How to Remove or Merge Mac Contacts Duplicates: 5 Ways

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Rosa Reyes
December 24, 2023 Preview 41.9K Preview 5
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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 5 duplicate contact removers to help you get rid of them easily and quickly.

 

Method 1. 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”.

This tool helps:

  • Identify Mac contacts duplicates by name, email address, phone number, etc.
  • Display all found duplicates for you to view and classify them by type.
  • Delete all exact duplicate contacts on Mac with one click.
  • Merge duplicate contacts on Mac in bulk or individually.
  • Let you choose which contact card to keep and what data to preserve when merging.

Here’s how:

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. (Choose Ignore if you think this duplicates are necessary.)

conflict resolution window

  • Remove duplicates. If you have two or multiple contact cards that have exactly the same information, just remove all duplicates but keep only one in the contacts list. Select Exact duplicate contacts from the left column (contacts in this list have duplicates in all fields). Choose Delete duplicate contacts under Solution. Click Fix All.
  • Merge duplicates. If you have more than one contact card with duplicate names, duplicate phone numbers or duplicate addresses etc. You can merge them into one. 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. 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 2. Merge duplicate contacts in Mac Contacts app automatically

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
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 first method.

Below is how to merge contacts on Mac using this built-in 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.

Note: If you check the box next to “Also merge cards that have the same name but contain different information” before merging, then different information for the same field will be saved to one card. For example, there’re 2 cards that have the same name but different phone numbers. After merging, the merged card will contain 2 phone numbers.

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 3: Get rid of duplicate contacts in Mac Contacts app 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.

preferences

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 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.

 

If you have the same contacts from different accounts such as iCloud and Exchange, you can link them together. This will not affect the contact cards in the single account group but eliminates the duplicates in the All Contacts group.

1. Open the Contacts app on Mac.

2. Choose the duplicate contacts you want to link from the All Contacts group.

3. Choose Card > Link Selected Cards. (Note that the selected duplicates need to be from different accounts otherwise you won't find the link option.)

If you have a duplicate card in one account and also have this card in another account, then you’ll see the option Card > Merge and Link Selected Cards.

link selected cards

4. Then the Contacts app will link these duplicate contacts from different accounts together. You’ll found only one card in the All Contacts group. However the original cards will keep in both accounts.

link duplicate contacts across accounts

 

Method 5. Use iCloud to delete Mac Contacts duplicates

You can also delete Mac duplicate contacts through iCloud website if you have synced your contacts to iCloud. iCloud is a cloud service that developed by Apple Inc and enables you to store and sync Apple contacts information, photos and documents, etc. When you delete a contact from iCloud, this contact will be deleted on every device that has Contacts turned on in iCloud settings. This can be done with both your mobile phone and computer.

1. Navigate to icloud.com on your web browser.

2. Sign in with your Apple ID and password.

3. Select Contacts.

select contacts on iCloud website

4. You can easily find the Mac contacts in the list that have duplicate names. Multi-select the duplicate cards you want to remove.

5. Click the Settings icon on the bottom right of the screen. Click Delete.

click Delete

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have duplicate contacts on my Mac?

Mac contacts duplicates may appear when your Mac device is syncing contacts with other devices, such as your iPhone or iPad, and you signed in the same contacts service account on these devices. If you Mac contacts are from multiple sources like Outlook, iCloud, etc. its entries may not recognize the same contacts from different sources, then the issue of duplicate contacts can also occur. In addition, Mac Contacts app will not auto-detect duplicate cards if you manually import the same contacts into it.

How to avoid duplicate contacts on Mac?

Duplicate contacts can be a common issue in Mac Contacts. It’s recommended to turn off the syncing option for every source, including the cloud, your email and social media sites. Importing contacts to Mac address book manually every time. When importing contacts, it’ll automatically detect duplicates and give you the option to Merge.

 

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 first 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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Rosa Reyes
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Rosa has worked in Mac software industry for more than eight years. She believes that the purpose of software is to make life better and work more productively. In addition to writing, Rosa is also an avid runner.

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Comments (5) Leave a Reply

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  • Kerstin Olesch

    Hey, thank for the post. This was extremely helpful for getting rid of duplicate contacts on my Mac.

    0 months ago commonReply

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  • Volker Zanetti

    It seems contactsmate can make my contacts organized. I will to give it 5 stars.

    1 years ago commonReply

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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.

    8 years ago commonReply

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  • Martinez

    Very comprehensive article. Tks ~

    8 years ago commonReply

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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.

    8 years ago commonReply

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