How to Merge Duplicate Contacts on Android

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phone bookIt baffles me that even in this smartphone era with powerful mobile operating systems, managing contacts (and their safety) on a phone remains almost as cumbersome as it was back in the days when they were stored in SIM cards. I sometimes think having a phonebook like you see in the picture here was so much more easier.

As you might know, other than contacts that are stored in phone’s memory the conventional way, Android devices can sync contacts from various sources like Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc. While the feature of social media syncing has been a significant boon for users by providing additional details like email address, contact image, etc without the user’s manual effort, they have brought along the menace of redundancy.

It’s very likely that you will end up with two or more different contact records for a person, one containing an email address and primary number while another one containing work number and contact image.

Today we will see how to merge these duplicate contacts to create uniformity of data on the device as well as on your online contacts database, be it Google Contacts or any other.

1. Merging Duplicates on Google Contacts

If you are using Google Contacts to save your Android contacts, merging duplicates is a very easy task. Open Google Contacts homepage on your computer browser and log in using the Google account used on Android device. Having done that, click on the My Contacts on the left hand sidebar to load all the contacts you have on your connected devices.

Select the contact group in which you want to scan for duplicates and select the contacts. To search through all the entries select all, click on the merge button and click on  the option Find & merge duplicates.

merge contacts

Google will instantly scan through contacts and display the result. If no duplicate contacts are found, it will say it out. However, if duplicate contacts are found, it will group and display all of them in a pop-up frame and ask you as to which of them you would like to merge.

Although there is no need to cross-verify, you still must have a look at what all contacts are about to be merged and then click on the button Merge to perform the changes. The contacts will be merged, and next time your phone syncs, all the changes will be reflected on the device.

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review and merge

2. Merging Phone Memory Contacts

However, if you don’t use Google to save your contacts but a local phone memory, the merging of contacts will have to be performed on the phone using an app. There are many free apps that can detect and delete duplicate contacts but to merge them effectively, there are just a few good ones. Go Contacts EX is one such app to complete the task.

Go Contacts Ex is basically an overall Android contact manager and dialer but we will be using its search and merge feature to find duplicate contacts.

go contacts ex (2)go contacts ex (3)

After installing, launch Go Contact EX (UPDATE: This app is not available anymore) and select Merge from the option. The app will ask you the primary field for the duplicate analysis and return list of contacts that have a duplicate. One can now review and merge contacts one by one.

You can switch between searching parameters by pressing the menu button and selecting the desired option. You can also try Go Contact EX as a stock contact manager and dialer alternative.s I find it feature rich and smooth when compared to the former.

go contacts ex (1)

Note: Go Contacts EX does not offer silent background contacts merging in bulk, but if you really want that, Contact Remover Plus is a premium app ($2.99) dedicated for the task.

So these are the two ways in which you can find and merge duplicate contacts on your Android devices. If you know of a better app which can do it better, do let us know.

Top Image Credits: stevendepolo

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Show archived comments (17)

Archived Comments

  1. John Codrington says:

    Thank goodness… It was so annoying have umpteen dupicates so much so I was losing contacts which were being hidden…. Removed over 150 duplications from my address book. Good work guys and thank you very much.

  2. Russ says:

    In the final image it appears you have obscured the email addresses to be merged, but not the resulting email address. FYI

  3. DrKhurram says:

    No need for this lengthy job. Just download an app name Duplicate Contacts from playstore it will automatically find and then delete duplicates. No need for this lengthy process. Enjoy

    • Ben says:

      The point of the lengthy process was to be able to MERGE, rather than delete duplicates — in case, for example, one version of a contact has the phone number but not the email, and the other version has the email but not the number.

    • Vijay Maruti Babu says:

      Thanks. Your suggestion helped me to resolve my problem of too many duplicate contacts.

    • guest says:

      As I recall, the app you recommend USED to be good (so, maybe when you left your comment)…however, today I DL’d and ran it, and the first thing it did was put ads over EVERY result…worse, the first ad didn’t even load its img correctly, several times, so I kept tapping the ‘OK’ button after the scan, and my phone kept opening a browser to the PlayStore to DL’d crapware….finally it showed the img, and I uninstalled it because this app didn’t do any better than the #2 option in the article above.

  4. David Tulkin Demandforce says:

    Do you have a solution if you have multiple Google accounts on your phone, I have a personal account, work account and a side business account. How can I merge all these?

  5. gorn says:

    There is a proble with (at least the second approach). The contacts are not merged, but joined … they remain separate entities – try to edit them. It is very countraintuitive.

  6. SN Krishnan says:

    HI, I tried to merge the contacts. I had 772 contacts which were to be merged. After merging (which took around 1 hour) they are not getting saved. They are existing as separate entities only. When I again ask it to locate the duplicate contacts, it is showing the same list of 772 contacts. It was

  7. guest says:

    Dude, you nailed it for me on my LG Optimus G…so busy I hadn’t even found out about Google contacts page…

  8. alex says:

    Thanks for your help. Took me 5 minutes to merge my contacts and hide those without phone numbers. Like a BOSS!

  9. Guy Tek says:

    The best way to merge duplicate contacts is to use “Simpler Contacts” app

    you must check it out! works like a charm :)

  10. deb says:

    Thank you. This was very helpful!

  11. Flávio Manoel S. Hemerli says:

    You saved my life

  12. Robite says:

    Here’s another handy process.
    Phone book > contacts to display > customize > if you have an email account visible, open it and then select/tick “started in android” > then select ok > for other contacts in the “define custom view option”, open them and deselect any box that is ticked. Select ok and you should be good.