Duplicate names and phone numbers may be created on iPhone if you have set multiple accounts and enabled contacts for them. Additionally, importing numbers from the SIM card, Android phone, or vCard may also create duplicate entries.
It is a menace to see the same name multiple times while making a call or sending a text. To address this problem, let us look at some effective ways to delete duplicate contacts on iPhone and Mac.
Before We Begin:
If you use the same Apple ID (and iCloud contacts) on Mac and iPhone, the changes will sync. Thus, when you remove Mac’s duplicates, they will automatically be removed from the iPhone and vice versa. For this, make sure ‘Contacts’ under iCloud is enabled on both devices.
On Mac: Click on the Apple Logo from the top right → System Preferences → Apple ID → iCloud → make sure Contacts is enabled.
On iPhone: Open the Settings app → your Apple ID from the top → iCloud → ensure the toggle for Contacts is on.
How to remove duplicate contacts on iPhone
It is not easy to eliminate duplicate iPhone contacts using the inbuilt Contacts app. But there is a workaround that lets you link contacts. On the other hand, third-party iOS apps enable you to delete or merge duplicate contacts quickly. Let’s look at both methods!
Merge contacts using the linked contacts feature
- Open the Contacts app. Or the Phone app and tap on Contacts.
- Tap on an entry that you believe is more than once.
- Tap on Edit.
- Scroll down and tap on link contacts.
- Tap to select the contact you would like to link.
- Tap on Link from the top right.
- Finally, tap on Done.
Now, those two (or more) contacts are linked together. This does not delete the other entry but adds both phone numbers under one contact.
Suppose there is a contact Donald with his home phone number 1234567, and there is another contact named Donald T with his office number 9876543. When you link them, the single entity will have both phone numbers under one contact. In your iPhone address book, you will see just one entry.
To unlink, tap on the contact → Edit → Tap on the red minus icon below LINKED CONTACTS → Unlink → Done.
Use third-party iPhone apps to delete duplicate contacts
- Download Duplicate Contact Remover for free from the App Store.
- Launch the app and tap on Contact. Tap ‘OK‘ from the popup to permit the app to access your contacts.
- A popup will show how many duplicate contact entries with the same number were found. Tap ‘Ok.’ One copy of duplicate contact is already checked and selected. You can tap on the checkboxes to select or unselect manually. After reviewing, tap on the trash can icon from the top right. Tap on Delete to confirm.
- Go back to the main app screen and tap on Name. Follow the same process to remove contacts that have the same name. Note: If a contact has the same name but different numbers, make sure you carefully see and proceed with deletion only after double-checking.
In case you wish to merge duplicate contacts, download Duplicate Cleaner App, and tap on Merge Duplicates. Next, tap on Name Duplicates, Phone Duplicates, or Full Duplicates.
Tap on the individual entries and tap on Merge → MERGE → Ok.
To merge duplicate iPhone contacts in bulk, download the Contact Manager & Backup app.
Tap on Duplicate Name or Duplicate Number. Review the list and tap on Merge → OK.
These were three of many applications to complete this job successfully. We have a separate list of best apps to delete duplicate contacts. Make sure to take a look and use the one that excites you the most.
How to delete duplicate contacts on Mac
- Open the Contacts app on Mac.
- From the top menu bar, click on Card → Look for Duplicates.
- Finally, click on Merge.
As mentioned above, if you use iCloud contacts on your other Apple devices with the same Apple ID, this change will reflect everywhere.
You can also visit iCloud.com, log in using your Apple ID, click on Contacts, and manually delete duplicate entries.
This is how you can remove duplicate contacts on iPhone and Mac. Which method are you going to use? Let us know in the comments down below.
Do you use Google or Outlook contacts on the iPhone? If yes, make sure to check their support articles for removing duplicate entries.
You may like to read:
- How to add nicknames to iPhone contacts
- How to share contacts from one iPhone to another iPhone
- Best iPhone contact and address book manager apps
- Change the sort order of iPhone contacts
A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.