I recently decided to sign up for Plaxo (still don’t know if that was a good idea). Plaxo is yet another social networking site that will take you away from doing real work :). After signing up, you can then sync your Outlook address book with the on-line Plaxo address book to have ‘in-the-cloud’ access anywhere. So I chose to do this and then when I went back to my Outlook contacts, wa la, I had two of everybody in there. Great.
Of course, I googled my problem and after sifting through many results, I found the below which worked like a charm. Credit goes to Tech Recipes for this great tip. To summarize the tip, what you will do to eliminate the duplicates is to add a date column in your Outlook contacts and then you’ll sort by date to easily separate the duplicates.
1. Open your Outlook contacts
2. Click View, mouseover Current View and select Phone List. This will create a list of all of your contacts in a column based view.
3. Right-click a column header and select Field Chooser from the resulting menu.
4. In the Field Chooser box, use the dropdown and select All Contact fields.
5. Select Created.
6. Drag Created to the Column Headers to add it to the list. Close the Field Chooser box.
7. Now click on the newly added column header (Created). This will sort all of your items by the date that they were added to your Contacts.
8. Scroll down to the first contact in the list that is to be deleted and select it.
9. Scroll down to the last contact that is to be deleted. Hold down the Shift key and select this contact. This will highlight all of the contacts that you are going to remove.
10. Press the Delete key. The duplicate contacts will be removed.
11. Click View, mouseover Current View and select the view you normally use for your contacts (such as Business Cards).
12. Your Contacts should not display any duplicates.
This is a great solution for those times when you get a new device and something goes wrong with your contacts. Another way to fix the duplicate problem is to export all your contacts to a .csv file and open it in excel. Then, simply sort by name and delete the duplicates. I find this method helpful when I have several of the same contacts, but with different information. It’s easier to choose which one to keep when looking in excel (at least for me). Good luck!