How to delete auto-uploaded phone contacts on Messenger

Due to incessant privacy and security issues that have rocked the platform in recent years, Facebook quickly became one of the most unsecure place to have personal and hughly sensitive information. Facebook have been found guilty of violating privacy laws, illicitly harvesting user data to create political profiles, and lots of data management issues that have exposed the data of hundreds of millions of its users.

The social media giant was once caught exploiting certain app permissions in its Facebook mobile app to gather users call logs and SMS data. This is just another (of the many) data, privacy and security issues that Facebook has been caught in these past few years. But how does Facebook get these data? From the permission(s) you grant the app when you newly install its app.

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Imagine Facebook knowing people you call and send SMS messages to. Although Facebook uses your phone’s contact list to suggest people to follow and connect with, there’s really no guarantee that the platform wouldn’t use your family and friend’s information for something you wouldn’t approve of.

We’ve previously walked readers through the process of deleting uploaded contacts from their Facebook account and how to stop Facebook from automatically re-uploading their contact/phonebook. But since Facebook treats the main/regular Facebook app differently from the Messenger app, you’d have to individually delete your uploaded contacts from both platforms. Here’s how to delete your phone’s contact list from Messenger and prevent continuous automatic updates in the future.

  1. Sign in to your Facebook account on a browser (mobile or PC)
  2. Next, go to the “Manage Imported Contacts for Messenger for Messenger” page.
  3. On the page, you’d see a list of all contacts that you have uploaded to Facebook through Messenger.
  4. Tap the “Delete All Contacts” button and confirm your action in your action.
  5. A “Your imported contacts are being deleted” will be displayed and the process should be completed.
how to delete uploaded contacts on messenger

How to stop Messenger from re-uploading your contacts

Deleting contacts uploaded to Facebook from Messenger without disabling continuous automatic upload/sync is counterproductive. To stop Messenger from uploading your contacts to Facebook, follow the steps below:

  1. Launch the Messenger app on your Android or iOS smartphone
  2. Open the Settings tab (for iOS) or Profile tab (for Android?
  3. Select “People
  4. Next, toggle off the “Sync Contacts” option

Contact syncing is a built-in feature of these apps, but given how poorly Facebook seems to be handling this type of data, it’s probably wise to keep them out for now.

If you care about your online privacy and security of your data, deleting your contacts from Messenger and disabling the app from re-uploading your contact data to the platform is a step in the right direction.