Removing duplicate contacts should be easy and safe. Over time your Mac Contact List will inevitably accumulate rubble and junk, or a slew of duplicate contacts can appear overnight. The first thing is to remove the identical duplicates, this is the easy part. A good duplicate app should do more.
Recurring Duplicate Contacts
Suddenly your Mac Contact List is growing in size with duplicate contacts – maybe multiple duplicates. You clear them out and they come straight back.
Usually the problem is synching to multiple address book accounts. Clearout apps are designed to let you see what is being duplicated and where, before you delete anything. This isn’t just to give you confidence that nothing is being lost, it is a vital diagnostic tool.
Hidden Duplicate Contacts
After you have cleared out the normal ‘identical’ duplicate contacts, there will still be hidden duplicates. These hidden duplicate contacts are the ones more likely to cause problems.
They are typically created when you enter a contact twice at different times. For example, a phone number into your phone – which gets synched back, and an email address from your email client. Not only do these entries push up the size of your address book, but when you search for a person, you may only see one of the entries. This will waste your time while you try to find that missing phone number again.
Both Contact Clearout and Contact Duplicates apply heuristic rules to suggest contacts that are different but might really be the same person.
Data Formatting and Corruption
As well as duplicate contact problems there can be mistakes or corruptions in the individual entries.
Duplicated fields in a contact makes the entry confusing and messy. Fields can be placed in the wrong section. Your database may be cluttered with blank or empty fields. The Clearout apps will scan each all of the data to suggest auto-fix options or just to highlight possible misplaced information.