Monday, 11 March 2013
3/11/2013 08:08:00 pm 1

How to remove duplicate contacts in Outlook 2003?

For an Outlook user, it is a common scenario when he finds a duplicate item in his Outlook mailbox.
While adding contacts to the contacts list he can get some contacts duplicated. The duplicates are of no use instead they create troubles for the users. Anyhow the Outlook duplicates need to be removed.

Consider the case when you are using Outlook 2003 and needs to remove duplicate contacts.

Follow the given steps to remove duplicate contacts in Outlook 2003:

1. Go to Contacts to select the contacts folder where there are duplicate contacts. 
2. Go to Navigation Pane>Current View>click Phone List.

3. Go to View >Arrange By>Current View.
4. Click Customize Current View.
5. Go to Fields>Available Fields list> Modified
6. Click Add.
7. Move 'Modified' at the top of the list (by clicking 'Move Up’).
8. Click OK two times.
9. Select all duplicates from the contacts list (you can do this by holding CTRL).
10. When you have selected all the duplicate contacts, press DELETE.

Outlook's Duplicate Detection feature can help you to avoid duplicates:
There can be various ways to add contacts. Here I am considering two specific cases.
  • Whenever you import contacts(lets say you are importing from a .pst file or .csv file) to Outlook, the Outlook  Import and Export Wizard  provides you an option:
    • Do not import duplicates
    • Or the Replace duplicates with items imported. 

You can choose one of the options if you don't want duplicates in the Outlook Contacts folder
  • If you save a recipient's contact information with the same name or email address as one that already exists in your Contacts folder, Outlook displays a dialog box that allows you to do one of the following:
    • Add the new contact.
    • Update your existing contact with the new information from the new contact.
If you choose add the new contact then, it will get duplicated. If you choose to update then, it will update the information to the existing contact.

Outlook's Duplicate Detection feature is a great way to avoid duplicate contacts while adding contacts to Outlook contact list. But sometimes, users prefer to turn off the Duplicate Detection feature.

Consider the case when you are importing thousands of contacts then, the Duplicate Detection feature will cause and interruption and slow down the copying process. In such situation it’s better to turn off the Duplicate Detection feature. After copying, check if duplicates arrived then, they can be removed using the above process.


  1. This is really very helpful post. Large PST files leads to various issues in PST files.You can remove duplicate mails from Outlook to reduce the size of Outlook. Stellar provides an efficient Outlook duplicate remover tool to remove unwanted mails in Outlook.