How to Get Rid of Duplicate Contacts on the iPhone

After setting up the iPhone for the first time or adding a new account, you may find duplicate contacts in the iPhone contacts app.

This happens a lot of the time when users add a personal account and an work account and add choose to sync contacts from both accounts. It is also common to see duplicates if when using iCloud contacts and Gmail contacts.

Apple makes it easy to fix duplicate contacts on the iPhone without the need to delete a contact from one of your accounts.

With a few easy steps you can merge or link multiple contacts into a single contact, cleaning up your address book.

You don’t need to change the contact names to be exactly the same, but the contact you start with will be the name you see in your address book. In this example, I open Joshua Smith first, so I won’t see Josh Smith after the merge.


How to Rid of Duplicate Contacts on the iPhone

Open up the Contacts

Find the duplicate contact you would like to remove and select it by tapping on the name.

How to get rid of duplicate contacts on the iPhone
Open the first contact.

Once you have selected the contact tap Edit in the top right and scroll to the bottom of the screen to the Linked Cards screen.

Linked Cards
Tap on Link Contact to merge iPhone contacts.

Tap Link Contact

Linked Contact
Tap on the contact you want to link.

Select the contact that you would like to merge information with, and on the next screen press Link

If you have a lot of duplicate contacts, or only have one account linked to your iPhone, it may be faster to log in to your email account on a computer and clean up your contacts. The changes you make will sync over to your iPhone. This can take some time, but it is worth it in the long run.

Each contact on the iPhone can store multiple email addresses and phone numbers, so there is no need to create separate contacts for a cell phone, a home phone and a work phone.

How do you manage your contacts? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.


  1. I want to leave my e-mail contact separate from my phone contact. Is that possible? Seems iPhone always wants to unite the two, which, for me, is very annying.

  2. Sorry, this didn’t work for me. When I scrolled to the bottom of the edit screen, there was no “Linked Cards” box.

  3. same here, i have just bought an iphone 4 and have been manually writing them all down and putting them in one by one thinking there must be a faster way… after checking on email, i too do not have a linked cards box so it will have to be manually it seems, bit long winded, thought apple would have had something for this…….

  4. “Apple makes it easy to fix duplicate contacts…”

    Appreciate the detail on removing ONE duplicate… but the real problem is when we have dozens of duplicates, even triplicates.

    Any tips on how to en masse remove dupes?

    I tried selecting the Info tab in iTunes and clicking the check box-“Replace information on this iPhone”– and it DIDN’T WORK!!

    • Seriously. Get a grip. If you voluntarily import three instances of your contacts onto one phone, under differently spelled names, and you expect company X to fix your shit for you, you’ve got it wrong. Organize your own contacts.

  5. This link option is only available for linking Exchange server contacts to your local iCloud contacts. This is NOT an option for merging iCloud contacts.

  6. Never thought I would be saying my droid was way better than the iphone. At least for now……I’ll give it some more time.

  7. I have contacts linked to Facebook which I do not want. How do I delete them? When I press delete contact it tells me I can do it. Very frustrating!

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