Ok here is the solution I have come to. I am using Office 365 Exchange contacts, email, tasks and calendar. Duplicated contacts resulted when I was sync with iCloud contacts turned on. I am using Windows Office 2010 on Vista, Office 2011 for Mac on MacBook Air, iPad 3 and iPhone 4S. I experimented first by migrating all Exchange contacts over to iCloud and turning off Office 365 Exchange Contacts. No duplicates occurred over week period. I then migrated contacts back to Office 365 Exchange Contacts and turned off iCloud contacts (on above Apple devices). No duplicates. So the solution is simple...the Microsoft 365 Exchange Server and iCloud Server cannot sync contacts. You have to use one or the other. My suspicion is due to field mapping during the sync process. Obviously when I was using the iCloud contacts server I could not use Outlook on Windows or Outlook on Mac.
I hope this helps.
Milestone Financial Corporation
I never turned on the icloud syncing of any of my exhange items because I was leary that it could really keep those synced without duplicating because I use to a have a Palm Pilot in the old days. I believe the common denominator is office 365, contacts over say 1000, and modfying them on the ios device.
I think he disagrees that the nature of your duplicate problem was the same as what most of us in this thread are experiencing and I would tend to agree that it sounds a little different. Were all contacts duplicated for you or just certain random ones like us? And were contacts doubled or tripled or more like ours? Do your duplicates show right away or grow over time?
In my 2 clients with this problem icloud contact sync was never turned on. However perhaps turning it on and then off would help, you never know, I might try that as there is really nothing else to try at this point.
I did hear back from my second client and she also has a large number of contacts, 1500+, and she also has duplicates. She hadn't mentioned it until I asked her so it probably isn't that bad, though she has a higher threshold for that kind of problem. I'm hoping to get my hands on her phone today.
Interesting comment of yours regarding modifyication contributing. So, you are saying that if you change a contact on the ios device that duplicates show up right away? I actually haven't tried this but that would be an interesting test. I feel like based on what I have seen in the past that there were for too many contacts with dupes that this couldn't have been the explanation as the user did not modify much on the phone.
I don't have either of the offending devices available to me so I won't be able to test that for a while. Not sure that will allow us to find a solution, but perhaps it will help Apple figure something out.
The one day, I WATCHED it duplicate my contacts on the iPad2 (which is over a year old). I was sitting on the coach thinking ahh... good time to clean up these duplicates. I was deleting away and when I was working on one that was duplicated 8x, I got into a couple of the deletes and I then saw it multiply on the screen, I ended up with 12x, it was like the screen flashed a few times and then next thing I knew I had 12 of them! BUT I can not reproduce it on demand. I am going to work on this this weekend in trying to test more.
I increased my contacts on friday to 901 contacts and as of Sunday at noon, I did not have any duplicates. I even did some modifying in the contacts on my iPhone4s. I just added 100+ contacts to now have 1017 contacts. I am going to let them auto populate to my phone and do some mods tonight, so I will let you know if I have duplicates tomorrow.
Does anybody know if Apple is analyzing this issue, I haven't seen any reply from their side jet.
I have same problem overhere; MS 365 and 1500+ contacts, trying to manualy delete with Iphone but kept duplicating more and more.
I have 5.1.1 installed today and will start all over again, does that solved the problem... I think I have read somewhere problem continues.
Isn't it a problem (also) at the side of MS 365, while I don't hear much normal Exchange server people complaining, while I think there are much more aof those email accounts around the globe. Microsoft has made an official statement that Apple is solving the problem (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2711181) but as I said before I can't find any evidence on that....
Thanks for your help/reply, GeeLau
I'm not sure that the MIcrosoft article you cited describes the exact problem that most of as are having. It says the duplicates sync back to the exchange server, when in my case, and I think in most others in this thread, the duplicates onle exist in the ipad/iphone.
Did you have any luck with your latest attempt?
I added some more contacts to take me to 1017 and have run for a week and no duplicates. I just added the remaining ones today so I am 1091. I just noticed a duplicate so I figured it was one I missed. I removed it and now both are gone. grrrr.... I guess this is there reason you keep business cards. So I have added it back in. We will see what the day brings. I think I am going to grab a backup of my contacts now that I have it cleaned up!
We see something else going on here. We have seen this problem for 1 user for months now. Of course, it is the owner of the company - and he is ready to kill someone over this. (me for starters). Single email account setup on this device. Exchange/Office365. No iCloud (Except findmyiPhone), no other accounts..
It appears to occur when using the contact 'search' funtion in the contact app or phone app on the iphone (or ipad, I believe)
1) User uses contact search funtion by typing text into the search field This works most of the time.
2) Periodically, the search function sort of locks up - and instantly - the phone starts downloading - what looks like and entirely new set of duplicate contacts from the server.
3) Duplicates are not created on the server (so far). They appear on the mobile device only.
4) Disabling the account on the phone, or simply turning off contacts and 'deleting' them on the phone and then turning contact sync on again resolves it temporarily. When the search function crashes again, the same thing (dupes/trips) happens again.
5) deleting the device and adding the account from Office365 and removing the accont on the iphone and setting it up again of course fixes it temporarily. When the problem is encountered within the contact search function again... the same thing happens. again.
We have wiped the phone before and it again fixes it temporarily. The contact search function - seems to me.. can trigger this at any time.
1900 contacts or so for this user, in a couple different 'groups'. I thought groups may have something to do with it (including 'suggested contacts' from Outlook 2010) but I am not convinced of this. It is almost like the contact app is having a soft crash (not closing)... getting confused... and assumes it needs to re-download everything at some points... and it is triggered by searchng contacts. Not 'almost'.. I have watched this happen while using the device: as you are searching the phone suddenly starts downloading all contacts a seccond time. Seaching contact from within the phone app, or seaching for contacts withing the contacts app.
We may wipe the phone again today, but I am pretty sure this does not fix it. I am beginning to suspect that it is a contact sync problem triggered by searching on the device - which somehow breaks or fails or errors out. Removing/Re-adding the device from 'office365' really does not remedy it either.. besides seeming to be a temporary fix until it suddenly breaks again.
I believe it happens on the iPad too, which is wierd because it seems to me the ipad contact app is very different... but perhaps the 'searching' and 'contact sync' functions are the same.
can anyone confirm this behavior?
I would agree! it is like a soft crash or confusion in the contact app of the sync after a search! I am at 1091 contacts and it has not done this yet for me yet today. I am going to do some more searching on it tonight and see if I can get it to duplicate. It appears that the magic number of contacts greater than 1091 to 1300 might be the key, if you have contacts less than this majic number then you dont experience this problem.
I was having the same issue - duplicating contacts on my iPad, but it only seemed to happen "some of the time". I couldn't figure out what the "trigger" was. After reading your post, I checked to see if the duplication was triggered by using the contact search function - and it was. So it would appear that the duplication for me is caused also by using the contact search function. So now what? It would appear that MS is saying it is an Apple problem - does anyone know if Apple is looking into it?