How to delete duplicate contacts on iPhone 5?

Discussion in 'iPhone Tips, Help and Troubleshooting' started by Subu, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    #1
    Hi

    While trying to import contacts from windows / outlook etc to iPhone I seem to have duplicated contacts

    So I have something like this

    Name.................Phone#
    -----------------------------
    subu's dad...........1234567890
    subu's dad1.........1234567890
    subu's dad2.........1234567890
    ...and so on

    so you would notice that the phone #s are the same but the identifying name is different

    I wish to retain one entry here and delete the rest

    How do I delete duplicates without loosing original data ?

    thanks in advance for all your answers
     
  2. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    #2
    Tap the contact you would like to delete, hit edit, and then scroll down and hit delete contact.

    I'm assuming they are separate contacts and not multiple numbers on one contact?
     
  3. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    #3
    Thanks for the reply

    I should have been clear earlier

    * I know how to delete this one by one *, but am looking for a easier way to mark multiple contacts and delete at one go

    I have 300+ duplicates :-( !!
     
  4. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2013
    #4
    I'm looking at my phone (running iOS 6) and my mom's iPhone 5 and it appears to me that there is no way to do what you're asking.
     
  5. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #5
    What I would do is use one of the free apps in the app store to export all the entires as a VCF file (search VCF in the store), then delete the entire address book on the phone. Then on OS X make a temp dummy login account and import the VCF file to contacts (address book). Then use the find duplicates menu entry to clean up the entries. When you are done export as VCF then email that file to the phone and open it in the mail message. That will import the new, cleaned up address book.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    #6
    Terrific. I've used a backup utility to create a VCF file and mailed that to myself

    I do not have OS X so what's the next best ? how does one convert the VCF into a list or csv file or something where one can view contacts as a list and sort + delete duplicates

    TIA
     
  7. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #7
    Yep... that would work too. This site will convert a VCF to CSV then just drop the CSV into Excel.

    I don't what apps you have (I assume you are on Windows), but another option might be to install the free Thunderbird then add an extension like this to fix the dups... then export back out as a VCF?
     
  8. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    #8
    I do have MS Outlook

    That however has the same set of contacts (though all are NOT duplicated) !!
     
  9. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #9
    Ahh... okay. So Outlook has the contacts you really want (not jacked up or dup'd?). You could just export from Outlook to a VCF file and email that to the iPhone and click the file to import. After you have deleted all contacts from the phone of course.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    #10
    Thanks a ton Weaselboy

    You've been a great help

    This is what I've done so far

    1. Used an app called EC backup on iPhone. that's free as of now
    2. converted my apple iPhone contacts to VCF, mailed it to myself, opened it on my windows PC
    3. tried to use MS outlook, but realised that does not import VCF , read around the net, used windows address book , imported the VCF file (with duplicates etc) into the windows address book
    4. Windows address book itself does a great job of warning me of duplicates etc ... so some filtering is possible there,
    5. but still IMHO some dupli / triplicates escape [# 5 is purely IMHO]
    6. Then used windows address book to export the contacts (with some duplicates) to CSV
    7. open the CSV file in XL and do whatever filtering needed
    ---------- now I am at this stage ------------------

    Weaselboy and other folks

    So any help in tracing the route back .... CSV to iPhone would be very much appreciated

    One thought - create a fresh gmail account, import cleaned up CSV contacts to the gmail account and then synch to iPhone

    However I feel there should be better ways ...

    Any help would be most appreciated



    TIA
     
  11. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #11
    You could import the CSV to GMail, then export it back out of GMail as a VCF.

    I also see this app to do the CSV import, but I have not used it myself.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    #12
    I've got stuck with CSV !!

    Looks like CSV opened in XL drops the leading Zeros which is essential in all international #s; I suspect it is also dropping the "+ " sign on many #s

    So IF I have to get back to something sane, how do I move from CSV to something that will NOT drop the digits !! ??

    TIA
     
  13. macrumors P6

    Weaselboy

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    #13
    Hmm... that's odd. Sounds like an issue with Excel.

    How about trying out the free office suite LibreOffice and see if that works better. It looks like it can also import CSV files.
     
  14. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    #14
    thanks everyone

    I finally managed it

    synching the contacts IS a key issue

    IF anyone is interested please post
     
  15. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #15
    Sebu,

    I'm definitely interested. Please advise on how you did it.
     
  16. thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2013
    #16
    Could you please outline your problem ? before I start off ....

    IF your problem is duplicate contacts, then please start with this post of mine http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16700384&postcount=12

    IF your problem is something else please let me know and I'd be glad to try
     

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