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This is probably not the first time you have found yourself managing your contacts and I am sure you have already experienced a particularly common problem: duplicate contacts in your address book. Don’t you wish you had your aunt’s number three times in a row? This article will show you how to synchronize contacts on Android and how to eliminate duplicate contacts.

  • How do I backup and transfer to Android?

Quick access:

  • First Steps
  • How to sync contacts on Android?
  • How do you import your contacts to a new device?
  • How to delete duplicate contacts on Android

First steps

When you have a new device in your hands, whether it’s a smartphone or a tablet, it’s essential to configure it before you can take full advantage of its capabilities. Each device offers hardware and features that vary depending on the manufacturer’s brand and model, but all Android devices have a more or less similar procedure :

  • How to set up your Android tablet or smartphone for the first time

Now that you’ve set up your new Android, just keep reading to find out how to better manage and sync your contacts on Android.

How do I sync contacts on Android?

Synchronizing your own contacts is important to always have your Android address book updated and not to lose the phone numbers and email addresses of friends and colleagues after getting root permissions, updating your smartphone or simply misplacing it. During the setup of the new smartphone, you created or associated a Google Account with your device. In this way, thanks to synchronization, all changes will be updated on the device as well as online. 

To synchronize your contacts, you have no choice but to go to the Settings menu on your device and click Accounts. You will find a list of all applications that can be synchronized : Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Twitter, WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. Select the application dedicated to your Google Account, choose the account you need to sync, and shake the page to sync the contacts.

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Here’s how to synchronize your contacts. © AndroidPIT

How do you import your contacts to a new device?

If your contacts are synchronized with Google, all you have to do is sign in with your Google Account on the device. If this is not the case, the best way to import your contacts from the old to the new Android device is to access the old device settings. Click on Import/Export and copy all contacts to the SIM card. Once the SIM card is inserted into the new device, go to the previous menu to export your contacts or, better yet, to your Google Account. That way, you’re sure to always have them available even if you misplace your smartphone.

  • How to find a stolen or lost smartphone? 

However, the situation becomes more complicated if the new smartphone supports a different sized SIM card (e.g. nano). In this case, you can count on :

  • Bluetooth
  • Direct WiFi (caution, not all devices support this feature)
  • PC

Before connecting the device to your PC, export your contacts from your old device as a vCard file (VCF). It is a file format that collects data such as names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses and other similar information that can be imported to other devices or directly to your e-mail service. Simply transfer the .VCF file to the new smartphone and import it from the contacts application.

How to delete duplicate contacts on Android

How many times have you sent a text message to a friend to tell them the name of the pizza place or the location of a meeting without getting a reply before you realized that you sent the message to an old number? The culprit? Duplicate contacts! Fortunately, Android offers several solutions to the problem.

  • The best instant messaging apps on Android

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Remove duplicate contacts on Android. © AndroidPIT

1. Manually from contacts

Access the Address Book and press and hold the contact you want to delete for a few seconds. Once the menu appears, click Delete. You can also go to the Contacts setup menu and click Organize Contacts > Merge Duplicate Contacts.

2. From your PC by accessing your Gmail account

From your PC, you can delete duplicate contacts from your address book by opening Gmail and clicking on the contacts that appear in the drop-down menu in the top right corner. Then click Other and Search and merge duplicates and Google will show you contacts with common names or phone numbers. You can then decide whether to delete them or merge them into a single element.

3. With a dedicated app

If neither of the above methods convince you, you can always open the Google Play Store and download a dedicated application such as Duplicate Contacts or Contact Optimizer. These are two easy-to-use apps that let you browse through your contacts by providing a list of duplicate contacts. Then it’s up to you to decide whether or not to eliminate them.

Another application worth mentioning is Phone Clone. This service allows you to transfer not only contacts, but also video, photos, messages and applications from one Huawei device to another. I used it to transfer my data from P9 to a Mate 9 and it worked perfectly.

Do you use other applications to locate and list duplicate contacts in your address book?