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Merge duplicate Outlook contacts

So you’ve got a bunch of duplicate contacts in outlook, huh? I know how it happens…you’re out and about and quickly added a contact to your synced iPhone/Blackberry not realizing that he/she already existed. Now you’ve got two of ’em one with an address and one with a couple of phone numbers and an email. Here’s how to merge them into a single contact.

  1. A Gmail account (free to sign up)
  2. Microsoft Outlook

[step 1] In Outlook, export your contacts. Be sure to export your suggested contacts as well, these are duplicates but they may contain information that is more up-to-date.

File->Open->Import->Export to a file->Comma Separated File (Windows)->Select contacts folder

Specify a name and location for the CSV file for each contacts folder you export.

[step 2] Log into your Gmail account.

NOTE: I used a new freshly created Gmail account without any contacts in it (as to not get my work contacts and personal contacts mixed, but that’s not required – see imported contact groups below).

[step 3] Click Mail and select Contacts. Then click Import Contacts…

[step 4] Select Browse and navigate to the CSV files you created in [step 1]. Repeat as necessary for all other CSV files you created.

NOTE: for each import operation a new contact group will be created for easy access later.

[step 5] After you’ve imported all of your CSV files, click the Find & merge duplicates link.

[step 6] Optionally verify your contacts to be merged and deselect any erroneous entries. Then click Merge.

[step 7] Export your merged contacts as a CSV file for Outlook.

In Gmail, click More->Export…

NOTE: the location and file name of your exported merged Gmail contacts CSV file.

[step 8] Import the merged exported Gmail contacts back into Outlook.

NOTE: You may want to delete your existing outlook contacts or move them to a sub folder before importing to avoid creating more duplicates by importing the merged contacts.

That’s it.

December 12, 2011

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