Manage duplicate contacts in Outlook: delete, merge, move, categorize
Kutools for Outlook
When you import contacts into Outlook from an Excel spreadsheet or other software, there's a chance of creating duplicate entries in your contacts folder. Such duplicates can clutter your Contacts folders, consuming unnecessary space in Outlook. For a streamlined solution, we recommend the Duplicate Contacts utility of Kutools for Outlook. This feature allows you to effortlessly delete, merge, move, and even categorize duplicate contacts across various email accounts within selected Contacts folders.
- 🔄 Flexible Duplicate Handling Options: Kutools for Outlook elevates the management of duplicate contacts by offering a versatile suite of options that cater to various user needs and preferences:
- 🗑️ Temporarily or permanently deleting duplicates: Users can choose to temporarily move duplicates to the "Deleted Items" folder, enabling recovery if needed, or permanently delete them to streamline their contacts list, balancing between safeguarding contacts and maintaining a clean database.
- 🔗 Merging information from duplicates into a single contact: When merging duplicates, Kutools amalgamates information from all selected duplicate contacts, ensuring no data is lost.
- 📂 Moving duplicates with flexibility: Users can selectively move all duplicates, including the first instance, or just the additional duplicates to a designated folder. This feature is particularly useful for users who wish to review duplicates at a later time or maintain separate lists for different purposes.
- 🏷️ Categorizing duplicates for easy identification later: By allowing users to categorize duplicates, Kutools facilitates better contact management and organization. This feature is particularly useful for managing large contact databases, where efficient categorization can save time and improve workflow.
- 🌐 Cross-Account & Folder Duplicate Management: Kutools shines in its ability to manage duplicates across multiple email accounts and contact folders simultaneously. This capability streamlines what would otherwise be a cumbersome and time-consuming process with Outlook's native tools, offering users a unified approach to tackle duplicate contacts regardless of their location within Outlook.
- 🔍 Customizable Duplicate Detection: Unlike Outlook's basic duplicate detection, Kutools allows for detailed customization in identifying duplicates by letting users select specific contact fields for comparison. This ensures a more precise detection of duplicates based on criteria most relevant to the user.
- 🧭 Time-saving Re-filtering: Kutools remembers previous settings for chosen folders and contact fields, enabling users to quickly re-filter duplicates without reconfiguring settings. This feature significantly reduces the time spent on managing duplicates, especially for users who perform this task regularly.
- 👥 Duplicate Contact Group Management: The utility extends its duplicate management to contact groups, offering options to manage duplicate contact groups based on the group name, member name, or member’s email address.
Here's how to apply the Duplicate Contacts feature to delete, merge, move or categorize duplicate contacts in Outlook.
- On the Kutools tab, in the Delete group, click Duplicate Contacts (you can also click Kutools Plus > Duplicate Contacts).
- In the Duplicate Contacts - Step 1 (of 5): Specify the data file(s) wizard, select the data files where you wish to remove, merge, move, or categorize duplicate contacts. Once selected, click on the Next step: Specify contact folder button.
Note: If you have multiple email accounts in your Outlook with sizable contacts folders, a loading contacts folder(s) window will pop up as the below screenshot shown. You can opt to click the Skip the current loading email account button, or simply wait for all the contacts folders to complete loading.
- Once the contacts folders have finished loading, all the Contacts folders will be displayed in the left box of the Duplicate Contacts – Step 2 (of 5) window. Select the Contacts folders that contain the duplicate contacts you wish to address, and then click on the Next: Select contacts fields for duplicate comparison button.
- For more quick options like Check all for selecting folders, right-click on the folder list.
- All selected folders will appear in the right box. You can delete or sort them as required. Contacts from the folders listed at the top will be prioritized to be retained when managing duplicates.
- In the Duplicate Contacts – Step 3 (of 5) wizard, please select contacts fields for identifying duplicates (contacts are considered duplicates if these fields match exactly) in the Please select Contacts fields for duplicate comparison box, and then click the Next: Select the fields to be listed in results button.
Note: If you check the Search all duplicates in selected Contacts folders option, the utility will look for duplicate contacts across all the folders you've chosen. If you don't select this option, duplicates will be searched for within each individual contacts folder separately.
- In the Duplicate Contacts – Step 4 (of 5) wizard, specify the fields to be listed in the results box, and then click the Start filtering button.
- All duplicate contacts will appear in the Contact list/Duplicate Contact list (left box) of the Duplicate Contacts – Step 5 (of 5) wizard. In this wizard, you can:
- Expand a group by clicking on it. Then, select a duplicate contact to view its details in the Contact information preview box.
- From the How to deal with the duplicate contacts? drop-down list, choose an action to apply to the listed duplicates. Tip: If there are any contacts you wish to exclude from the process, simply deselect them from the Contact list/Duplicate Contact list.
- Delete (Move to the "Deleted Items" folder): This will move the duplicates to the Deleted Items folder without permanently deleting them.
- Permanent Delete: This will permanently remove all selected duplicates.
- Merge: This combines all selected duplicate contacts, amalgamating their information.
- Move all duplicate contacts (except the first one): This transfers duplicates, excluding their first instances, to a specified folder.
- Move all duplicate contacts (include the first one): This moves all instances of duplicates to a designated folder.
- Add category: This tags all selected duplicate contacts with a designated category for easier identification later on.
- Click Apply now to process the duplicates as per your selected action.
After the process is complete, all addressed duplicate contacts will be displayed with a strikethrough in the Contact list/Duplicate Contact list. Please close the Duplicate Contacts wizard to finalize the process.
- Handle a specific duplicate contact
The feature supports to categorize, move, delete or permanently delete a single duplicate contact by right-clicking on the contact.
- Handle all checked duplicates in a group
You can categorize, move, merge, delete or permanently delete all checked duplicate items in a group by right-clicking on the group.
- Effortless re-filtering of duplicate contacts
The Duplicate Contacts utility retains your previous settings, including chosen folders and contact fields. The next time you use this feature, simply press the Start filtering button in the Duplicate Contacts – Step 2 (of 5) wizard. This will directly filter duplicates without requiring you to reconfigure contact fields.
- What if no duplicate contacts found
If no duplicate contacts found, you can choose to reselect fields for identifying duplicates or end the process as you need.
Manage duplicate contact groupsShould there be duplicate contact groups within your selected folders, you can address them efficiently. In the Duplicate Contacts - Step 3 (of 5) wizard, simply select the desired criteria - be it the Contact group name (Contact group), Member name (Contact group) or Member’s e-mail address (Contact group). Choose according to your needs to manage these duplicate groups.
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