This happened to me this week also, after I decided to turn contacts "on" for my Hotmail account on my iPhone. After I noticed the "linked" cards I turned contacts "off" for the hotmail account and then the duplicates disappeared (it gives you a warning asking if you want to delete all "exchange" contacts, which was a little scary; I I thought it would delete ALL my contacts, but I said "Delete Contacts" and my old contacts were still ther).
What is confusing is that on my iPhone, I have two accounts, my MobileMe and an IMAP acount for work, and the IMAP account has no option for contacts, so as far as I can tell, there is only one place where my contacts should be coming from and that is MobileMe! So why do I have linked cards?!?!?!?!?
I wonder if this issue has to do with certain apps duplicating the iPhone contacts?
I have the Viber app installed and I can visually see each contact appearing twice on the Contacts list, but iPhone's contact app doesn't have this issue since it combines the duplicate contacts into "linked cards" even though one is them is "Unknown"
just out of curiosity, do you have "TalkBox" installed on your iphone too? I wonder if any of these other apps could have caused this?
I am having the same problem:
Following a Microsoft Critical Update for Word for MAC, Outlook suddenly decided to sync its old contacts with my address book and mobile me. Long story, but i've fixed that, but now:
> I have duplicate contacts on iphone
> If i disable sync to mobile me, I am left with all the contacts still (single entries)
> the "iphone" contacts is empty, and I cannot locate these entries anywhere
> When sync back ON to mobile me, entries are again duplicated, and linked (UNIFIED) to the contact in the 'UNKNOWN' database.
What is 'unknown'? How can I find its contents and bulk delete. I can only edit each entry one by one, go into the 'unknown' linked entry and delete it, then do the same for the rest. 1076 to go... FUN!
How come Apple cannot answer this?
FIXED IT!!! It occurred to me to switch off ALL accounts syncing contacts, to leave only these erroneous hidden duplicates on the phone.
Then I went to the iphone app store, downloaded (for 69p) an app called Cleanup. It found 100% of my erroneous entries which are not visible using native apps.
I selected "select all > delete", and bingo! All gone.
I have switched mobileme sync back on, and problem resolved.... I thank you!
CJPocoLoco, you're genius!!
Your method FINALLY fixed this mysterious Linked/Unknown cards issue on my iPhone, while Apple stays silent this whole time!!!
Even though it costs $0.99 with the "CleanUp" app, but I think it's worth it. Having said that, Apple still shouldn't have created this problem to begin with!!!!
Thanks! They should pay me. I agree, not a single response from an Apple "Genius" on any of these posts. Several people having this problem too. Seems there is a corruption somewhere on the iPhone's Address book database.
How can I get credited 10 points for fixing this? Does someone have to click on something to acknowledge me as the solution provider?
Hey CJPocoLoco, THANK YOU for this tip!
I thought it was just a plug to buy the app, but it worked flawlessly for me!
I clicked on your reply for being the "Correct Answer" but I accidentally selected the wrong one, so your last reply is what shows near the top. I dunno how to change that so that they see the reply with the app name in it. But I am sure peopel will read through it
But you still get the 10 points!
Thanks so much for letting us know about the app!
Your procedure and the CleanUp app by Wim de Nood fixed the "linked card" problem for me, too.
I just transitioned my MobileMe account to iCloud. My Contacts were correct on iCloud.com, but I had lots of "linked card" duplicates in Contacts on my new iPhone 4S.
The Contacts app was empty after I used Settings to turn iCloud Contacts to Off and deleted the iCloud contacts from the phone by choosing "Delete from My iPhone". I restarted the phone, after deleting the contacts and deleting Contacts from the Multitasking menu.
The CleanUp app found over 500 entries in the corrupted contacts database. The Contacts app could not see those entries. The invisible contacts were the cause of the "linked cards" problem. I used the CleanUp app to delete all the "invisible" entries. Now the contacts database on the phone was truely empty.
Finally, I used Settings to turn iCloud Contacts to ON. It took a few minutes for all contacts to be restored from the cloud. And now, No More Linked Cards!
No more duplicate birthdays in the Occasions app, now that the duplicate "linked card" contacts are gone.
Thank You for sharing your successful solution!