How to Merge and Remove Duplicate Contacts in macOS and iCloud

by

contacts iconIf you've been maintaining and migrating the same Contacts list across Macs over the years then you've probably come across your fair share of duplicate contact cards. They can also appear seemingly out of nowhere after setting up iCloud Contacts on your Mac for the first time.

Unless you intentionally keep certain information for the same contact separated out for whatever reason, duplicate cards will add nothing but irritation to your day, so here we're going to show you how to merge and/or remove them, whether you're sat at your Mac or not.

How to Merge and Remove Duplicate Contacts on your Mac

As with any computer procedure that involves deleting data, make sure you have a backup of your system before following these steps.

  1. Launch the Contacts app on your Mac (found in Applications/Contacts).
    mac duplicates 1

  2. In the Groups pane on the left, make sure All Contacts is selected at the top of the list. (If the Groups view is hidden, select the menu bar option View -> Show Groups to reveal it.)

  3. From the menu bar, select Card -> Look for Duplicates....
    mac duplicates 2

  4. A dropdown dialog will appear telling you how many duplicate cards were found that either have the same name but contain different information, or have both the same name and the same information. To merge the duplicate cards and information, click the Merge button.

How to Remove Duplicate iCloud Contacts on PC and Mac

If you don't have access to your Mac you can remotely delete duplicate entries in your Contacts list in the following way. Oddly, there's no way to select multiple contacts on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 11, so this manual method is the best workaround, although bear in mind it only applies to contacts synced to ‌iCloud‌.

  1. Launch a web browser on your device or computer.

  2. Navigate to icloud.com.

  3. Sign in using your ‌iCloud‌ credentials.

  4. Click Contacts.
    Screen Shot 2 1

  5. Select All Contacts in the upper left corner of the screen.

  6. Hold down the Command (⌘) key and manually click the duplicate cards you want to delete.
    icloud

  7. Click the cog icon in the lower left corner and select Delete from the popup menu.

  8. Confirm you want to remove the selected contacts by clicking the Delete option in the dialog pane.
Tag: iCloud

Top Rated Comments

garrick2007 Avatar
36 months ago

The last time I did that, I ended up losing some of my contacts permanently.

File>Export>Contacts Archive
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NightFox Avatar
36 months ago
So is there no way to check the duplicates before you allow them to be merged, or select which ones you want to be merged?
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
HUGE AL Avatar
30 months ago

...back in the day I used to have 2 giant Rolodex's - and it was quite a job keeping those updated - or even figuring out where I put the contact info - company or contact name? - lol

:)

Back in the day, Apple used to allow us to connect and manually sync...accurately. Nowadays, their "support" can't even do anything other than tell you they are a "senior advisor" over and over. :rolleyes::mad:
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kaaarl Avatar
36 months ago
FullContact ('http://FullContact') is a nice service to get rid of duplicates and get all your address books in sync. I use it daily and don't have any duplicates in my contacts anymore.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jesse Waugh Avatar
36 months ago
This should be automatic. It’s a bug.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Abazigal Avatar
36 months ago
The last time I did that, I ended up losing some of my contacts permanently.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

0 Deals Hero

Black Friday 2020: Best Apple Deals to Plan For

Saturday November 21, 2020 10:00 am PST by
In the lead-up to Black Friday next week, we've been putting a spotlight on the best deals coming from various retailers like Best Buy and Walmart. In an effort to further prepare our readers for the best Black Friday deals, we're breaking down what we think should be on your radar for Black Friday in 2020. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with some of these vendors. When you click a...
m1 mac mini vignette

Apple Lists M1-Based Mac Mini Logic Boards With 10 Gigabit Ethernet in Internal Parts Ordering System

Friday November 20, 2020 9:32 am PST by
While the new Mac mini with the M1 chip is only available with Gigabit Ethernet, Apple has listed multiple M1-based Mac mini logic boards with 10 Gigabit Ethernet in an internal parts list for Apple Authorized Service Providers. For every Mac mini logic board with Gigabit Ethernet in the parts list, obtained by MacRumors, there is a corresponding logic board with 10 Gigabit Ethernet:...
new m1 chip

