Mac Hardware forum


How to edit duplicate Contacts entries and synch

by hardmat / January 9, 2015 2:46 AM PST

My question relates to duplicate contacts on iPhone and Mac and synching. Over the years I have had a few new phones and Verizon moved my contacts from old phone to new phone each time. During this process, I sometimes ended up with duplicate entries on the phone. On my current phone, a iPhone 4, I have some contacts listed 4 times in a row, each one exactly the same. Since i do a regular synch with my Mac, the contacts there are also in duplicate just like the phone. I started to work on removing 3 of the copies where I had a total of 4 contact entries for the same person on the mac. About 10 minutes into this task, I realized choosing three and clicking delete was actually removing all four of the entries. And removing one entry sometimes actually removed two of the 4 duplicate entries. So it seems like editing the duplicate entries on the Mac is not the right way to go. Should I be doing this editing on the phone and then synching to get the Mac to reflect what is on the phone? I thought synching added the data from each device to the other device, that was not already there to make them "equal" in content. If that is the case, when doing the synch after editing the phone contacts, will that result in all the duplicates in the Mac Contacts area being put right back on the phone again?

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All Answers

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more info
by hardmat / January 9, 2015 3:05 AM PST

I just noticed the more recent entries I have on the iPhone and thus the Mac, are all single entries on each device. These have all been entered on the phone since getting it 6 months ago. The older entries are doubled in the mac contacts area compared to the phone contacts area. If there are 2 exact entries in the phone, then there are 4 entries on the mac and if 3 entries on the phone then 6 entries on the mac. I don't know if this helps in diagnosing the issue.

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try this
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / January 9, 2015 10:28 AM PST
In reply to: more info

Disconnect your Mac from your Apple ID. Just log out in System Preferences.

Now do all your editing.

Once done, stop.

Log out from your Apple ID from your iPhone.
Backup the iPhone to your Mac, just in case something nasty happens.
Delete the contacts on the iPhone.

Log back into your Apple ID on your Mac. Set it to sync what your normally do, including contacts.
Ditto the iPhone.

You be fine from here. Mac uploads and syncs with its information to the iPhone. iPhone has nothing to sync.

In the event of a disaster, restore the iPhone using the backup you made.


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