Need help with contact clean-up


Feb 8, 2013
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My mom recently got an S6 (AT&T build, Lollipop 5.1.1) and her contacts are a mess. I'm not sure how they got this way, but they weren't very organized in her old phone and when AT&T transferred everything over, it got even worse. She has hundreds of contacts that are split into 3 or 4 different contacts, phone number, email, skype, etc. I am trying to get this cleaned up for her without her having to manually delete/edit the 1000+ contacts that are there now. I am an Android user but the Samsung UI is very different than what I'm used to.

Under "Contacts>More" I have tried "Merge Contacts" but I only get a screen that says "no duplicate contacts" and it doesn't offer to merge anything. I'm not sure what's going on because she has multiple contacts by the same exact name....there should be no problem with the device getting confused by varying or misspelled names. I have also tried to use "link contact" within a contact's screen and then link it with the other contacts by that name. It tells me the contacts are linked, but then in the main contact list, those names are still separate and split into 3/4 contacts.

I thought about using gmail (web-based) to try and merge the contacts, but although she has a gmail account synced to the phone, her gmail account says she has no contacts. I assume that's because all the contacts on her phone say "Device" instead of "google" and so gmail hasn't synced with any of her contacts. However, I don't see a way to change her device contact to a google contact. In my phone you just edit the contact and it gives you the option to change from "phone" to "google," but I don't see a way to do that when I edit her contacts in the S6. Surely there must be a way to change that, but I haven't found it.

Her primary email account is an Outlook (hotmail) account, and ideally I'd like to have her contacts synced between the s6 and Outlook, the same way my contacts sync with my gmail account. I don't know if this is possible, but any info is appreciated. I read that new contacts could be saved as outlook contacts, but although she has her outlook account synced to the s6, it doesn't give me the option to even save a new contact as an outlook contact, let alone change an existing device contact to outlook. I guess I'd be happy enough if I could just sync her contacts to gmail if gmail could merge them for me (gmail was great for that when my phone missed a few merges). I think outlook could probably effectively merge her contacts also, but I don't even know if the s6 can sync contacts both ways with outlook the way androids can with gmail.

Sorry for the length, I'm trying to be as clear as possible. A quick google search and reading through a few articles hasn't given me any help. Thanks.


Well-known member
May 5, 2010
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I would first get a good set of contacts in either outlook or g mail. g mail can get rid of duplicated ones.
so you would have clean them up first. and from there just delete all in the other app and then import to one or the other.
so say you were to use outlook i would get a good list from g mail by getting rid of duplicated ones and import them to outlook

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