Craig Federighi: Native Windows on M1 Macs is 'Really up to Microsoft'

Friday November 20, 2020 11:57 am PST by
Following the release of the M1 Macs Apple executives have been doing interviews with a range of publications, and today, Ars Technica published another interview with software engineering chief Craig Federighi, hardware technologies lead Johny Srouji, and marketing VP Greg Joswiak. Much of the interview focuses on topics that the three have already covered in prior discussions, but there is ...
14

Apple Releases iOS 14.2.1 With Fix for Text Message Bug and iPhone 12 Mini Lock Screen Issues

Thursday November 19, 2020 10:16 am PST by
Apple today released iOS 14.2.1, a bug fix update that comes two weeks after the launch of iOS 14.2 and is available for Apple's new iPhone 12 models. The iOS 14.2.1 update can be downloaded for free and it is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to Settings > General > Software Update. According to Apple's release notes, iOS...
Walmart November Deals Hero

Black Friday Spotlight: Walmart Will Have AirPods Pro Down to Lowest Price of $169, and More Apple Deals

Thursday November 19, 2020 8:05 am PST by
We've been tracking early Black Friday deals in our dedicated Black Friday Roundup, and in an effort to prepare our readers for the big shopping event we're highlighting sales store-by-store in the lead-up to November 27. Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Walmart. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running. Next ...
apple leather sleeve

Leather Sleeve for iPhone 12 Models Now Available From Apple

Friday November 20, 2020 12:16 pm PST by
Apple today began selling the Leather Sleeve for the new iPhone 12 models, with the accessory having first been announced alongside the updated iPhones in October. Priced at $129, the Leather Sleeve is not a case and is designed to be removed when the iPhone is in use. It features a cutout at the front that displays the time, and it comes with a matching leather strap. According to Apple, it ...
iOS14AntitrackFacebookSadfeature

Apple Confirms Commitment to App Tracking Transparency in Letter Condemning Facebook's Data Collection [Updated]

Thursday November 19, 2020 11:58 am PST by
Apple in iOS 14 is planning to introduce a new App Tracking Transparency feature that will let users know when companies want to track them across apps and website. Following outcry from developers like Facebook and ad networks unprepared for the change, Apple delayed the implementation of the anti-tracking functionality until early 2021. Eight civil society organizations recently sent a...
maxresdefault

CrossOver Allows x86 Windows Apps to Run on Apple M1 Macs

Wednesday November 18, 2020 6:07 pm PST by
Codeweavers posted a blog post and video tonight showing off CrossOver running on an Apple M1 MacBook Air. This video shows Team Fortress 2 running on a new M1 MacBook Air: CrossOver is software (based on Wine Project) that runs Microsoft Windows apps on the Mac by translating Windows APIs into their Mac equivalents. The Codeweavers team was able to run the current version of CrossOver on...
macbookpro13large

Apple Offers Instructions on What to Do if macOS Big Sur Causes Installation Errors on 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro

Thursday November 19, 2020 6:12 pm PST by
Following the release of macOS Big Sur last week, a number of 2013 and 2014 MacBook Pro owners found that the update bricked their machines. Affected users saw their Macs get stuck displaying a black screen after attempting to install the new software. Apple has now addressed this issue in a new support document that provides instructions on what to do if macOS Big Sur can't be installed on...
128gb m1 macbook air education cropped

$799 M1 MacBook Air With 128GB Storage for Education Institutions Spotted Online

Friday November 20, 2020 5:15 am PST by
A new configuration of the M1 MacBook Air with 128GB of storage and a lower $799 price has today been spotted on Apple's U.S. Education Institution Hardware and Software Price List. The M1 MacBook Air is only available with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of storage. There is currently no 128GB configuration on the Apple Store. However, Reddit user "u/dduci97" noticed that Apple has listed...