Bulk delete contacts?
For some reason best known to itself, the contacts app has added everyone I have ever sent an email to or received one from, plus a number of random people whose names are completely unfamiliar. I want to clean up my list and delete the unwanted ones, but it takes ages to do them one by one. Is there a way to delete in bulk, like with emails?
And is there a setting somewhere so that the iPad only adds contacts I actually choose to save?
Where are you syncing your contacts from?
Chances are this is where it is happening. There is nothing on the stock iPad that should be adding Contacts without your interaction.
Are you jailbroken?
Not jail broken. I sync from my work outlook but none of these spurious contacts appear there or on my iPhone. It is definitely something which is happening on the iPad.
It is possible you've got a second account in the Contacts app, probably a local one.
Do you have this Groups ribbon in your Contacts app?
If so, tap it and see if you have more than one contact database. Since you are only syncing with one source, the second database is probably local.
There is no quick way (that I know of) to edit/delete all contacts in a local database. At least not one that doesn't involve iTunes and syncing. I can talk you through that if you want, but there are several steps and it can easily go wrong (though not fatally so).
This is what I recommend.
Turn off your Contact syncing in your Work account under Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars; your account. Tell it to delete contacts off the iPad when it asks. This does not affect your online/work data, so it will still be there to sync back.
Go to the Contacts app and make sure that account is gone.
Now back in your account settings, turn Contacts on again. When it prompts you choose Merge (hopefully it will be offered). Once you do that you can delete the unwanted contacts on the computer at work when they appear there.
Another option, bypassing the previous one, is to get a contact app from the App Store that gives you more deleting and editing options. I saw a couple of these when I did a search for Delete Contacts. Make sure they work with the native database and don't just create their own. Only problem is that it will probably leave the second database on the iPad. I'm not familiar with any of these, so read the descriptions and reviews carefully.
I'm still unsure how these contacts are being added. I know of no setting on the iPad that would automatically add contacts. Is there a third party app you are using that might be doing this for you?
I think I know what the problem is. When I go into that group page, there's a group called 'suggested contacts' which is picking up all these people I have emailed but not added as a contact.
Try as I might, I cannot find a way to get rid of this.
I think if I could turn that option off I would solve the problem.
To the best of my knowledge there is no such setting on the iPad. You can't even create groups using the stock iPad apps and settings. They have to be created with a third party app or by creating them on on the server. As far as I know you can only do the later with iCloud.
Is the Suggestions group showing up under the Exchange account, like my the subheadings under iCloud in my attachment, or as a separate account like the Yahoo account?
One other question.
When you say you sync from your work outlook, is that via an account entered under Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars; or are you physically connecting your iPad to a computer and syncing using iTunes?
I connect to the exchange server for my work email. So the same emails show up in outlook on my pc, and also on the iPad and iPhone. I have the settings on the iPad to sync contacts with the exchange server too.
I have just checked and found a suggested contact folder in outlook too which I never realised was there. Maybe this is the problem. But I don't know how to get rid of it.