apple ID and iCloud feature

Step 2: Open the Apple ID profile.

Step 2 Double-check your iPhone’s Apple ID and iCloud feature

Note: Ensure that your personal Apple ID is logged into your iPhone. Sign out if the active Apple ID isn’t yours and sign in with your account.

Step 3: Click on iCloud.

Step 3 Double-check your iPhone’s Apple ID and iCloud feature

Step 4: Toggle off the switch beside the Contacts app to stop it from using iCloud.

Step 4 Double-check your iPhone’s Apple ID and iCloud feature

Step 5: Scroll down and ensure that the iCloud Drive switch is also turned off.

Step 5 Double-check your iPhone’s Apple ID and iCloud feature

Why are there unknown contacts in my iPhone? 

Sharing an iPhone or Apple ID with someone else is the biggest reason you might find some unknown contacts on your device. You shouldn’t give anyone access to your iPhone or Apple ID unless you trust them completely.

Or, do so only if you need the person to have access to your device and it’s of absolute necessity.

Why are there unknown contacts in my iPhone

If you check the Apple ID signed in to your iPhone, you can see all the devices connected to the account. You can use this information to trace who else might be using your Apple ID, causing some unknown contacts to be synced to your iPhone.

FAQs about Unknown Contacts

Can someone add a contact on my phone? 

Someone can add a contact on your phone if they have access to the device or any account linked to it that has access to its contacts lists. This can be a close friend or family member you’re sharing your phone or accounts with.

Otherwise, the only other possibility is if someone you don’t know can hack your phone and gain unwanted access to it.

Why are my contacts showing up as unknown? 

Contact synchronization from other accounts linked to your phone can share and save their contacts list on the device. This causes these synced contacts to appear unknown on your phone since they were taken from another source.

It can also happen if other devices are linked to the same account your phone is connected to. If contacts syncing is enabled, the devices in question will have access to each of their contacts list, causing them to appear as unknowns.

How do I turn off unknown contacts?

Block unknown numbers on your Android phone or use the Silence Unknown Callers feature if you’re using an iPhone. Both features will allow you to stop incoming calls from unknown contacts and spam callers.

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