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February 10, 2009

Merge Gmail Contacts

The feature is not yet automatic, so you need to find the contacts you want to merge, but it's useful if you don't have too many duplicates. Just select two or more entries for the same person, click on "Merge these contacts" and Google will combine the information from the selected contacts.

All the email addresses from the merged contacts will continue to be available in the auto-complete feature, so you'll still be able to choose one of the addresses.


Try this new feature in Gmail's contact manager.

{ via Blogoscoped Forum }

Update: To make things even more confusing, Gmail added a new view titled "All Contacts". So now you have:

* My Contacts - "a place to import, store and view all of the contact information that's important to you"
* All Contacts - "these are all of your contacts"
* Suggested Contacts - "the people you have contacted frequently"
* Most Contacted - "contacts you email and chat with the most"

The descriptions are not clear enough to distinguish between all these views and I wonder if all of them are really necessary.

39 comments:

  1. Can it auto-locate possible duplicates like Hotmail does? The feature is somewhat buried under something like "Manage Contacts" but it's quite useful.

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  2. This is very nice, BTW when "Suggested contacts" did go away?

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  3. This is one of the very best things that happened to Gmail!! But I agree that it would be nicer if Gmail could locate a duplicate entry and suggest to merge the entries automatically instead of telling us: "Error saving data: Cannot have more than one contact with email address 'example@email.com'."

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  4. Finally! How many years did google take to impliment this?

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  5. I suggest you use this with caution if you have group distribution lists that send to the same person at both home and work!

    I have a Group set up for a soccer team. For several of these people, I need to email them at both home and work email addresses. Groups are created by adding a Person/Name to your list, not a specific email address. I believe by default the email is sent to the first listed email address if there are more than one. The workaround was to create separate Contact entries for those folks, one for home and one for work.

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  6. Off topic:
    Is anyone else seeing Google Calendar at half-width in Opera recently?

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  7. Yes, I can confirm that Calendar is rendered poorly in Opera (9.63/Windows). Another problem is that I can't open Reader: Google shows the log in page, but I can't log in.

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  8. The "suggested contacts" filter went away with the introduction of "all contacts" ... Now the only way to locate the old "suggested" contacts is to go to "all contacts", select all and move them to a group (e.g. "suggested") then go to "my contacts", select all and remove from the newly created group. This way, the group "suggested" will only have the deltas between "all" and "my" ... quite a workaround :)!

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  9. Nice! Never knew this feature was available. And I need it badly! Thanks for posting.

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  10. Very interesting.

    It seems though that Jabber transport integration is -not surprisingly- not supported yet. If you merge transported contacts their non-GTalk instances can disappear from your IM contact list.

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  11. That's feature is fantatic! Thanks a lot :)

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  12. To answer the question in the post - I think the sections are very similar, but distinct. My guess is they set it up that way to address the issue of all the mailcruft that accumulates in the All Contacts - 90% of those are one-time emails (craigslist ads, etc). My Contacts is your actual, constructed Contacts List while Most Contacted is like your recommendation for what to put on My Contacts.

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  13. Finally implemented. Now, all they need to do is to allow us to turn off "auto add emails" of persons you email!

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  14. Also, the Suggested Contacts option has been removed.

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  15. "Suggested Contacts" hasn't been removed: just go to "My Contacts" and click on "View suggestions". You'll see a page that says:

    Suggested Contacts
    XX contacts

    These are the people you have contacted frequently. Select the contacts you'd like to move to My Contacts and click the "Move to My Contacts" button. If you don't want certain contacts suggested again, select them and click the "Ignore" button.

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  16. I'm not liking the disappearance of the "suggested contacts" group at all. I have 323 listed in "All Contacts" and 306 listed in "My Contacts". When I click on "View Suggestions" it says there are none. So what are the other 17 contacts? When I browse through the "All Contacts" list, I can plainly see some craigs-list addresses, so I know the suggestions are mixed in there. It seems like Google wants us to store every e-mail contact we've ever made, no matter how insignificant. I don't want that crap cluttering up my contact list. Merging = good, removing suggested category = bad.

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  17. It looks as though the view for Suggested Contacts is broken. It never shows any contacts. I've tried mulitple accounts and multiple browsers.

    I noticed this when I first setup sync or it could also have been when they rolled out merge contacts feature, both were on the same day. I really can't believe they can release stuff as badly broken as this.

