5 Tips to Avoid Duplicate Outlook Contacts

Block print of keys with Do Not Duplicate

While Scrubly is the best way to get rid of duplicate Outlook contacts, the best approach is to not get duplicate contacts at all.

We at Scrubly want you to be your most productive and get the most out of your Outlook contacts list. So even though we think Scrubly is pretty awesome, we don’t mind sharing some tips to stop duplicates before they start.

There are some common causes of duplicate Outlook contacts. Check out the tips below to avoid duplicate contacts in Outlook for the PC.

RELATED: How to Get Rid of Outlook Duplicate Contacts with Scrubly

1. Search Before Adding

The simplest approach to avoid duplicate Outlook contacts is to never add them in the first place. This means you should do a quick search of your contacts before adding anyone new to them.

Do a quick search by first name as well as last name to see if any duplicates pop up. If they do, just add the new information to the existing contact. This shouldn’t take more than a few extra seconds before adding a new contact and will make sure you’re only adding the contacts you need.

2. New Email Address From Old Contact

As people change jobs and interests, their email addresses change. That means when your friends change jobs, their email addresses change, too. It’s easy to add them as a new contact when you get an email from them, but instead take the time to add their new address to an existing contact and remove the old one.

Pens in pen holder and embroidery reading Home Sweet Cubicle

By making sure to remove the old account and adding the new one in its place, you can be sure you always have the most up-to-date information for your contacts.

SEE ALSO: How to Use Scrubly to Delete Duplicate iPhone Contacts

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

3. That Syncing Feeling

Sync services are great, but they can turn on you in an instant. If you use more than one sync service at a time, you can open yourself up to duplicates as each service tries to match the other.

It’s smart to use only one sync service at a time to make sure you’re only syncing your Outlook contacts once. Be careful how contacts sync to services like iCloud and Skype, especially when you’re using an Exchange server for your email provider.

4. Merging of Contact Lists

Let’s say you leave one email service for another that you’re already using. It’s a good idea to export your contact list from the old provider and import it into your new account. This helps make sure you don’t lose a contact in the mix, but if you’re already using the new account, this import can cause duplicates.

Microsoft Outlook Address Book window

Before you export your contacts from the old service, do yourself a favor and clean them up first.

Remove any contacts that you don’t need anymore and fix any errant information. This will make sure you’re bringing only the contacts you need over to your new account – and not the junk you’ve accumulated over years at the old service.

SEE ALSO: 7 of the Best Google Drive Features You Should Be Using Right Now

5. Multiple Address Books

This is the doozy that’ll get you every time. If you use multiple address books across a few email accounts, it’s easy to view multiples in your contact list. Since no contact list lives alone with only individual contacts in it, you’re bound to see a few duplicates.

Multiple contact lists in Microsoft Outlook

This one is hard to avoid. But it will help if you keep your contact syncing to (ideally) one email account and try not to sync contacts in Outlook with multiple accounts. Also, if you must sync contacts from a few different email accounts, try only selecting that specific contact list in the sidebar of Outlook.

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