How to Remove or Merge Mac Contacts Duplicates: 4 Ways

Jose Henline
time August 15, 2022 Preview 34.5K
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This article mainly talks about how to merge or remove Mac Contacts duplicates. Apple’s Contacts is the address book included with macOS and iOS. As with any address book or contact manager app, there can be duplicates in Contacts on Mac. Duplicate contacts can cause inconvenience or confusion. Luckily, there are 3 duplicate contact removers to help you get rid of them easily and quickly.

 

Method 1. Merge Mac Contacts duplicates with the built-in feature

Mac Contacts app itself offers a feature “Look for Duplicates” to handle duplicate contacts and merge contacts on Mac. But with this built-in method, 3 facts are worth noting. It provides only one option to deal with duplicates: Merge. It will find and merge duplicates in one go. It won’t let you know which contacts have duplicates. Therefore, you have little control over the process.

I wish you could review before merging, just in case. - From a Mac user

If you want to have more control and options, check out the second method.

Below is how to use the first method.

1. On your MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, or iMac etc., open the Contacts app.

2. Back up your contacts. This step is optional.

3. From the top menu bar, select Card > Look for Duplicates.

clicking the Card menu bringing the Look for Duplicates feature

4. A window will pop up, informing you of how many duplicates will be merged. Click Merge.

a pop-up window displaying the number of duplicates that will be merged

5. Repeat the previous two steps until no duplicates are identified.

Method 2. Merge or remove Mac Contacts duplicates with ContactsMate

Cisdem ContactsMate, the best contact manager for Mac, accurately finds duplicate contacts, lets you view the found duplicates, and provides a number of options to fix them such as “Merge”, “Delete”, “Edit” and “Ignore”.

Steps: How to merge duplicate contacts on Mac

1. Download Cisdem ContactsMate and install the app.

Free Download

2. When you open it for the first time, it will ask for access to your contacts. Click OK.

a dialog box asking for access to contacts

3. Select On My Mac in the sidebar of the app. Click Scan. Back up contacts first if needed.

a screenshot of the sidebar of the app

4. Once the scan is done, the Conflict Resolution window will display the found duplicate contacts, which are classified by type (e.g. Exact Duplicate Contacts).

5. Select contacts in a type and choose a desired solution.

conflict resolution window

  • Ignore this issue.  Choose Ignore if you think this duplicates are necessary. ContactsMate will also scan for problematic contacts such as invalid phone number. Just ignore if you don’t need to fix them.
  • Remove duplicates.  Choose Edit under Solution. Click Fix or Fix All and start fixing duplicate contacts in bulk or individually. It will let you compare duplicates side by side. Choose one and click on Delete this Contacts on the bottom.
  • Merge duplicates. Choose Edit. Click Fix or Fix All. Enable the Merge option on the bottom-left corner. It allows you to edit the merged fields. Then click OK.

merge duplicates

When you finish, if you open Contacts on Mac, you will find that the changes are automatically synced and the duplicates are eliminated.

Tips

Tip 1. Learn more about removing duplicates from Mac Contacts

ContactsMate can find different types of duplicate contacts such as “Exact Duplicate Contacts”, “Duplicate Name” and “Duplicate Phone Numbers in a Single Contacts”. For different types of duplicates, the available solutions can be different.

If you want, you can tell this duplicate contact remover app to include or ignore a specific type when it scans for Mac Contacts duplicates. Before you scan, go to the Conflicts tab in Preferences and then select or deselect based on your need.

a screenshot of the Conflicts tab in Preferences

Tip 2. Backup Mac contacts first

Backup your Mac contacts first if you worrying about loss data while deleting and merging duplicates. Before you scan, click Cisdem ContactsMate on the menu bar and then choose Preferences. Go to the Backup & Restore tab. Select the Mac group then click on Backup on the bottom.

Tip 3. Find and remove iCloud Contacts duplicates

1. In ContactsMate, click Add Account in the toolbar.

2. Select iCloud on the left side of the Internet Accounts window. Sign in to it.

3. Make sure you select the box next to Contacts. Click the  button next to the Updated contacts detected message.

a screenshot of the box next to Contacts is selected

4. Now iCloud should appear in the left sidebar. Select it.

iCloud appearing in the left sidebar

5. Click Scan to find iCloud duplicate contacts.

6. Complete the rest of the process.

After the removal takes place, iCloud Contacts, Apple’s web-based address book, will automatically detect and sync the changes right away.

Method 3. Use AddressBook Cleaner to delete Mac Contacts duplicates

You can also delete duplicate contacts using a dedicated Mac Contacts duplicate remover like AddressBook Cleaner. Designed to help users avoid duplicate contacts, it can help keep your contacts list clean and organized.

1. Download and install AddressBook Cleaner. Launch it.

2. When asked to allow its access to contacts, click OK.

a dialog box asking you to give access to contacts

3. It will automatically load contacts from Mac’s Contacts app.

4. In the Match Conditions window, select conditions according to your need. First Name and Last Name are selected by default.

the Match Conditions window providing a set of conditions to select

5. Click Okay.

6. It will display all the duplicate contacts found based on default or custom conditions. To view contact information, switch to the Show Contact Details view mode.

7. Duplicate entries will be marked as Delete. Click Delete in the toolbar to mass eliminate them.

duplicate contact entries marked as Delete

It also lets you manually mark an entry as Delete or Keep. Clicking the Delete mark will make it a Keep mark, and vice versa.

This duplicate contact cleaner will automatically back up your contacts before deleting, which is convenient.

Method 4. How to get rid of duplicate contacts manually

In addition to using the Look for Duplicates feature, you can delete/merge duplicates by hand in Mac’s Contacts app, which is applicable if you don’t have a long contact list.

1. On your Mac, open Contacts.

2. This step is optional. Go to Contacts’ Preferences and set contacts to be sorted by First Name or Last Name. Choose a sorting order with which you can better identify duplicate contacts.

3. Right-click an unwanted duplicate and choose Delete Card. Click Delete.

4. Or, select multiple duplicate cards in the list. Pull down the Card menu and then choose Merge selected cards to merge duplicate contacts Mac manually.

right-clicking a duplicate brings the Delete Card option

5. Repeat steps 3 and 4.

Or, you can select multiple duplicates for deletion.

Conclusion

Managing duplicate contacts can be a pain, especially when you have a huge list of contacts. The methods talked about here are easy to follow. In addition to Mac Contacts duplicates, the second method can eliminate duplicate contact entries in many other sources. It takes into consideration all possible types of duplicate contacts and offers useful solutions to handle them efficiently.

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Jose Henline
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Jose specializes in reviews, how-to guides, top lists, etc. on PDF, data recovery and multi-media. On his spare time, he likes to travel or challenge some extreme sports.

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Comments (3) Leave a Reply

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  • Tobias

    I have 200 contacts in my Contacts, and i don't how many duplicates are there. I will try these apps to remove duplicate contacts and make my Contacts perfect.

    6 years ago Reply

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  • Martinez

    Very comprehensive article. Tks ~

    6 years ago Reply

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  • Lefebvre

    It is surprising that I have over 50 duplicate contacts in my address book. Thanks for the powerful tool from cisdem. It worth its price.

    6 years ago Reply

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