Windows Phone 7 duplicate contacts driving me crazy

It’s clear Microsoft has perfected human cloning as it would explain the duplicate contacts issue I’ve been having on my Windows Phone 7 that has spiraled out of control. Check out the short video above to see the Frankenstein of a contacts list I now have.

A quick search reveals that at least two other people are also experiencing the same problem which might even be noticeable at first but slowly spreads to different contacts like a virus. I wouldn’t be surprised if more people are affected who haven’t noticed yet.

In terms of troubleshooting, the problem doesn’t seem to transfer into the cloud as both my Windows Live and Google accounts show contacts without duplication. Removing all of them but the irremovable Windows Live account yields no results either. Editing or removing any one of the duplicates does not impact any other duplicates.

Of course as last resort I could hard reset/format the phone, but it’s painful to lose all my saved game progress and to reinstall all applications manually. Gee I wonder if it would help if there was a way for me to save the data from my phone and reload them at a later date.

Until then, I’ll just pretend many of my friends have very popular names.

37 insightful thoughts

    1. i believe this is an issue because if you have just about the same friends on facebook it will copy it as a different contact.

    2. This happening with me, I made contact with WM7 support, but they didn’t know how to fix it.
      what I did… Reset my phone and reinstall all again… 🙁

    3. I am having the same problem since day one. The first and third time I had 2500 null contacts under name “Q” (Im not joking, 2500 exactly)
      In other occasions I had random contacts duplicated. Now I have like 10 contacts duplicated between 2 and 20 times. There is one that appears 3 times, and I keep erasing 2 but the next day they appear back again… Its every day and Im getting tired, I have one contact with 30 right now and I do have to erase them by hand…

      This is clearly an OS bug, no other way…


  1. I do experience this same problem on my samsung omnia 7. I have two windows live accounts, gmail account and facebook account registered on my phone. It appears to be a random issue in matter of time, but affects usually the same contacts.

  2. And if Microsoft would change thier stupid update policy so tht Carriers were not required to test patches to the Core OS, then they could release smaller and timelier updates. Instead, they have this notion that everyone in the industry is required by the carriers to test OS patches and updates prior to releasing, which only delays releasing it. I truly wish Microsoft would treat WP7 just like it were a desktop OS, where ISP’s have zero involvement in the update process. OEMs do, but only if needed.

    1. whats funny is ms used to release smaller updates thru ms download center site for 5/6 wm

  3. I’ve been having the very same problem, i think it has something to do with how they sync stuff over “windows live contacts”

  4. I just have a few duplicates on my device, HTC HD7, guess because I use two hotmail account that might have the same contact, but other then that I don’t see it like the video above. I really hope it stays that way, but a duplicate finder & remover would be nice.

  5. I have this issue with one contact, on my HTC Mozart. One contact, that is sharing status’s through Windows Live services, each duplicate contact has a different shared status attached to it.

  6. I’m not seeing this one, yet. I have the same contacts on Windows Live and Facebook and also some were present on my phone when I exported/imported them from Mobile 6.5. I don’t have many Gmail contacts either.

    I don’t hook the phone up to the PC much though, sounds like I may stick with that a while!

  7. I had the same problem on WM 6.x on a HD 2 with a cooked ROM and the standard HTC ROM. Curiously it added new contacts identical to the old contacts everytime it synced with outlook via WM device centre. Still haven’t ran the problem down despite how annoying it is.

  8. That’s the price users pay for being an early adopter of this incomplete and half-baked platform.

  9. For those who just have duplicate contacts because they have the same friends over multiple services – you can “link” the two contacts so that they display as the same contact in your list. Simply open up one of your contacts, and the link icon is there, usually the middle in the bar. It should recommend some contacts it thinks are duplicates if they share a similar name – if not, you can “select a contact” and find the duplicate.

    The only point where this doesn’t happen is when you have someone with two Windows Live accounts, which both have been granted access to your Windows Live profile – they can’t be linked.

    Long obviously has another more serious problem though. He shouldn’t have *that* many duplicates :/

  10. I had this issue (at least, I think it’s the same issue) on my Samsung Focus. I had one contact that I changed their primary e-mail address on. Soon after, it started duplicating itself, adding about 1 duplicate a day. I could delete the duplicates, but they would just come back. The contact originated from my Live account, and if I looked at Live the contact would only be listed once, even though at one point I had 25+ copies of the same contact on my phone. If left unchecked, the contact would just continue to duplicate, presumably to infinity…

    I eventually fixed it by totally deleting the contact and all its duplicates, then readding the contact from scratch. No problems since.

  11. ive never had this issue with 6.1 but its because i just run off of the sim card address book. hope this doesnt happen when my service provider releases hd7 pro or venue pro

    my routers mac address list seems to duplicate too. as long as i dont add anymore networkable devices to my collection i think ill be allright

  12. I had exactly the same problem. Omnia 7, Orange (UK), ROM JI9.
    It seemed to be related to a persons facebook or live status. Each entry had a different status, for 2 or 3 people I had literally hundreds of entries.
    It was not reflected with Windows Live online.
    I updated to ROM JK1 and, as part of that, had to do a hard reset.
    The problem resolved itself.

  13. I had the same issue some time ago, on Omnia 7, it only affected a few of my live-contacts.
    The duplicates came suddenly, and the issue was not at all related to contacts not being linked (that some people think this is all about). I had one contact that ended up having 10 more or less identical entries from the live account. When logging in to live/hotmail on the PC, everything looked ok on the online contacts list (only one entry of the mentioned contact).
    I have reported this quite a while ago to supportforum, but no one had a solution.
    Hopefully the issue has got some attention in the next update…

  14. I see this on my HTC HD7 for only two contacts, both of whom had recently requested to connect with me via Windows Live (and whose invitations I accepted). As others above note, they seem to replicate based on sharing their status via Windows Live.

  15. When I go into settings email and accounts, my windows live account shows an error for the contact that is being duplicated. First a little blue notification under the account saying not up to date, The tap on that and it shows that the contact couldn’t be synced?

  16. I see this issue on my Windows Live contacts synched to my HD2 running Android. Interestingly, the problem does not appear to manifest for me in WinMo6.x or WinPho7 on the same device using the same account. The only obvious difference in configuration is that in Android I also sync a Gmail account which is not used in Windows.

  17. I have the exact same problem with my windows 7 phone and i cant stop, link, delete the duplicates. Very annoying

  18. Long,
    I haven’t seen this problem has anyone from msft responded? I have one long Zheng on my wp7.
    I’m feeling really popular right now but want to help drive to closure.

  19. I have the exact same problem here on my Samsung Focus. Everything looks ok when I go to my contact list in Hotmail/Live though.

  20. I just started having the same issue. The changes i made to my contacts werent automatically syncing to my Google account, so upon getting help from @windowsphonesupport on twitter, they advised to remove the account and re-add it. once i did that, the original google contacts “stuck” in my phone, and the other ones duplicated without a way to remove them.

    I’m going to attempt a software reset.

  21. Okay all contacts are back to normal now. So remember people – don’t remove an email account and put it back on because you will have duplicate contacts.

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