How to Delete Duplicate Contacts on iPhone: 6 Easy Ways

Rosa Reyes
time January 21, 2022 Preview 2.8K
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Managing your contacts can be easy or challenging. Duplicate contacts are one of the common issues. You may have duplicate contacts on your iPhone due to syncing issues. Regardless of the cause, it’s important to find and eliminate duplicate iPhone contacts. This article will show you step by step how to delete duplicate contacts on iPhone.

Note: As always, it’s recommended to backup your contacts before you make changes to them.

Method 1. Mass delete duplicate contacts on iPhone with ContactsMate

Applies to: Mac

If you are a Mac user, the easiest and most reliable way to get rid of duplicate contacts on your iPhone is to use Cisdem ContactsMate, a contact management app.

Cisdem ContactsMate main features:

  • Work with contacts from various sources: iCloud, iPhone, Mac, Gmail, Exchange, etc.
  • Help you find and mass delete or merge duplicate contacts
  • Find exact duplicate contacts
  • Also find contacts with identical name, phone number, address, etc.
  • Let you view the duplicates that have been found
  • Offer multiple ways to fix duplicates: Delete, Merge and Edit
  • Let you view, search, edit, add, tag, group, print, share and sync contacts
  • Let you backup/restore contacts with a click
  • Export/convert contacts to 8 formats: CSV, Excel, vCard and more
  • Easy to use
  • Compatible with macOS 10.11 or later

Steps: How to bulk delete duplicate contacts on iPhone

1. On your Mac, download and install ContactsMate.

Free Download

2. When you open it for the first time, click OK to allow the access.

click OK to allow access

3. On your iPhone, sync iPhone contacts with iCloud. To do this, tap your name in iPhone’s Settings, tap iCloud and turn on Contacts.

a screenshot of Settings on iPhone

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

the toolbar provides the Add Account button

5. In the Internet Accounts window that appears, click iCloud on the right. Sign in to it.

the Internet Accounts window

6. Select the Contacts checkbox.

a screenshot of the Contacts checkbox being selected

7. Quit and reopen ContactsMate. Now iCloud should appear in the sidebar. You can find all your iPhone/iCloud contacts in it.

a screenshot of the sidebar

8. Select iCloud in the sidebar and click Scan in the toolbar.

9. The Conflict Resolution window will display all the found iPhone duplicate contacts. Delete or merge duplicate contacts now.

mass merge or delete duplicate contacts on iPhone

You can start with exact duplicates. Select an item in the Exact duplicate contacts category and then click Fix All in the bottom right corner. This will remove all the exactly identical contacts on your iPhone at once. It’s easy and quick.

Now you can fix other types of duplicates. Select an item in a certain category (such as Duplicate name) and then click Fix or Fix All. You can delete, merge or edit contacts. There is a lot of flexibility.

fix duplicate contacts

The changes will be automatically detected and synced to iCloud and iPhone. As a result, unwanted duplicate contacts will be removed from your iPhone.

This is how to quickly find iPhone contacts that are exactly the same or partially the same and get them deleted or merged.

Tip 1. Backup your iPhone contacts first

Before you delete duplicate contacts on your iPhone, backup them first. It’s a snap with ContactsMate. Between step 7 and step 8, go to Preferences > Backup & Restore.

the location of Preferences

Select iCloud on the left and then click Backup in the bottom right corner.

backup your iPhone contacts before deduplicating

Tip 2. Find or ignore specific type(s) of duplicates

Before you click Scan in step 8, you can tweak settings in Preferences if needed. Under the Conflicts tab, set this duplicate contact remover to find or ignore certain type(s) when it scans for duplicate contacts on iPhone. It offers flexibility and lets you take control.

a screenshot of the Conflicts tab

 

Method 2. Merge duplicate contacts on iPhone with Look for Duplicates

Applies to: Mac

If you have a Mac or have access to one, you can use Mac’s Contacts app to help eliminate duplicate iPhone contacts.

Note that this method often can’t find all the duplicates. And it doesn’t display the duplicates that have been found. You can’t view duplicate contacts before merging them.

1. Sync iPhone contacts to iCloud.

2. On your Mac, open Contacts and go to Preferences.

3. Under the Accounts tab, click the plus icon. Select iCloud and click Continue.

a screenshot of iCloud being selected

4. In the menu bar, select Card > Look for Duplicates.

the Card menu provides the Look for Duplicates option

5. Click Merge.

6. Repeat step 4 and step 5.

Take caution with this method. Here is a scenario. You have two contacts named Robert who are saved with no last name. Clicking Merge will merge the two contacts into one. But they are different persons.

