How To Find & Merge Duplicate iPhone Contacts



iOS 16 makes it easy to merge duplicate iPhone contacts. Here’s how…


IF you have a ton of duplicate iPhone contacts, you’ll understand how irritating it can be to email, call, or message that contact.

The best thing to do with duplicate iPhone contacts is to merge them into one contact. Before iOS 16, that process was tedious as it had to be done manually. First, you would find the duplicate contacts and then you had to copy and paste all the information from one contact card to the next, and finally delete the unneeded duplicate.

Thankfully, in iOS 16 Apple has built-in duplicate iPhone contact detection into the Contacts app. This essentially automated the process of finding the duplicate iPhone contacts and you can then choose to merge any duplicates found.

Here’s how to find and merge duplicate iPhone contacts in iOS 16…

How To Find & Merge Duplicate iPhone Contacts
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How To Find & Merge Duplicate iPhone Contacts In iOS 16 – One At A Time

Finding and merging duplicate iPhone contacts in iOS 16 is really easy. But before you start, you’ll need to make sure your iPhone is running the latest version of iOS 16. To do that, go to the Settings app and then tap General > Software update. That’ll tell you if you have the latest iOS 16 or need to update to it.

Once that’s done and you are running iOS 16 or later, do the following to find and merge duplicate iPhone contacts:

  1. Open the Contacts app. It’s a grey icon with colored tabs and the silhouette of a person on it.
  2. Tap “All iCloud” in the list of contacts lists. This contacts list contains ALL the contacts you have saved in iCloud.
  3. On the iCloud list screen – if you have duplicate contacts – you’ll see an alert in a grey box that says “X Duplicates Found”, X being the number of duplicates found. The box then explains “Merging duplicate cards for a contact combines the cards, keeping all unique information in a single card for that contact.” Tap the View Duplicates button in this box.
  4. On the next screen, you’ll see a list of duplicate contacts. Tap on any to see the contact information.
  5. Now tap the Merge button to merge the duplicate contacts into one contact card. Alternatively, you can tap the Ignore button.

How To Find & Merge Duplicate iPhone Contacts In iOS 16 – All At Once

Alternatively, you can find and merge all duplicate contacts at once. This method isn’t recommended as it’s usually best to review duplicate card info first manually, but if you just want to merge all duplicates and forget, do this:

  1. Open the Contacts app. It’s a grey icon with colored tabs and the silhouette of a person on it.
  2. Tap “All iCloud” in the list of contacts lists. This contacts list contains ALL the contacts you have saved in iCloud.
  3. On the iCloud list screen – if you have duplicate contacts – you’ll see an alert in a grey box that says “X Duplicates Found”, X being the number of duplicates found. The box then explains “Merging duplicate cards for a contact combines the cards, keeping all unique information in a single card for that contact.” Tap the View Duplicates button in this box.
  4. On the next screen, you’ll see a list of duplicate contacts. Tap Merge All.
  5. In the popup that appears, tap Merge Duplicates.

No matter if you merge duplicates all at once or one at a time, after you are done you’ll see the “Duplicates Resolved” messages with a green check mark temporarily appearing at the top of your iCloud list.

And check out:

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Michael Grothaus

Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.
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