Read time 8 minutes

Summary: This guide offers practical steps to efficiently clean up your contact list, ensuring a more organized and productive email experience. Say goodbye to the hassle of duplicate entries and enjoy smoother contact management in Outlook 2016.

Microsoft Outlook is the trusted email client of choice for both organizations and individuals, serving as their primary communication tool with clients and partners. Its unmatched reliability and performance make it the preferred option, leaving little room for substitutes or workarounds. It serves as a profoundly professional and business-centric email client, catering to a wide spectrum of needs such as email communication, calendar management, contact organization, and more.

At times, you may face the issue of removing duplicate items in Outlook. The issue of duplicate contacts leads to storage issues and degraded performance. It overloads Outlook and may cause an application crash.

Instant Solution

Download Kernel for Outlook Duplicates Remover tool to quickly detect and remove duplicate items from your Outlook PST mailboxes.

Regrettably, there is no quick ‘undo’ process for instantly removing duplicate contacts. Therefore, to effectively address and eliminate duplicate contacts in Outlook, it is crucial to understand the underlying causes of the issue, allowing for preventive measures in the future.

Uncovering the Causes of Duplicate Contacts in Outlook 2016.

We’ve compiled a list of common causes leading to duplicate contacts in Outlook 2016. By understanding these scenarios, you can take preventive measures to avoid their recurrence.

  • Message dragged to Contacts folder: Creating new contacts inadvertently occurs when email messages are dragged into the Contacts folder in Outlook, which is a significant contributor to the problem of duplicate contacts.
  • Same person with different email accounts: Another reason for duplicate contact is when one user uses different email accounts with the same name. So, a new contact will be created for the same person.
  • Contacts Synchronization: For seamless access and synchronization across devices and platforms, many users sync their Outlook contacts with laptops, mobile devices, and even social platforms like Facebook Messenger, LinkedIn, and Twitter. However, this can inadvertently result in the duplication of contacts.
  • Multiple address books on Exchange: This is a scenario with many organizations that maintain several address books on their Exchange Server.
Effective methods to remove duplicate contacts in Outlook 2016

The methods described here apply to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and Outlook for Office 365

Method 1: Delete contacts one by one (if they are less in number)

You can easily delete your contacts one by one manually if they are less in number.

STEP 1: Launch Outlook, look at the bottom left of the Outlook window to find the highlighted People icon and click on it.

Launch Outlook

STEP 2: Look for the Current View group in the top horizontal ribbon of Outlook and click on Phone.

 current View group

Please note: You can simply use this method to scan contacts to find duplicates.

STEP 3: Now, hold the CTRL key and click on duplicate contacts one by one and press Delete.

delete duplicate contacts

Method 2: Export and import duplicate contacts (if they are large in number)

Manually deleting thousands of duplicate contacts one by one is a time-consuming and complex task. Instead, the most efficient approach is to utilize Outlook’s built-in feature to export all contacts to a new folder, automatically excluding duplicates during the export process. Once exported, you can seamlessly import the cleaned-up contacts back into Outlook.

Follow the steps one by one as mentioned.

STEP 1: Start Outlook and click People in the lower left corner of the Outlook window.

Outlook window

STEP 2: You will see Contacts under My Contacts; simply right-click and select New Folder.

select New Folder

STEP 3: Enter the name of the new folder, say ‘Remove Duplicate Contact.’

Remove Duplicate Contact

STEP 4: Go back to the original Contact folder and click to expand the contacts list, select all contacts using CTRL + A, and drag the contacts to the ‘Remove Duplicate Contact’ folder.

Please note: When you drag and drop or move contacts to a new folder, the main contacts folder becomes empty.

STEP 5: Now, go to File >> Open & Export >> Import/Export

Open Import/Export folder

STEP 6: Select Export to a file from the list under Choose an action to Perform and click Next.

Select Export to a file

STEP 7: Next, choose Comma Separated Values under Create a file of type and click Next.

choose Comma Separated Values

STEP 8: Select the Remove Duplicate Contact folder and click Next.

Select the Remove Duplicate Contact folder

STEP 9: At the end, click Browse for the desired location to save the file, click Next and click Finish.

Save the file

Steps to Import Contacts back to Outlook

STEP 1: In Outlook, click File >> Open & Export >> Import/Export.
STEP 2: Now, choose Import from another program or file from the list and select Comma Separated Values.
STEP 3: Click Browse and select the location where you saved the exported file. Also, choose Do not import duplicate items from options and click Next.
STEP 4: Lastly, select the default Contact folder as a destination for importing and click Finish.

Automated method to remove duplicate contacts in Outlook.

If you are looking for a quick method to clean the duplicate contacts in Outlook, you can simply opt for an automated professional third-party tool, i.e., Kernel for Outlook Duplicates Remover. The tool works fabulously to remove duplicate items from Outlook data files which include emails, contacts, calendar, etc. It has a very interactive and easy-to-use graphical user interface.

Outlook Duplicates Remover

Final words

We’ve outlined methods for removing duplicate contacts in Outlook that have consistently delivered 100% accuracy and ensured data security in our experience. If you’re currently grappling with duplicate contacts or other duplicated Outlook data items, we highly recommend giving these methods a try.

Watch Video to Remove Duplicate Contacts in Outlook 2016


Q- How do I stop duplicates in Outlook 365?

A- To stop duplicates in Outlook, follow these steps.

  1. Access Outlook & go to the File menu.
  2. Tap on Account Settings > Account Settings. In case, the duplicate accounts exist, tap on the duplicate account & tap on Remove. 

Q- How can I use Outlook duplicate email remover for free?

A- For using the Outlook duplicate email remover, you can delete duplicate emails via the Inbox Clean Up option

  1. Navigate to Home & click on Clean Up.
  2. Next, select the option Clean Up Conversation & move duplicate messages to Deleted items.
  3. Check the Deleted Items folder & delete them permanently.

Kernel for Outlook Duplicate Remover