Go Back   The macosxhints Forums > iHardware Devices > iPhone Info Center



Reply
 
Thread Tools Rating: Thread Rating: 75 votes, 4.95 average. Display Modes
Old 01-25-2010, 07:48 PM   #1
tji
Triple-A Player
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Mountain View, CA
Posts: 183
How I solved my iPhone/MobileMe duplicate contacts & calendars

I recently ran into the 'duplicate entries in iPhone using mobileme sync' problem, and searched for a solution. I found a lot of people reporting the same problem, but no clear solution. Even worse, after trying a few recommendations I found here and elsewhere, even more problems were created.. I now had more than two copies of each on Mobile Me and/or my iPhone. The sync mechanism seemed to easily get confused and re-sync when I didn't want, or try to delete wanted entries when I was clearing duplicates.

My issue started when I subscribed to Mobile Me in order to more easily synchronize my calendar and contact entries. Since I had been using my iPhone for a long time without Mobile Me, I already had all my calendars and contacts synchronized via iTunes. When I added Mobile Me into the mix, it created duplicates for everything (which was surprising.. I would think this would be a common usage scenario).

After some manual cleaning and restoration, I have it worked out. So, I'll post my process here. It can be summarized as: Back it up; Flush it out; Restore.
  1. Make sure your iPhone Settings in iTunes have Address Book and Contacts synchronization disabled. It will sync via Mobile Me, so you don't need to have it sync via iTunes too.

  2. Make a backup of your Calendars and Address Book. This is very easy.. in Address Book it's File->Export->Address Book Archive
    in iCal it's File->Export->iCal Archive

    (This assumes your Mac calendar/contacts don't have duplicates. If they do, you'll want to clean them out first to get a pristine backup. My Address Book was okay, because I didn't let it sync and create duplicates. But, I had to manually delete the duplicates of each calendar).

  3. Turn Off Mobile Me Sync. In System Preferences-> MobileMe->Sync disable the "Synchronize with MobileMe" option at the top.

    Also, when in that area, go into the "Advanced" settings and set the "show alert" level to something low like 5% or 25% so you are asked for approval when MobileMe is trying to make major changes.

  4. Log into the MobileMe WWW site, and delete ALL calendar and Address Book entries there. In Address Book this is easy, select the first one, scroll down, hold shift and select the last one, then select Delete. In Calendar it's a bit less obvious.. select each calendar in the list on the left, then click the little gear icon at the top right/middle of the page and choose delete. Repeat for all calendars.

    At the end of this process, all your calendar and contacts entries should be gone.

  5. Go back into MobileMe settings on your Mac and re-enable the "Synchronize with MobileMe" option. It may/should warn you that it's deleting many entries. Approve it for both iCal and Address Book, and when it finishes now your Mac's iCal and Address Book should also be empty.

    Your iPhone will probably also have synchronized and will have an empty address book and calendar.

  6. In both iCal and Address Book, Import the archives what you exported in step 1. (select File->Import).

    Now, when MobileMe synchronizes, your one true copy of both should exist on your Mac, Mobile Me, and your iPhone as soon as that syncs.

Be very careful when doing the above.. make sure you have everything exported and backed up before deleting all those entries. A Time Machine backup before beginning this process is also a good idea.
tji is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-24-2010, 06:03 PM   #2
wavenetgraphics
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Smile This works.

Thanks for the post...I too have tried many other ideas/solutions to no prevail.
This was relatively simple and most importantly, I have no duplicate information for the first time in quite some time!!!
  Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2010, 04:42 PM   #3
rosscali
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
thanks but I have a question

Thank you for this post. It is very helpful but in #2 you say to make a back-up of contact and calendar entries. I have a PC with Outlook and also Mobile Me.

Would I make a back-up from Outlook? I cannot make such a back-up from Mobile Me, as I have played around with it and tried, just want to make sure.

Turning off the sync feature in iTunes was a good first step but for a time I was syncing with google contacts and this I think deleted many address and phone numbers.

I hope in the coming days to solve this issue, and have a good working contact list that stays the way it should.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2011, 01:28 AM   #4
christinaporter
Prospect
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 22
Thanks for the head up about this issue, duplicate contacts can be kinda frustrating especially if you want your stuffs to be a little bit organized.
christinaporter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2011, 07:08 PM   #5
mclbruce
Hall of Famer
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Posts: 3,878
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisSmithWebGuy
I very often find duplicate contacts.

