It 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
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.