macbook pro

How Well Do You Actually Know Your Mac? (Part 4)

apple contacts

If you’ve got an extensive contact list, and you’ve been migrating that data over every time you upgrade your system, then you’ve probably come across your fair share of duplicate cards.  Deleting is annoying and a hassle.  If you’re connected to iCloud you might find that contacts show up out of the blue (or the cloud, as it were) when you least expect it.  Having duplicate contacts is nothing but a hassle – unless you have a super fancy filing system where you need more than one/person or company.  If you don’t, though, and you want to know how to merge and/or remove them – keep reading.

Before you start, make sure you have a backup!  The last thing you want is for all of your contacts to disappear completely.

apple contacts

How to Merge and Remove Duplicate Contacts on your Mac

  1. Launch the Contacts app on your Mac (found in Applications/Contacts).
  2. In the Groups pane on the left, make sure All Contacts is selected at the top of the list. (If the Groups view is hidden, select the menu bar option View -> Show Groups to reveal it.)
  3. From the menu bar, select Card -> Look for Duplicates.
  4. A drop-down dialog will appear telling you how many duplicate cards were found that either has the same name but contain different information or have both the same name and the same information. To merge the duplicate cards and information, click the Merge button.

icloud contacts

How to Remove Duplicate iCloud Contacts on PC and Mac

If you don’t have access to your Mac you can remotely delete duplicate entries in your Contacts list in the following way. Oddly, there’s no way to select multiple contacts on an iPhone or iPad running iOS 11, so this manual method is the best workaround, although bear in mind it only applies to contacts synced to iCloud.

  1. Launch a web browser on your device or computer.
  2. Navigate to icloud.com.
  3. Sign in using your iCloud credentials.
  4. Click Contacts
  5. Select All Contacts in the upper left corner of the screen
  6. Hold down the Command (⌘) key and manually click the duplicate cards you want to delete.
  7. Click the cog icon in the lower left corner and select Delete from the popup menu.
  8. Confirm you want to remove the selected contacts by clicking the Delete option in the dialog pane.

If this doesn’t address your contacts issues with your Mac, nothing will.  I kid.  While I love the features that are offered between macOS and iOS, such as storing contacts in the cloud, I don’t like that there are limitations.  I mean, we see this with everything these days.  Personally, I have gotten into a habit of taking Notes on my iPhone, but when I open my MacBook, it takes quite a bit of time before the Notes sync.  I am not being impatient, because sometimes it’s 24 hours before the Notes sync up.  While that’s not exactly this issue, I wanted to highlight it because I think that it’s another example of some “annoying” technological things that we find within the Apple ecosystem.  I’m not complaining, but I do like technology to work without fail.