Contacts are one of the most brilliant features Outlook provides to its users. Though having contacts make things easy and convenient, having duplicate contacts might give you nightmares. Duplicate contacts not only occupy free space but also can lead to mistakes, as some duplicate contacts may be the incorrect version of correct ones.
Apart from this, having too many duplicate contacts can also lead to the slowdown of MS Outlook, lag in the application, and, most importantly, excess of unnecessary items.
How to Avoid Having Duplicate Contacts?
As we are now aware that having duplicate contacts is not healthy at all but removing or merging them requires energy and efforts. So, it is always wise to avoid having them in the first place. Let’s see how you can avoid having duplicate contacts:
Do not import contacts from various devices, or take special care while doing so
Add all the email addresses of the same person under his/her name. Don’t create multiple contacts for multiple email addresses of a single user.
Take special care while synchronizing contacts from social media.
Take special care while synchronizing or importing contacts from various email clients.
How to Merge Duplicate Contacts?
Now when we have discussed the drawbacks of having duplicate contacts and how to avoid them, let’s discuss how to merge them. To merge contacts in Outlook manually with the Import/Export feature of Outlook, follow the below-mentioned steps:
With Import/Export utility, you can remove duplicate contacts, and it is easier. You can say it is less hectic than removing emails one by one. Let’s get started:
Start with opening Outlook and create a new folder for contacts.
Now, in the newly created Contacts folder, move all the contacts saved in your Outlook address book.
Moving all the contacts to the new folder will leave your original contacts folder empty. This is where you are going to import all new contacts to.
In Outlook, go to the File menu and select the Open & Export option and now select the Import/Export feature.
Choose Export to a file and choose Comma Separated Values option while moving forward.
Now, select the newly created folder and save the file.
Import all the contacts from the newly created folder to Outlook. For this, go to the File menu again and select the Import/Export feature again.
Now, choose the option Import from another program or file.
Select Comma Separated Values (Windows).
Select that new contact folder as a destination from where you need to import the contacts to Outlook.
Now, the most crucial step, select Do not import duplicate items and select the original (emptied) contacts folder as the destination to import new contacts.
Finish the import process successfully.
Now, you need to copy the contacts from the new folder and add it to the original contacts folder. For this, open the new folder, select all contacts from there and move them to the primary contacts folder.
While moving the contacts, don’t forget to select Update information of selected contacts when you get a prompt action from Outlook.
If you do not like to repeat this action for every contact, simply select Update all option.
Once all the contacts are transferred successfully, delete the recently created folder.
Follow each step correctly and religiously to get the best results.
Suggestion: Above, we have talked about how one can merge duplicate contacts in Outlook. But, one can also try linking contacts if there is a scope for that. Linking contacts means linking all the details of a single user with all his/her social media accounts in one place.
Merge Outlook Contacts with An Automated Tool
The easiest and fastest way to merge Outlook contacts is doing it with a reliable third-party software like Kernel Merge PST. This merging tool lets you merge multiple Outlook PST Files as well as only selected items from it as per your requirement. This is an advanced merge PST tool with simple GUI, making it easy even for beginners to merge items in a few simple steps. Let’s see how:
Download Kernel Merge PST from the website. Install it successfully and run it on your system.
Once the tool is open, click on the Add Files option and add the desired PST. You can use the Remove Files option to eliminate any unwanted PST.
Now, select Merge and click on the Next button once done.
Now, you need to select the desired folders from which you need the merging to be done. So, select contacts and click on the Next button.
At this stage, you need to apply filters for the merging process; here, you can define all the details you want to proceed with. The options you get are selecting the destination folder for merging, date, merge in new PST or an existing one, and finally, an option to skip duplicates. So, do not forget to check the box Skip duplicates, click on the Next button to proceed.
As you give the command, the merging process will start taking place, and you will get the proper report on your screen. Wait for it to finish.
Once the merging is over, you will get notified, click on the OK button to finish the task.
So, this is how you can merge duplicate contacts with Kernel Merge PST very easily. Once every step is done successfully, you can check Outlook to see the changes.
In this blog, we have discussed how duplicate contacts can create a lot of issues in Outlook and how we can avoid it. We have also discussed one manual and one automated method to merge duplicate contacts in Outlook. As we can see, the manual method is very hectic and time taking. Thus, it is suggested to go for the automated method and save yourself a lot of energy and effort. To know more about Kernel Merge PST, you can visit its page on the website and can also use its trial version for free, for better clarity. Hope this blog helped you.