Contacts Management iCloud

hey MPU,

Want to know my Saturday morning project. Fixing my wife’s contacts. She isn’t sure what happened. She has contacts in Gmail and contacts in iCloud. She has 491 duplicate contacts in iCloud and 0 in Gmail. However, not all the iCloud contacts are in Gmail. She wants Gmail to be the main source. I decided to be courageous and take on this job, because I love organizational tasks. I never use iCloud for contacts, I just sync my Google account for my personal and work.

The most boggling part to me (unless I am missing something). Google’s interface to find, compare, merge, duplicates is far easier than iCloud. I don’t see any option to compare the duplicate contacts! How does someone use this?!

Export your iCloud contacts as a vCard, import them into Gmail, and let google deduplicate the list. I’ve done this many times for myself and others.

Afterward you can backup your iCloud contacts as a Contacts Archive then delete them or simply turn off iCloud Contacts. Personally I would just print the entire iCloud contacts list as a PDF

As I recall Google Contacts will surface duplicates as soon as it finds them, not before.


Yes. iCloud Contacts is pretty flimsy. It’s unfortunate because I would like to use them more effectively. However, I’ve never found them to be user friendly.

This app has not been updated in a long time, but it’s what I’ve always used to clean up my contacts.

Then I have used this app to sync contacts from my Mac to Google (but not the other way around).


That was the approach I ended up doing in the end.

Exported out of iCloud, import to Gmail, and let Google do its thing.

I am just surprised that Apple has never really decided to update this app at all.

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Currently, my contacts sync from Google to all my devices. In some extreme event of an e-mail account lockout (Gmail is my main go-to until I figure out the proper way of doing custom domain email via G Suite or another provider).

I could have sworn there was a way to sync Google Contacts to iCloud contacts on a regular basis through the device (without the duplication).

On a 1 to 10 scale, I’d give all of Apple’s built in apps a solid 5. IMO Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, and Notes are good no frills apps.

They don’t have features that MPU’s would like to see but they weren’t designed for us. However for hundreds of “normal” users I’ve known they are all that is needed. Personally I think that’s what Apple means for them to be.

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I agree, but Contacts is down at the bottom of the heap with the Podcasts App. It’s basic features seem to never work quite right.

Wow, equating Contacts with Podcasts is harsh :grinning:, but you’re the only one who knows what you need. I manage my contacts on Google and only need Contacts to display the data.

Fortunately I don’t need a major contacts app. But it’s so frustrating when you try to drive home and discover that contacts has failed to sync with your entry that was recently modified in the Mac and so all of your “places” are not available in CarPlay. Just an example of what happened to me yesterday. So frustrating!

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I suspect the problem is iCloud’s habit of only syncing when it feels like it. IMO all of iCloud needs a “Sync Now” button like the one in Messages.

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This is an interesting subject.

I chose some time back to use Gmail as my main contacts directory. It was so long ago that I forget how I even did it, but essentially if I update my iPhone with a new contact it automatically gets saved to my Gmail contacts.

The issue that I currently have is that I have noticed that there are a few names (not many… But a few) that are showing up in my contacts app on my Mac but shouldn’t be there.

They are correctly NOT in my cell phones contact directory as they are deselected as contacts within Gmail. Therefore it’s doing the right thing not showing up on my phone – However, those few names ARE showing up on the contacts app on my Mac.

This is confusing me as I don’t understand why my contacts app on the Mac is not syncing with the other points of truth like iPhone and Gmail?

Have you viewed your groups one at a time to determine where the mystery contacts are located?

Do you have another account signed in on the Mac, maybe iCloud or something where these contacts are sitting?

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