1 2 Previous Next 19 Replies Latest reply: Feb 10, 2014 11:59 AM by Virginia Bruce
Brad12887 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

So I noticed on my iPhone it duplicated all my contacts when I created iCloud and asked it to sync contacts.  I want it to sync contacts, but I don't want it to duplicate everything!


Any suggestions besides turn off contact syncing?

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • 1. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    Brad12887 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I guess what's happening is because I have contacts on device 1, it syncs those to the cloud, I have those same contacts on device 2, and it syncs it to the cloud.  Device 3, and it syncs it to the cloud.  So it has put three of each contact into the cloud.  Then it sends it from the cloud back to all my devices.  I need it to stop sending the duplicates.

  • 2. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    Brad12887 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Wow, I fixed it.  Ok here is how I did it.


    I left contact syncing enabled on both my MBP and my iMac.  I went into the address book on my MBP and clicked Card > Look for Duplicates it found all the duplicates and I clicked Merge.  After doing that, I was going to do the same on my iMac, but once I brought up the address book in iMac it automatically deleted the duplicates since I had done it on the MBP and they are set to sync.  I then checked my iPhone and the duplicates were gone from there as well.


    Not very user friendly.

  • 3. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    Jacjac Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I am totally confused with this iCloud and Device syncing.  I thought I was quite Tech Sav..but I must be missing something and being a bit thick!


    I upgraded to Lion yesterday...no problems but..


    ...the Address Book now has duplicates of all my contacts.

    I ran the Cards > Look for duplicate and Merged...still they are all there.

    I clicked the red TAG with, Two Figures in, and that showed me my Smart Groups and Addres Cooks.  There is one for 'On My Mac' and one for 'iCloud'


    So which one should I be using?  They are both silghtly different?


    Also my Smart Groups duplicate the entries as there are now TWO address books so everything is double up there too.


    If I change a contact on my iPad, or iPhone it IS reflected fairly quickly in the 'iCloud' address book but NOT in the 'On My Mac' one.


    What to do?  Can someone explain how to use iCloud? 




    Cheers all!

  • 4. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    Waynejd Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    A different fix!


    Contacts were fine in the cloud, on my phone and on my iPad but they were duplicated and some triplicates on my Mac.

    Tried looking for duplicates but that didn't work for me - none found. Tried to merge the duplicates one card at a time and got "can't merge because the cards come from different accounts".  Checking under groups I had "all accounts" selected. Switched to view "iCloud" group only and that seems to have worked, devices, cloud and Mac all seem to now show the same. Hope that helps!

  • 5. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    Louis Melledy Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    This was my issue.  I didn't realize I was looking at both my mac contacts and my icloud contacts.  But are they the same.  Are my mac contacts and icloud contacts always going to be synced?

  • 6. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    Dave Marsh Level 2 Level 2 (325 points)

    Here's the thing, iCloud has to have a clean master to use, so you need to spend some effort up front to make sure it is.


    With MobileMe, I had the opportunity to sync both wirelessly with MobileMe's calendar, and with whatever calendar was in use on my Mac whenever it was plugged in for syncing.  It was IMPORTANT to UNCHECK the sync calendar events when connected via USB option, or iOS would read whatever was up on the MobileMe server and display that result, PLUS the iOS device would display whatever calendar events it had updated when it was connected via USB.  The result was apparent duplicates, since both the wired and USB synced calendars were displayed.  The same was true for Address Book items.  So, one or the other option had to be selected, not both.


    Now, with iCloud, that server calendar/address book is now the master.  Your iOS devices simply display whatever is there.  So, you MUST make sure the iCloud items are correct.  Then, when they are, turn off iCloud syncing on your iOS devices, then turn iCloud syncing back on.  At this point, you get the Merge/Replace option.  I'd bite the bullet and choose the option to delete whatever is on your iOS device, and REPLACE it with contents of the iCloud server.  I'd do the same on your desktop computers.  After that, the server ambiguities go away, and all should be well.


    Of course, be sure to back up your contacts, calendars individually, so you have a means to add disconnects back to the iCloud server if something goes awry!


    Good Luck!

  • 7. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    Mazeman Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)

    Ahh.. Problem solved!!

  • 8. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    petero221 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I found a simple fix to my problem with Address Book. My iPhone and iPad had the right [single] set of addresses, whereas my iMac had several duplicates of [almost] every address. First step was to do the "look for duplicates" under "card", and let it merge those that it could. This left me with [only] two duplicates for each! When I tried to highlight two seemingly identical cards and select "merge selected cards" under the card menu, it said "duplicate addresses in address book cannot be merged because they are from different accounts".

    Unfortunately it wasn't always the first or the second of the pair - it was randomly one or the other, so I couldn't cleverly delete each second card. I to did a small experiment discover which of each pair was the right one by editing them slightly differently and seeing which came up on the iPhone. Seems the wrong ones were in the Myname/Library/Application Support/Address Book/Metadata folder, and the correct ones in Myname/Library/Application Support/Address Book/Sources... folder. [Note that the Library folder is hidden generally]. Deleting the Metadata folder didn't fix the problem since the duplicates [and the folder] came back when I quit and restarted the address book.

    Simple solution!!! I went into Address Book Preferences/Accounts, and selecting iCloud, I unchecked "Enable this account". Now there was only one set of addresses on the iMac [the "wrong" set], whereas the iPhone still happily had the correct set from the iCloud; so I bravely selected all the addresses on my iMac and deleted...then re-checked the "Enable this Account" box within the preferences, and hey presto, the set that was in the iCloud (and on the iPad and iPhone) came back - now i only have single entries for everything!!! YAY! I've quit the app etc etc and it seems now it isn't messing up. (And the Myname/Library/Application Support/Address Book/Metadata.. folder is all but empty, whereas before it had heaps of files within, corresponding, I assume, to each address).

    Hope this helps.

  • 9. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    Tif Level 2 Level 2 (250 points)

    Hey!  I have the same problem.  Duplicates of (almost) all entries in my MAC.  No duplicates in the ipad.  

    I have tried getting off the cloud, erasing and syncing again, but when I do ... all the duplicates show up again!

    Any ideas?  Thank you.

    I am also syncing a Blackberry.   The funny thing is that the blackberry seems to recognize only the "non icloud" contacts...

  • 10. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    Mazeman Level 2 Level 2 (345 points)

    The "Correct Answer" that was added to the original post worked for me.

  • 11. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    benbischoff Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)

    Worked a treat.


  • 12. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    thesmiths2 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Bless your little heart!  OOPS... It worked on a whole lot of the contacts, but not all of them. I searched for duplicates a few more times, it found a few more, but not all of them. What is going on? So frustrating!!!

  • 13. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    plasmo Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)

    I suggest you delete all the 'mac contacts' so you do not get confused between the 2 sets.

    Use the 'iCloud contacts' because these contacts will always be set to sync between your devices

  • 14. Re: iCloud creating duplicate contacts
    williamfromsnoqualmie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    none of these are working at all


    i am very familiar with syncing, this is all of the sudden, not working, it was fine since the release, but today i had duplicates and triplicates and they will not merge, and if i delete one of the three, they all disapear! ***! I am screwed! What is going on!

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