I have an iPhone 7 running iOS 12.1.4, and a MacBook Pro running OS 10.13.6. I am running iCloud using the same ID, syncing contacts from both devices. This should sync seamlessly, but it doesn't. I have duplicates on the Mac, and the iPhone; contacts that appear on the Mac, and not the iPhone; and contacts that appear on the iPhone, and not the Mac. I want to merge the two databases into iCloud, and eliminate duplicates. I have tried logging out of iCloud on both devices, waiting 30 minutes, and re-connecting. I still have the same issue. Any suggestions as to how I can get my contacts in sync in all three locations would be greatly appreciated.

1 Answer 1


To remove duplicate contacts:

  1. Make a copy of your contacts.

  2. Open Contacts.

  3. From the Card menu, select Card > Look for Duplicates.

  4. When asked, click Merge.

  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until no duplicates are found.

  6. Make another copy of your iCloud Contacts.

Then sync those contacts to iCloud.

Afterwards, turn off contacts on the iPhone in iCloud settings, remove all remaining contacts and turn it on again.

  • Thanks. I followed the steps from the Apple support page. Despite following these directions, I still have duplicates. Additionally, this does nothing for the records that are different on the phone as opposed to the Mac. I would expect to share duplicate records on both. Despite being logged in under the same Apple ID on both, that's not the case. I still have records on the phone that are not on the Mac, and vice versa.
    – Ethan
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 21:30
  • @Ethan did you repeat the process several times
    – user310476
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 21:59
  • I have. I ended up editing about 50 contacts (manually merging them, or deleting altogether.) So, I have a cleaned up Mac contacts database, and a backup file. I also have an iPhone database that does not sync with the one on the Mac (or on iCloud).
    – Ethan
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 22:10
  • If I turn off contacts on the phone, and remove them, I will lose a couple hundred records on there that don't currently sync with iCloud (or the Mac).
    – Ethan
    Commented Feb 21, 2019 at 22:10
  • Update: I ended up exporting all of my iPhone contacts using Phoneview into a VCF file, then importing them all into iCloud, and then merging records several times before going in manually to delete remaining duplicates. It was an arduous process, but the result is what I wanted - all contacts in iCloud, with no duplicates, and on both devices.
    – Ethan
    Commented Feb 22, 2019 at 16:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .