How to Get Rid of Duplicate Gmail Contacts

Removing Gmail duplicate contacts used to be a productivity death spiral.

You had to go through each contact individually. You had to merge contacts by hand. And the kicker was that Gmail and Google Apps have a complicated system for managing contacts. In fact, managing Gmail duplicate contacts was such a hassle you that somewhere along the line you probably decided to just live with the clutter.

Of course, this means that over time you got less productive and now you may be sending e-mails to the wrong person or the wrong address.

Good thing Scrubly allows you to take care of your Gmail duplicate contacts without having to spend a lot of time and effort doing it. No more headaches: Just a couple of clicks and you’re done.

Get started

1. Sign in to your Scrubly account.

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2. On the Dashboard, you see a list of the address books you’ve uploaded to the Scrubly server.

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3. To add your Gmail or Google Apps account to the list, click on the blue Create New button.

4. The Scrubly Set Up window will appear. You’ll see the four types of address books that are compatible with Scrubly. Choose Google.

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5. Enter a name for your new address book, as well as your Google Gmail or Google Apps e-mail address.

Be sure you’re logged into the relevant Gmail account. And make sure you aren’t logged into any other Gmail or Google Apps accounts.

Click Next.

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6. You’ll be asked to grant permission for Scrubly to access your Gmail account. (You can revoke this permission at any time.)

Click Grant access.

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You’ll see a confirmation screen. Click Continue.

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Using Scrubly to clean out Gmail duplicate contacts

1. Go back to the Scrubly Dashboard and locate your new address book under the “Address Books” section.

Click the orange arrow to upload your Gmail contacts to Scrubly.

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This will upload a copy of your Gmail address book to Scrubly’s servers.

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Wait for a few seconds for the confirmation message.

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Click Next.

2. Click Start Scrub to begin getting rid of Gmail duplicate contacts.

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3. Choose “Express Scrub” or “Deep Scrub.”

Express Scrub removes only exact duplicates and only merges contacts it considers safe to merge.

Deep Scrub eliminates the majority of Gmail duplicate contacts, but will require you answer some questions and takes longer to finish.

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Let’s go with Express Scrub first

1. You’ll be asked if you want Scrubly to automatically merge all Notes fields into a single Note.

Check the box.

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2. Once you click Next, Express Scrub will automatically start.

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3. Once the scrubbing is done, you’ll see a report on the number of contacts updated or removed, as well as how many blank contacts were removed or manually updated.

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You can click on any of the numbers for details.

Deep Scrub: Get rid of more Gmail duplicate contacts

1. From the Dashboard, click on the Re-scrub button next to the target Address book.

You’ll see the matching rules and the confidence rating for each rule. A lower confidence rating (click the video icon for information on confidence ratings) will mean more Gmail duplicate contacts removed or merged, but this might mean that some contacts might be merged or removed erroneously.

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Click Next.

2. Scrubly will check for duplicates.

After your contacts have been checked using all the matching rules specified, the program will show you a report of all the possible matching contacts you have in your address book.

For each of these possible matches, you have the option to automatically merge or remove the Gmail duplicate contacts or review them one by one.

Scrubly will also check for junk contacts or those that do not have enough useful information, such as contacts that only have an e-mail address or a phone number.

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3. Scrubly will standardize formats for phone numbers in your address book.

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Send the scrubbed address book to your Google account

After all these steps are complete, you’ll see a summary report detailing:

  • The number of contacts removed using Express Scrub and Deep Scrub, respectively.
  • The number of junk contacts removed.
  • The number of contacts changed via manual updates.
  • The number of contacts changed via social updates.
  • The number of phone numbers with changed formatting.

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Click on the numbers for more details.

Click Send Scrubbed Data to Google Account to use the clean address book with your Google Account.

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This will update your Gmail contacts and you’ll be free of Gmail duplicate contacts.

Awesome.

Restoring your old address book

If there are any problems, you can always restore your old Gmail address book via the Scrubly Dashboard.

Click on the relevant address book and look for the orange Restore Original Backup button on the right side of the screen.

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Scrubly sign-up.