I am using icloud, but always sync my contacts using itunes. Still have a lot of duplicates. How do I get rid of the duplicates


On your Mac, open the Address Book and goto Card → Look for Duplicates.

You'll be prompted with something like this:

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After merging the contacts in the Address Book you should choose to replace the contacts on the iPhone. This option can be found under the iPhone in the iTunes sidebar.


Best to not sync your contacts with iTunes and a cable if you're using Mobile me and/or iCloud. The duplicates are probably because you're looking at what's on your computer combined with what's on iCloud.

Once you choose to sync with iCloud turn off contacts and calendar sync through iTunes. This was true in the "old" Mobile Me days and it's still true with iCloud.

  • While this answer is, in essence true, this is not the only source of duplicate entries, and would most likely lead to 100% (or nearly so) duplication of the address book cards. I sync on;y through iCloud. No iTunes. No Google. Sometimes, for reasons I seldom understand, a handful of contacts are duplicated. I can't really say if this happens all at once, or if its a contact or two at a time, because I (assume) I'm not catching the duplication right after it happens.
    – jaberg
    Mar 6 '12 at 14:05

Follow these official steps:

  1. Make a copy of your contacts.
  2. Open Contacts app.
  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 at Apple Support.

Source: If you see duplicate contacts after setting up iCloud Contacts.

If you see duplicates in Contacts on iCloud.com, visit Apple Support for help.

If you see duplicate contacts only on your computer and not on iCloud.com, follow the steps below.

If you see duplicates on your Windows PC, check these Microsoft articles for Outlook 2007, 2010, Outlook 2013 and 2016.


Your problem obviously comes from the fact that you use both iCloud and iTunes to sync your contacts.

There is a bit of a complicated solution but which works. First switch off your iCloud contact sync. Next, go to iTunes and set up a Gmail iPhone contact sync.

If you don't have a Gmail account, create one. Next, sync all of your iPhone contacts with your (new) Gmail account.

Finally, select "Find and merge duplicates" from your Gmail Contacts settings (by clicking on the "More" button).

Make sure you effectuate a sync between your Gmail contacts and your iPhone once again (via iTunes). All of your duplicate contacts are now gone (and whenever needed - merged).

Go to Gmail (from your web browser), and navigate to your Gmail contacts (all of your iPhone contacts should now live in your Gmail too).

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