How to Permanently Remove Duplicate ICloud Contacts

iCloud offers an easy and reliable way to sync contacts between Apple devices, which is why it remains a popular choice. However, the iCloud error sometimes leaves you with multiparticle duplicate contacts. Something as simple as signing in and out of iCloud can cause sync issues, leaving you with thousands of duplicate address book entries that no one needs.

However, there are a few quick ways to fix this, and I’ll walk you through each one of them.

Remove duplicates using the Contacts app on Mac

If you have a Mac, you can remove duplicate iCloud Address Book entries using the built-in Contacts app. For this to work, you first need to make sure the iCloud contacts are syncing with your Mac – otherwise, you won’t be able to see any contacts in the app. To do this, click the Apple logo in the upper-left corner of the Mac home screen and choose System Preferences> Apple ID . Make sure Contacts is checked under Apps on this Mac using iCloud.

Once you’ve done that, open the Contacts app on your Mac. If you’re having trouble finding it, use Command + Spacebar to launch Spotlight search (or try these better alternatives ). In the search bar, enter Contacts and open the app. Here you will be able to see all the duplicate entries in your contact list. To find all duplicates in one fell swoop, go to the menu bar at the top and choose Card> Find Duplicates .

After a few seconds, the Contacts app will show you how many duplicates you have. This popup has a checkbox that asks if you want to merge other contacts with the same name but containing different information, such as two entries for John Doe, one with his phone number and the other with his email address … You can check this box if you want to merge these contacts as well.

When you’re ready, click Merge and the Contacts app does the rest.

Manually select and remove duplicates on iCloud.com

Alternatively, you can use iCloud.com to manually select and remove duplicate contacts. Please be aware that this method does not work on mobile devices like your iPhone. You will need to open iCloud.com on your laptop or desktop to access your iCloud contacts.

To get started, go to iCloud.com in any browser and sign in. Once logged in, click Contacts to view your address book online. This will show you all duplicate contacts. You can hold Command on Mac or Control on Windows and click each duplicate contact until you’ve selected them all.

Now, just press ” Delete” on your keyboard to see a confirmation popup that checks if you really want to delete these contacts. You are doing this, so select Delete to get rid of duplicate entries.

Use Gmail to Remove Duplicate iCloud Contacts

If you don’t want to spend hours picking 10,000 duplicate contacts, you can quickly export iCloud contacts to Gmail and remove duplicates on Google. It is important to understand exactly what we are going to do before proceeding, because this method carries the risk of losing all your contacts.

We’re going to export all contacts from iCloud, import them to Google Contacts, and remove duplicates there. Then we will delete all contacts from iCloud and import the duplicated contact list from Google Contacts. If something goes wrong along the way, there is a risk of losing your contacts, so be sure to back up all your contacts – and proceed with caution.

Let’s start by signing in to iCloud Contacts in any browser. With your iCloud Contacts open, click the gear icon in the lower-left corner, and then click Select All . With all contacts on iCloud.com highlighted, click the gear icon again and select Export vCard . A .vcf file containing all your contacts will be exported and you can save it anywhere on your computer.

Now log into Google Contacts in your browser. Better to use a new Google account with no previously saved contacts to avoid confusion. When you’re signed in, click the Import button in the left pane and click Choose File in the pop-up window. Find the .vcf file you exported from iCloud, select it and click Import .

Google Contacts will take a few seconds to import all of your contacts. Once this is done, all imported contacts will be neatly sorted by shortcut in the left pane. It usually reads “Imported DATE”. After importing all your contacts, select Merge and Fix from the left pane below the Frequently Used button.

This will show all duplicates and allow you to merge them as well. If there are no suggestions, refresh the page once to get it working. Check to see if any duplicate contacts are shown, and then click Combine All . Finally, click the Contacts button in the left pane and check if all contacts have been merged.

It’s time to export these merged contacts. Press Control + A on Windows or Command + A on Mac to select all contacts and click the three-dot icon below the search bar at the top. Select Export . In the pop-up window, select the vCard under Export As and click Export . Now save this file in a safe place on your computer.

Let’s get those fixed contacts back to iCloud, shall we? Go back to iCloud Contacts in any browser, click the gear icon in the bottom left corner and click Select All . You can click the gear icon again and click Delete to remove all your contacts from iCloud.

Once that is done, click the gear icon in iCloud Contacts again and select Import vCard . Now import the contacts file you just exported from Google contacts. This will fix all your duplicate contacts in iCloud.

Remove duplicate contacts with iPhone app

For those who don’t have access to a computer, there is an iPhone app that will quickly remove all duplicate contacts. It would be much better if the iPhone Contacts app could do the job, but unfortunately this is not yet possible in the timeline we live in.

This is why we are going to use a third party app to get the task done quickly. I’ve tested many apps that allow you to delete duplicate contacts, but most of them proved to be too expensive or had unclear (or disturbing) privacy policies. Luckily, Duplicate Contacts Fixer is inexpensive and its App Store page assumes it doesn’t collect any data, so this is the app we’re going to use.

Follow these steps:

  1. Download Duplicate Contacts Fixer and open the app.
  2. Give him access to your contacts when the app asks for it.
  3. You can remove three duplicate contacts for free. A “professional” upgrade costs $ 3 per year. (I’ll show you how to make sure your subscription doesn’t auto-renew.)
  4. After purchasing the Pro update, the application will prompt you to back up your contacts to a .vcf file. Click Yes and save the file anywhere on your iPhone (for example, a folder in iCloud Drive).
  5. Now click on ” Find Duplicates” on the main screen of the app.
  6. After a few seconds, the app will show you how many duplicate contacts there are on your phone. Then you can click Remove Duplicates .
  7. The app will remove all duplicate iCloud contacts from your phone.
  8. Finally, it’s time to stop the automatic renewal of your subscription. Open the App Store and tap the profile icon in the upper right corner.
  9. Choose Subscriptions> Fix Duplicate Contacts .
  10. Click ” Unsubscribe” and confirm when the pop-up window appears. You can still use the app’s features for a year after canceling auto-renewal.

After that, you should also learn how to move all your photos from iCloud to Google Photos .

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