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  18. Я замучился . верните строчку предлагаемые контакты.У меня в день в этой графе появляются 12-18 новых контактов. и мне их нужно разнести по группам. Раньше всё было прекрасно и великолепно.

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  19. This is a great tool and works perfectly for me. Thank you!

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  20. This is great! REALLY great! Now we need AUTO MERGE.

    Now that iPhone has Google contact sync i have 1300 contacts- many of
    which are legitimate contacts I've had since carrying my palmpilot
    many years ago, but many duplicates.

    What I need is:

    1- If two contacts have the exact same name, merge them.
    2- iPhone sync seems to have left me with a lot of entries where i
    have "Firstname Lastname" and the same "Lastname, Firstname". So I
    have in my address book "Jolie, Angelina" AND "Angelina Jolie". On
    top of this annoyance, she doesn't seem to be returning my calls.
    3- Maybe a fuzzy search with % matching capability? Hey that's a very
    tertiary request to the other two.

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  21. One thing I'd like to mention is that merging will break people's face recognition within Picasa Web Albums. Say you have A, B, and merge them into C. Photos linked to A or B will be broken and you will have to re-identify them in Picasa Web Albums.

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  22. That's cool but how do you Merge Email Items together? Let say I want to select a few emails and compose a brand new email to forward out?

    Thanks

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  23. @Kev And Charlotte
    Agreed, we do need auto merge. Could there be an auto merge contacts with the same name application that uses the contacts API? I wonder if maybe Google is afraid that some people's contacts may have the same name (first and last).

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  24. I definitely need an auto-merge or at least a find/suggest duplicates feature, as I currently have 3000+ entries in my gmail contacts.

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  25. I wrote a script to merge your Gmail contacts automatically.

    http://github.com/niran/merge-gmail-contacts/tree/master

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  26. Awsome man. I was looking into this since long. Appreciate your help on this....

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  27. my contacts show 3941. It should be closer to 400.
    Every time my palm pre and google sync. I get duplicates.This slows both of them down.

    Help!

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  28. Marco Meerman said: I've been merging all my contacts from my Yahoo, Hotmail, Gmail accounts and my mobile phone into one VCF- file.

    Then i've used this merging tool in Gmail and imported this new file into my accounts an telephone. I went from 1000+ contacts to just 500+, in just half an hour.

    Thanks for this!

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  29. Niran, you're the bomb!

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  30. The strange thing about this merge feature is sometimes it merges the wrong addresses and phone numbers. I have many contacts in my list that are now hybrids of two different people. And yes I am careful, I started investigating this and sure enough the merge feature can't be trusted it sometimes merges completely wrong records. There is a bug in this program somewhere. I can show anyone that is interested with screen shots. Paul.

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  31. another bug to be fixed is if you merge two contacts, one entry belonging to "my contacts" and the other (whose name you take) without a group, it will remove the PERSON (what's really important, anyway) from your my contacts group.

    that's a pain for folks who sync their my contacts group with their phones.

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  32. Why not sync up all contacts via Soocial.com and have exact copies of all contacts on all accounts. The use Hotmails feature of AUTO MERGE (through manage contacts and clean contacts). then sync up again trhough soocial and your gmail contacts are properly auto merged.

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  33. There really should be an option to individually add email addresses in a merged contact to groups

    In my case, I have contacts merged with co-contacts to appear in one module when I sync with my address book. The merged contact is included in a group for my monthly email, but when I add the group to the recipient field, gmail only adds the first email address of the merged contact. I need both or more to be included in the group. :(

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  34. Very crappy. Associates many contacts as duplicates that have nothing obvious in common. Messed me up big time when I used it from Android. tried it in gMail and it is still a mess.

    DON'T USE THIS FEATURE!

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  35. Hi, All Contacts, Suggested Contacts and Most Contacted are a total pain in the neck. I want to turn the whole damn lot off. I want one (1) contacts folder. These functions play havoc with my synchronized contacts folders on my phone and email client. Every day one or other goes missing because Gmail decided to move it. Don't complicate life make it simpler.

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  36. How do I merge Contacts with different names but same email addresses?

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  37. The manual merge will not work if your contact list spans more than one page. It's impossible to select contacts if they are on different pages.

    :(

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