Finding and Removing Duplicate Entries in Contacts

The other day, I helped someone recover some contacts from a no-longer-accessible mailbox. These types of recoveries (like most recoveries) can be a little messy once you have recovered your data. As with many recovery jobs, it left us with duplicate data. Instead of 935 contacts, we had over 2,000 contacts. Ugh.

Being left with duplicate contacts can be a huge pain (to say the least), but not to worry… there is an easy way to find and remove duplicate contacts. The best part is, this clean-up feature is built right into OX X’s Contacts app! Here’s how it works.

First, let’s open the Contacts app. Next, we simply go to Card > Look for Duplicates

This will search your account for duplicate contacts.

The end-result will look something like this:

In this case, the results happened to be pretty extreme (more than 50% were duplicates). When I run the utility on my own contacts list, it results in 1 duplicate entry being found. This may not seem like anything to write home about, but in the end, a duplicate entry is a duplicate entry, and as that entry is updated with more information, that fragmented data can get annoying and frustrating.

Note: before running this utility, I strongly recommend making a good backup of your Contacts first. You can do this by highlighting all of your contacts and dragging them to your Desktop. This will create a single vCard (.vcf) file which includes all of your contacts. In the event that you need to restore, you simple drag and drop that .vcf file back into your Contacts app.

Posted on March 2, 2016 and filed under How To, Mac.