I love my iPhone and I also like iCloud, but what I hate is that I have a lot of duplicate contacts. Why is that? Well, it's because I use the same iCloud account on several iPhones and iPads. All of my wife and my sister's iPhone contacts have merged into a giant list and there were a lot of duplicates.
The other annoying thing was that the duplicates were slightly different. For example, I had a contact with Vineet and then another called Vineet R and another called Vineet Rohatgi! One had a number, one had an email and the last one had an address. So they are not exact duplicates, but they remain the same contact information.
In this article, analyze a couple of ways you can solve the problem of duplicate contacts and how to combine them. As for the solutions, I found many things in which I could eliminate exact duplicates, but it took me a little harder to find a way to combine contacts that could have different names, but that had identical phone numbers or email addresses.
Method 1 – Mac Address Book
If you have a Mac and have your address book settings to synchronize with iCloud, you can use it to remove exact duplicates. The Address Book application on the Mac does not perform any type of merge on its own, only find contacts with the exact same name and then merge the two.
Open your Address Book and then click All contacts in iCloud . You should see all your iCloud contacts on the right side.
Then click on Card and then in Search for duplicates .
If the Address Book finds any duplicate, ask if you want to combine them. If you do not find any duplicates, it is because there were no contacts with the exact same name. Remember, do not see any other field such as the phone number or email address. It is a simple and useful duplicate search engine if you have many contacts that are identical copies.
Method 2 – Smart Merge Application
The second method and, by far, the easiest way to eliminate duplicate contacts is to use an application that you can download to your iPhone called Smart Merge Duplicate Contacts. It's 99 cents, but it's worth the money. It saved me a lot of time by finding all possible contacts that could be merged and then allowed me to edit any specific details for the new merged contact.
Basically, the application can show you duplicate contacts (same name), duplicate phone numbers, duplicate email addresses, nameless contacts, contacts without phone numbers and contacts without email. This is what it looks like when you first run it:
If you tap Duplicate phones, for example, see a list of contacts grouped by the same phone number.
Then tap any set of duplicates. Do not touch "All duplicate phones" because that combines all your duplicates into a contact, which you don't want to do. You want to work only with the pairs that are duplicates. For example, I clicked on the first one above, starting with 469 as the number.
Now you have to touch the Combine button, which is the arrow pointing down at the bottom center of the screen. Get a pop-up screen that asks how you want to merge:
You can edit them at the same time or Force Merge the contacts Personally I have found that the merger of forces is better. Go ahead and touch that button. Then, receive another warning that doing so will turn 2 contacts into one.
Press and press the Force combination contacts button.
Now see another screen with a large empty circle at the far left and a blue arrow at the far right. Before we do the merger, we will verify the final contact to make sure it is correct. Go ahead and touch the blue arrow.
Now you can see what information is inside the two separate contacts and how the new merged contact will be seen. The only problem I have encountered with the application so far is that it likes to automatically choose the contact with the shortest name. As you can see above, instead of choosing Anurag Bhushan as the new contact, I chose Anurag. Everything merges well. To solve this problem, you must touch the new contact and then see a button Edit in the upper right.
Contin and fix the name or whatever you want and then come back. Go back to the combination screen and then touch the empty circle to turn it into a red check mark.
Finally, click on the Merge button and create the new contact and delete the oldest ones. They are a few steps, but it is much easier than manually trying to do all those things on your own. In addition, once you do it once or twice, it is very fast after that. I was able to eliminate more than 60 duplicate contacts using this ingenious application. What method have you used to remove duplicates or merge contacts on your iPhone? Let us know in the comments. Enjoy!