Today, MS Outlook is widely used as a collaborative emailing platform. With various advancements in MS Outlook from time to time, a user often prefers the latest version. There is more than one reason for keeping the latest version of MS Outlook. However, a user can also prefer using an older version of Outlook depending upon their needs and requirements.
In the recent past, MS Outlook 2010 and 2013 are the most preferred client applications. In addition to supporting all the features present in the older versions of the application, MS Outlook 2010 and 2013 provide various tools, which have proven to be very handy. In order to experience the best from the tool, one needs to be technically sound. Lack of proper knowledge about the latest version of the MS Outlook application has left many features unexplored.
Since Outlook can be used for various purposes including managing of contacts there are various challenges as well, while working with the MS Outlook application. Outlook provides an interactive user interface to carry out various functions. For example, in order to automatically add a contact in MS Outlook, one can easily drag the message to the ‘Contacts’ folder. However, such actions can often create a duplicate entry in the ‘Contacts’ folder. Even if a person uses a different email address to send you a message, and you have performed the same step to add the contact, this also can lead to a duplicate entry in the ‘Contacts’ folder. However, there are many different ways in which a duplicate contact are created. Some of them are discussed below.
- While synchronizing Outlook with any social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. or with any mobile device like a laptop.
- If the Exchange Server of your company has many address books.
However, such problem can be prevented in the future by making use of the Outlook duplicate contact detector feature present in MS Outlook 2010 and 2013.
You need to follow the below mentioned steps to do so.
- Go to the ‘File’ tab
- Under ‘Options’, click ‘Contacts.
- Look for ‘Names and filing’ section.
- Tick the checkbox which says “Check for Duplicate Contacts When Saving New Contacts”
- Click OK
The above mentioned steps will prevent adding a duplicate contact in the Contacts folder of MS Outlook 2010 and 2013. However, if it finds any duplicate contact it would rather ask you whether you want to merge the contacts or not.
Merging two contacts in MS Outlook 2010 and 2013 is very simple. However, there are different ways of merging duplicate contacts. Some of them can be used from MS Outlook 2010 and 2013 itself.
In order to merge duplicate contacts in MS Outlook 2010 and 2013, you need to follow the below mentioned steps.
- Go to Outlook Contacts.
- Right-click on the current Contacts folder.
- Choose New Folder to create a new Contacts folder.
- Rename the folder with a suitable name.
- Select all the contacts from the current Contacts folder.
- Move all the selected Outlook contacts to this newly created folder. (This can also be done using the shortcut keys of the keyboard)
- Open the Import and Export wizard.
- Use the Export option to move all the contacts to a CSV file format.
- For MS Outlook 2010 and 2013, you need to choose the Import option from File->Open. Whereas for MS Outlook 2007 and 2003, you need to go to File->Import and Export.
- Once done, you can then import the contacts to the default Contacts folder.
- Now, merge the contacts from the main Contacts folder with the contacts in the Merge dupes folder.
- Once merged, the move all the contacts from the main Contacts folder to the Merge dupes folder. It is advised to use the keyboard shortcuts to move the contacts from the main Contacts folder to the Merge dupes folder.
- While moving, if any duplicate contacts are detected, then Outlook displays a message suggesting that what needs to be done.
- There are various options available to choose from. You can choose any of the below mentioned choices.
- Update – Choose this option if you want to merge the duplicate contacts.
- Add new contact – Choose this option in case the contacts are different.
- Update All- Choose this option to quickly update all the duplicate contacts.
- Skip – Choose this option for later review. However, this would not move any contacts.
However, there is one more option provided in MS Outlook 2013 to merge duplicate contacts. The “Link Contacts” option is quick and reliable option to merge different contact information of a person in MS Outlook 2013.
Also Read – 5 Outlook troubleshooting tips for Outlook users
Another other way of merging two duplicate contacts in MS Outlook 2010 and 2013 is by making use of Gmail. Today, almost everyone has a Gmail account. Gmail can be used for many purposes including merging two duplicate Outlook contacts. The process is slightly different from the one mentioned before.
In order to merge two duplicate Outlook contacts using Gmail, you need to follow the below mentioned steps.
1. Use a CSV file to export all your Outlook Contacts in it.
2. Import the CSV file which has all the Outlook contacts to your Gmail account.
3. Merge the duplicate contacts by making use for the “Find and merge duplicates” option of the Gmail.
4. Import back the deduped contacts to MS Outlook 2010 or 2013.
The above mentioned solutions are more likely to resolve the issue of duplicate contacts in MS Outlook 2010 and 2013. However, such solutions are not always successful. There are times, when these options do not work.
This article is written by Yogita Aggarwal, an avid tech blogger. These days she is doing research on Email Converter Tools.