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The numbers that are no longer in my contacts still keep popping up when I try to compose a new message.

Why is this happening? Is there a way to purge the contact list so no already-deleted-contact remains?

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Just a guess, but do you perhaps have texts from these people still saved in Messages? Perhaps iOS is polling both your contacts and your message history for suggestions. – alexwlchan May 30 '13 at 22:39

Assuming you have iOS 7 (now) I can provide you the steps on how to remove Recent contacts in the

  1. Open
  2. Start composing new message
  3. Once the list starts showing up, press the blue 'i' icon next to the number.
  4. Press the redline Delete from recent
  5. You're done, repeat these steps for the contacts you don't want to show up anymore.

EDIT: Community bumped this thread up making me answer it because I never check the dates. I hope I can still help anyone out with this answer.

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Power the phone off and then on again. That should clear out the bug.

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This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. – Mark Jun 18 '13 at 11:58
Just updated it. – John Jun 18 '13 at 17:00

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