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How to merge duplicate contacts in Outlook?

When we copy/move contacts from one folder to another in Outlook, duplicate contacts will very likely come out. Removing the duplicate contacts may not be the better way, because one contact may contain fields that the other duplicate one leaving as blank. As a result, some user think of merging duplicates. In this article, I will show you how to merge duplicate contacts in Outlook.

Merge duplicate contacts in Outlook 2010 and 2013

Merge duplicate contacts in Outlook 2007

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arrow blue right bubbleMerge duplicate contacts in Outlook 2010 and 2013

Let’s say you will move all contacts from A folder to B folder in Outlook. To merge duplicate contacts during moving, you can do as following.

Step 1: Click the File > Options.

Step 2: In the Outlook Options dialog box, click the People (or Contacts) in the left bar, then check the option of Check for duplicates when saving new contacts in the Names and filling section.

Step 3: Click the OK button to close the Outlook Options dialog box.

Step 4: Shift to the People view (or Contacts) view, open the A folder in the Navigation Pane, select one contact in the folder, and then select all contacts with clicking the Ctrl + A keys in a meanwhile.

Step 5: Right click the selected contacts, and then click the Move > B folder from the right-clicking menu. See screen shot below:

Note: If the destination folder is not listing in the right-clicking menu, just click the Move > Other Folder from the right-clicking menu, and then specify the destination folder and click OK button in the Move Items dialog box.

Step 6: If duplicate contacts exist, it will pop up the Duplicate Contact Detected dialog box. Just click the Update All button.

Then all contacts in A folder were moved to the B folder with all duplicate contacts merged.


arrow blue right bubbleMerge duplicate contacts in Outlook 2007

In Outlook 2007, if you want to merge duplicate contacts when moving from one folder to the other, you also need to enable the option of Check for duplicate contacts.  

Step 1: Click the Tools > Options.

Step 2: In the opening Options dialog box, click the Contact Options button.

Step 3: In the new Contact Options dialog box, check the option of Check for duplicate contacts in the Name and filing options for new contacts section.

Step 4: Click two OK buttons to close both dialog boxes.

Then you can follow the same steps as we introduced in the Outlook 2010 and 2013 to merge duplicate contacts when moving from one folder to another.


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  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Cam · 7 months ago
    Have to move to folder, then back again. Merge popup initiates on the second move.
  • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
    Nicole Hoevertsz · 2 years ago
    I followed the steps indicated above, but the duplicate contacts did not merge. In other words, no action took place.
    • To post as a guest, your comment is unpublished.
      Heather · 7 months ago
      You actually need to copy then move... the instructions are wrong