Method 3. Delete iPhone duplicate contacts with Cleanup Duplicate Contacts

Applies to: iPhone

How do I eliminate duplicate contacts on iPhone? You can also do it directly on your iPhone. There are a number of third-party apps that can do the job. Cleanup Duplicate Contacts is one of them. As its name shows, it’s designed for the purpose of duplicate contacts removal. This address book cleaner app is available for iPhone and iPad.

1. Download the app to your iPhone and install it.

2. A message will pop up asking for access to your contacts. It gives a brief instruction on how to grant access in Settings. Tap OK to close the message and do as the instruction says.

3. Tap Analyze, and it will start looking for duplicates in your contacts.

tap Analyze

4. Once it finishes scan, you will be presented with the scan results.

5. Tap Review Duplicates. Now you can take a close look at the duplicates and handle them. If you tap Filter in the bottom right corner of your iPhone screen, you can quickly filter different types of dupes such as Partial Duplicates On Name.

tap Review Duplicates

6. Tap Merge in the top right corner, and it will start merging duplicate contacts on iPhone. This is how you can get rid of the annoying duplicates. It’s pretty straightforward.

delete duplicate contacts directly on an iPhone

This method also comes with an easy backup solution. Before tapping Analyze, you can tap Backup to quickly backup the contacts on your iOS device.

Method 4. Delete duplicate contacts on iPhone with Gmail

Applies to: Windows PC, Mac

It’s also possible to get rid of duplicate contacts on iPhone using Gmail.

1. Sync the contacts on your iPhone to iCloud.

2. Visit iCloud on your web browser. Click Contacts, and you will be led to a new page. There you can find all your iPhone contacts.

3. Click the gear icon in the bottom left corner and choose Select All.

4. Click the icon again and select Export vCard. It will start saving your iPhone contacts to your computer.

export iPhone contacts to remove duplicates

5. Sign in to your Gmail account and go to Contacts.

6. In the column on the left, click Import.

7. In the box that appears, click Select file and upload your iPhone contacts. Click Import.

import contacts

8. The imported iPhone contacts will appear and be automatically tagged with the import date, say, Imported on 5/20.

9. Click Merge & fix in the left column, and it will find and list the contacts with duplicate listings.

click Merge & fix

10. You can choose to merge individual or multiple iPhone duplicate contacts. There is a Merge all option. If you click Dismiss, the specific iPhone duplicate contacts will be ignored.

merge duplicate contacts on iPhone

11. Click Export. In the Export contacts box, select all your iPhone contacts by choosing the related label from the dropdown list. Choose to export them as vCard. Click Export.

12. Visit https://www.icloud.com/contacts/ again.

13. Click the gear icon and import the vCard file you’ve just exported from Google.

Now the duplicate-free contacts will be automatically synced to iPhone.

Method 5. Remove duplicate contacts from iPhone manually

If you don’t have many contacts on your iPhone, you can actually go through your contacts and manually delete duplicates individually.

1. On your iPhone, open Contacts.

2. Browse through your contacts and tap a contact entry that you think is a duplicate.

3. Tap Edit in the top right corner.

4. Scroll down and tap Delete Contact.

tap Delete Contact

5. Tap Delete Contact to confirm the deletion.

6. Continue removing other unwanted duplicate contacts.

Method 6. Hide duplicate contacts on iPhone by linking them

You may have multiple sources for your iPhone’s Contacts. If you have the same contact in these sources, you will have multiple duplicate entries for this contact on your iPhone.

You don’t want to delete the entries. But it can be annoying to see duplicates on your contact list. In such a case, you can hide them by linking them.

1. In Contacts on iPhone, tap a contact that has double entries.

2. Tap Edit.

3. Scroll down and tap the plus icon next to link contacts.

tap the plus icon next to link contacts

4. Tap the second entry of this contact.

5. Tap Link.

Now these entries are linked. The duplicates won’t appear on your contact list anymore. You can continue linking other contacts.

Conclusion

Feeling overwhelmed by the double entries on your contact list? Don’t worry. This article talks about six methods on how to delete duplicate contacts on iPhone. They can work with different iPhone models and iOS versions such as iPhone 13, 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 12, 12 Pro, 11, 11 Pro, XS, XR, X, 8, 8 Plus, 7, 7 Plus, SE, 6, 6S, 6 Plus, iOS 15, iOS 14, iOS 13, iOS 12, iOS 11 and iOS 10 etc. Regardless of the method used, it’s a good idea to do the backup prior to the deletion.

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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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