Address Book Duplicates

  • Posted: 17 March 2011 02:22 PM

    There is a duplicate for every entry in my Apple Address Book. The Find Duplicates returns nothing! Each time I delete manually they reappear either after syncing with iPhone 4 or Addresses in Outlook for Mac v 14.0.2 (or possibly both?) One additional symptom which may or may not be related is that any and every single time anything is amended in the Address Book Microsoft’s Database Utility pops up with the radio button pressed to “Verify Database integrity”.

    Any alternatives for getting rid of duplicates?
    MacBook Pro 17” 10.6.6.

  • Avatar

    Posted: 21 March 2011 12:19 PM #1

    I had a similar problem. My iPhone’s contacts generally sync to gmail, but I wanted the Address book on my mac to have my contacts, so I started syncing. Rather quickly, I found a growing list of duplicates.

    I did find an iPhone app that removes duplicates, but I forget the name of it now.

  • Posted: 05 April 2011 01:58 PM #2

    mlvezie - 21 March 2011 03:19 PM

    I did find an iPhone app that removes duplicates, but I forget the name of it now.

    There is an app in the Mac App Store, Contacts Cleaner. It has worked well for me. The same company makes Calendar Cleaner, which I have also used, and it worked well.

  • Posted: 05 April 2011 10:36 PM #3

    I just downloaded, installed and used Contacts Cleaner.  I almost got myself in some real trouble but fortunately had a backup of my Address Book on another Backup Hard Drive.

    The program will ask you to back it up and I did it but it creates a complicated folder with lots of files.  Trying to restore the Address Book from that later just didn’t work.  So, here’s what I’d suggest:

    1)  Open up Address Book and under File do an Export.  Remember where this is but don’t change the name of it.  Perhaps create a Desktop Folder titled “Original Contacts Export” and put it in there.
    2)  After opening Contact Cleaner, go immediately to Preferences and just check Duplicate Contacts.  Start with this one and see how it goes.  My problem is that in Contacts I have some cards that I separate or combine as couples.  I’ll have a card for Mike Smith and a card for Mike & Cathy Smith.  If I want to write just Mike I’ll use the first card, if I want to write them both I’ll use the second card with their family e-mail address.  I’ll want to make sure these two contacts don’t merge.
    3) You’ll want to rescan often until no problems exist and go down the list and do one at a time Duplicate Phone Numbers, Duplicate e-mail Addresses and Duplicate Addresses.  I would suggest you proceed slowly.
    4) Some of the preferences caused me problems with deleting records.  I learned to stop with the above preferences and skip some of the other scans for blank notes, strange characters, etc.  I use “Notes” often for strange tidbits of info and I don’t want to delete this information even if the information looks strange to the program.

    You might want to export your Address Book incrementally with the newer changes, but I’d suggest creating new Desktop folders for each change so you can restore at the last point before errors began creeping in.

    Contacts Cleaner almost cleaned my clock—the designer got a little too carried away and it will, IMO, throw out some of the good with the bad if you aren’t careful.

    The attached image shows the preferences that worked for me.

    Image Attachments

    Screen shot 2011-04-05 at 7.34.53 PM.jpg

    Click thumbnail to see full-size image