If I open the Contacts app on my iPhone I get duplicate groups, hence duplicate contacts. I started to delete one of a duplicate contact but they both gone away. I thought I could solve this problem going on my Mac and delete the duplicate groups but there I don't have duplicates.

I'm using iCloud for syncing contactes between my MacBook Pro and iPhone.

How can I solve this problem?

  • 2
    When you open Phone.app > Contacts, do you have duplicate entries in there? Did you ever sign out (delete) your iCloud account from your phone and then sign back in? Jan 31 '13 at 21:33

The best procedure is to one by one, turn off each cloud sync source of contacts.

They will remain in the cloud and be removed one by one from your iPhone.

When you have all cloud accounts turned off as far as injecting contacts into the contact app, you will be left with only the local groups and contacts stored on the device itself. If you don't wish to have a local contact on the phone, sync and delete these from a computer (or manually from the device).

At that point, re-establish the cloud sync for each account - checking that there are no duplicates after each addition.

Once you have eliminated the possibility of duplicates locally vs. cloud - you can quite easily clean up the cloud source of duplicates if needed.


This is most probably due to the fact that you are using multiple contacts accounts with which you sync your iPhone. If your contacts and contact groups are identical for your iCloud account as well as on your Mac, this could cause the issue.

  • No, this problem can occur also in a situation where no multiple contacts accounts are used Dec 23 '18 at 12:48

I had similar problem with my contacts' groups, when I switched to iCloud. I had most of the groups repeated four times, identical contacts. I followed the following simple steps:

  1. Settings --> iCloud --> turned OFF contacts.
  2. It asked if to keep or delete from iPhone. Delete from iPhone
  3. Sign out from iCloud.
  4. Restart iPhone, the contacts all emptied.
  5. Sign iCloud --> turn ON contacts.


I had the dreaded double-grouping happen this week.

T-Mobile sent me a new iPhone 5 due to a battery issue. After the SIM card was switched and the new iphone booted, I had the old iPhone turned on so I could see what all apps I had loaded and could configure the screens/accounts manually. (I know, I can go through the backup/restore, but had other reasons not to.) The old iPhone was still connected to my WiFi.

After sitting overnight, I woke up to duplicated groups. ALL of them.

I am wondering if having the old phone online w/ iCloud at the same time contributed to the duplication?

You must log in to answer this question.

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