If you have imported contacts into Outlook using the same names or email addresses as ones that already exist in your Contacts folder, and you selected the Allow duplicates to be created option in the Import and Export Wizard, you might have unwanted duplicate contacts of several or all of the contacts that you imported.
Note This article is for Outlook 2003. For other Outlook releases, see Resolve or delete duplicate contacts (Outlook 2007) or Resolve or delete duplicate contacts (Outlook 2010).
Removing the unwanted duplicate contacts is a manual process, but the following is the easiest way to do it.
- In Contacts, select the contacts folder where there are duplicate contacts.
- In the Navigation Pane (Navigation Pane: The column on the left side of the Outlook window that includes buttons for the Mail, Calendar, and Tasks views and the folders within each view. Click a folder to show the items in the folder.), under Current View, click Phone List.This gives you the best view to scan your contacts list and see the duplicate contacts. Now you can sort the list by modified date to group the duplicates together.
- On the View menu, point to Arrange By, then point to Current View, and then click Customize Current View.
- Click Fields, and in the Available Fields list, click Modified, and then click Add.
- Click Move Up until Modified is at the top of the Show these fields in this order list.
- Click OK twice.
- In the list of contacts, press CTRL while you click each duplicate contact.
- When you have selected all the duplicate contacts, press DELETE.
- If you do not want duplicate contacts when you import contacts into Outlook, select the Do not import duplicates option or the Replace duplicates with items imported option in the Import and Export Wizard.
- If you save a recipient's contact information with the same name or email address as one that already exists in your Contacts folder, Outlook displays a dialog box that allows you to do one of the following:
- Add the new contact.
- Update your existing contact with the new information from the new contact.
For more information, see resolve duplicate contacts.