Over time the contacts list on your iPhone can quickly become cluttered with duplicates: multiple entries for the same people. This might be due to new email addresses, phones numbers, or other ephemera being added here and there, or simple carelessness. However it happens, the end result is usually a mess.

Clearing this up is easy to do, though, as the duplicates can either be merged into single master contacts, or deleted if they serve no purpose. In this article we show how to get control of your iPhone address book once more.

Merge (link) duplicate contacts

If the various contacts you have for the same person contain different information - maybe work and home numbers - then they can be merged into one with only a few quick steps.

To open your Contacts app, tap the green Phone icon on the Home screen, then select Contacts from the options at the bottom of the screen. Scroll through the list until you find the contact that you want to merge, and tap it.

How to delete or merge duplicate contacts on iPhone: Merge contacts

On the page that appears you should see an Edit option in the top-right corner. Tap this and you'll be able to adjust the information linked to this particular contact.

Scroll down to the bottom of the page and you'll see the 'link contacts...' option.

Tap this and you'll be taken back to your list of contacts. Now you just need to select the name that you want to merge with the one you're currently editing. Tap on it to open the card, then in the upper righthand corner tap on the Link option, followed by Done.

How to delete or merge duplicate contacts on iPhone: Link contacts

Now your many will have become one. Of course, if you have several for the same person then you can continue linking until they are all in a single contact.

Delete duplicate contacts

In some cases, you might not want to link or merge multiple contacts as one is redundant. Here it's best to delete the superfluous entries.

To do so, first tap on the green Phone icon on your Home page. Select Contacts from the option at the bottom of the screen, and find the one you want to delete. Tap on it, then on the card that appears tap the Edit option in the upper righthand corner.

On the next page, scroll down until you find the Delete Contact option. Tap this.

How to delete or merge duplicate contacts on iPhone: Delete contacts

Now, confirm your decision by tapping on the dialog box that appears, and the contact will be removed from your list.

So, there you go. A couple of easy ways to tidy up your contacts. For more helpful iPhone tips try reading our How to delete call history on iPhone, iPhone X Problems, and How to delete photos from an iPhone articles.