You also very often recommend one product on these forums. In fact, that is all you have done here.
mclbruce is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-23-2011, 10:24 AM   #6
kamtep
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Thank you for this, works fine for me!
  Reply With Quote
Old 06-28-2011, 04:36 PM   #7
jordanwells
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Quote:
Originally Posted by rosscali
Thank you for this post. It is very helpful but in #2 you say to make a back-up of contact and calendar entries. I have a PC with Outlook mobility and also Mobile Me.

Would I make a back-up from Outlook? I cannot make such a back-up mobile network security from Mobile Me, as I have played around with it and tried, just want to make sure.

Turning off the sync secure mobile network feature in iTunes was a good first step but for a time I was syncing with google contacts and this I think deleted many address and phone numbers.

I hope in the coming days to solve this issue, and have a good working contact list that stays the way it should.

I've had the same issue. I tried turning of the sync feature in Itunes, which did help for a while, but then i continue having the same problems. Did u figure this out!? THANKS
  Reply With Quote
Old 07-09-2011, 11:44 AM   #8
TheBlueJam
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Duplicates (nearly 30,000 contacts - Apple Inc.)

Hi,

I am currently running your recommended process and obviously hoping it will work. After trying several options to erase an erratic amount of Apple Inc. contacts, which I have to state was not even in my contact list at all originally, managed to cling on over 37,000 duplicates of their contact info. For a few months I've been trying and they keep coming back but this one looks hopeful ( even more so than staying up late UK time emailing with Apple support ).
Thank-you in advance and I will keep you posted on the outcome. it's taken 4hours so far but sticking with it!
  Reply With Quote
Old 08-04-2011, 08:08 PM   #9
mikee60369
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Still not working :-(

I tried the tips above, but my iPhone or iPad just keeps syncing back the other way to me.com!
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2011, 10:44 PM   #10
rfodonnellrobert
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I have followed the instructions exactly above and it worked perfectly. Make sure that your ipad or iphone is swithched off when you are deleting your address book and mobileme contacts. The first time i did not switch off my ipad and it synced before i could import. Once you import from the backup mobileme will sync to the wen. Then switch on your ipad or iphone and you should be good to go.
  Reply With Quote
Old 11-08-2011, 05:27 PM   #11
bjeffreym
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Duplicate Contacts iPhone

The Apple store guy deleted my 1,200+ (same person) duplicates by having me log into my icloud.com account. From there he clicked on the Contacts icon, found my duplicates, hi-lited and deleted...hope this helps.
  Reply With Quote
Old 01-07-2012, 04:56 AM   #12
acliff
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
I tried a couple of apps for cleaning up contacts, I recommend PhoneBook CleanMaster. Try it out, it is a lot simpler than what described about, helps clean out junks and duplicates. Like it's interface, it gives you the option for reviewing the detailed information before deleting or merging. I also believe PhoneBook Plus can help clean out groups.
  Reply With Quote
Old 02-08-2012, 11:29 PM   #13
milliestarz
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Re:

hi bjeffreym,

Thank you for your post about using icloud to solve your problem. I just purchased my iphone 4s, and experiencing duplicating problems with my address book.

I am downloading Lion OS X right now, and hoping to access icloud afterward. I have 700+ contacts, and all the duplications are driving me crazy. I'll give an update as soon as I am successful!
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2012, 12:46 PM   #14
mrjones19
Prospect
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 19
I too, find that things keep popping up or go missing.

I spend some time every month or two on my main, home iMac and try sort it out in the Address Book.

But basically, I have not found any solid solutions yet.

Perhaps iCloud will fix this?

I am not using this to sync my contacts, calendars between all our devices YET, for 2 reasons:

1. I have not updated to OSX Lion on any of my Mac's yet;

2. iCloud syncing needs ONE Apple ID (@Me.com address) - if each family member shares this address, we cannot iChat or iMessage each other... you would effectively be attempting to chat to yourself.
mrjones19 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:54 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Site design © IDG Consumer & SMB; individuals retain copyright of their postings
but consent to the possible use of their material in other areas of IDG Consumer & SMB.