iOS 10.2.x; Find and purge invisible contacts

Today on my iPhone I saw an article I thought a friend would like to read.  So I copied its URL, created a new email, pasted it in and sent it to her.  She wrote back that I’d sent it to an old email address of hers, and reminded me to use her current one.

I looked in Contacts; I only had one contact for her, and it held her current address.

Where was the bad contact coming from?

I checked Contacts on my iMac; it only had her current address.  I checked my Gmail contacts, which are stored on the web; this was current too.  Haunted!

I went back to my phone, so see if I could make it do it again.  I created a new email and started keying my friend’s name.  A prompt list of contacts starting with what I’d typed dropped down.  The first contact had the bad address.  IMG_2777 copy

Where was it coming from?  I clicked the “i” icon.  Turns out there is a second Contacts list in the iPhone, apparently hidden, named “Recents.”

How could I get rid of it?

IMG_2778 copyAt the bottom of this Recents contact, I clicked Remove from Recents.

The screen went back to the draft email.  The prompt list now omitted the bad contact.  Problem solved!

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