How to Remove Duplicate Contacts on iPhone on iOS 16

There are many reasons why your iPhone could end up accumulating too many duplicate contacts, like syncing contacts with an email client, using iCloud, or some bug with your address book. If your Contacts app shows multiple (duplicate) results when you look someone up, then it might be time to initiate the Contacts cleanse.

But, what if there are way too many duplicate contacts on your device (some that you might not even have noticed)? Well, the solution is here, if that is your current problem. With iOS 16, Apple will introduce auto-detection of duplicate contact cards on iCloud or device and the option to merge them if you so wish.

In this post, we will show you just how to do that! Let’s go!

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How to merge duplicate contacts on iPhone

  • Requirement: iOS 16 update

Launch the Contacts app on your iPhone.

Under “Lists”, tap All iCloud

Note: If you have not synced your iPhone Contacts to iCloud, you will see “All iPhone” under Lists. Tap on “All iPhone” to go to the Contacts.

If there are any duplicate contacts, you will see them mentioned right above the Contacts list as “Duplicates Found” along with the number of duplicate contacts. 

Tap on Duplicates Found.

On the overflow menu, you will see the list of duplicate contacts (with the number of duplicate cards). You have two options here: merge all contacts at once, or merge selected contact(s) manually.

Option 1: Merge all duplicates at once

To merge all duplicate contacts in one fell swoop, tap on Merge at the bottom of the overflow menu.

That’s it! All duplicate contacts will get merged in your Contacts with a flash message — “Duplicated Resolved”!

You will no longer see the “Duplicates Found” indicator above the contacts list on the Contacts page. 

Option 2: Select and merge contacts manually

On the overflow menu, tap on any duplicate contact that you wish to resolve.

The overflow menu will show details of the selected duplicate contact. Tap on Merge at the bottom of the menu.

Done! You have successfully completed the steps to merge the copies of a selected contact into one in your Contacts! You can merge any duplicates selectively thus.

Tap Cancel on the top left of the overflow menu when you are done merging selected contacts.

The remaining unresolved duplicates will continue to be shown on the Contacts page as “Duplicates Found”.

How are duplicate contacts detected?

The Contacts app detects duplicates based on precisely dittoed contact cards on iCloud or iPhone. Both the name and number have to match to make them duplicates. If you have a number saved under two different names or vice versa, they will not be detected as duplicate contacts and will not show up under the “Duplicates Found” list.

Hope you found your answers here! Share your feedback with us in the comments!

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