How to Remove Duplicate Outlook Contacts Free

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While we might be a bit biased in loving how easily Scrubly can remove duplicate Outlook contacts, there’s more than one way to clean up duplicate contacts in Outlook, and some of them are even free.

Take, for example, the ability to merge duplicate Outlook contacts. This is a little-known feature inside Outlook 2010 and 2013 for Windows that can clean up duplicate contacts when used properly. Since it’s a manual procedure, it works best when you have only a few issues.

Of course, we’d recommend you use Scrubly to thoroughly fix your duplicate contacts, but if you only need to fix two or three duplicates, this method works really well.

Note: We’re using Outlook 2013 for the purposes of this post, but the steps are similar for Outlook 2010. This method removes exact duplicates, so make sure you know where your duplicates are and what data is in them before running through this process.

Remove Duplicate Outlook Contacts

1. Click on People (Contacts) at the bottom of the Outlook window to see your Outlook contacts.

2. In the sidebar that lists your Contact groups, right-click on your current Contacts folder and select New Folder. Give the folder a name that’s indicative of what we’re doing, such as “Duplicates.”

Selecting New Folder from drop-down menu in Outlook 2013

3. Click on the folder that currently holds your contacts and move all the contacts to the new folder. To do this easily, click on one of them and hit Ctrl + A on your keyboard to select them all. With all contacts selected, drag and drop them into the new folder.

4. The next step is to export your contacts to a CSV formatted file. Click on File > Open and Export > Import/Export. In the window that comes up, select Export to a file and then click Next.

Outlook 2013 Import and Export Wizard window

5. In the next window, select Comma Separated Value and then click Next.

6. You should now see a listing of folders on your computer. Select the Duplicates folder you just moved your contacts to and click Next.

7. On the next screen, click Browse and choose to save the file to your desktop. Click Next, then click Finished.

8. You should now have a spreadsheet saved to your desktop titled “Contacts.” Double-click the file to open it.

Duplicate contacts killing your productivity? See how Scrubly can help in this 100-second video.

9. Click the header for the column titled “First Name.” Hold the Ctrl key and then click the header for “Last Name” so both are selected. On the Home tab of the Ribbon go to Highlight Cell Rules > Duplicate Values, then click OK.

This step will highlight all duplicates in red. If you see both first name and last name highlighted red, the entry is a duplicate. If only one or the other is highlighted, it warrants review.

Closeup of spreadsheet with duplicate contacts highlighted

10. Compare the rows that have red shading for data that may be in one row but not another, then copy/paste so the rows with duplicate names have exactly the same content. Once each duplicate is truly identical, you can click the Data tab of the Outlook Ribbon and select all the cells by highlighting the row headers next to every cell that has data in it.

Contacts spreadsheet with all cells highlighted

11. On the Data tab, click the Remove Duplicates button and then click OK in the box that appears.

Outlook 2013 Remove Duplicates window

12. You’ll get a notification that duplicates were removed. Click OK and review the results. If you’re happy with them, save the file, making sure it stays saved as a CSV file, and then close it.

With the duplicates removed, it’s time to import the file back into Outlook.

13. Head over to the File menu of the People section of Outlook and click on Open and Export. Click Import/Export and select Import from another program or file.

Selecting action in Outlook 2013 Import and Export window

14. Select Comma Separated Value and then click Next.

15. On the next screen, select Do not import duplicate items and click Next.

Outlook 2013 Import a File window

16. This time around, select the main Contacts folder and click Next, then Finish.

Wrap-Up

When you view your contacts list, you should now see all your contacts listed with the duplicates removed.

This method is far from the simplest and it can be prone to errors, but if you only have a small number of Outlook contacts, or just one or two duplicates, this can be a great way to fix them for free.

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