When I export a Google Contacts in CSV format and then import it again without changing the file, I get two contacts that are exactly the same. Contacts however doesn't identify them as "duplicates" in the Merge & Fix interface.

Background: I have a website that creates that CSV and after import it created many duplicates. I tried to resolve it and during testing identified that a simple export and import creates the same problem.

Is it a bug in Google Contacts or can I do something to solve this problem?

This is the content of the CSV file:

Name,Given Name,Additional Name,Family Name,Yomi Name,Given Name Yomi,Additional Name Yomi,Family Name Yomi,Name Prefix,Name Suffix,Initials,Nickname,Short Name,Maiden Name,Birthday,Gender,Location,Billing Information,Directory Server,Mileage,Occupation,Hobby,Sensitivity,Priority,Subject,Notes,Language,Photo,Group Membership,Organization 1 - Type,Organization 1 - Name,Organization 1 - Yomi Name,Organization 1 - Title,Organization 1 - Department,Organization 1 - Symbol,Organization 1 - Location,Organization 1 - Job Description,Website 1 - Type,Website 1 - Value
Jan Puin,Jan,Puin,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,Belgisch bedrijf die hier nog niets hebben. Stageloper.,,,,,Company.Be,,,,,,,LinkedIn,https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-rutte/
Name Given Name Additional Name Family Name Yomi Name Given Name Yomi Additional Name Yomi Family Name Yomi Name Prefix Name Suffix Initials Nickname Short Name Maiden Name Birthday Gender Location Billing Information Directory Server Mileage Occupation Hobby Sensitivity Priority Subject Notes Language Photo Group Membership Organization 1 - Type Organization 1 - Name Organization 1 - Yomi Name Organization 1 - Title Organization 1 - Department Organization 1 - Symbol Organization 1 - Location Organization 1 - Job Description Website 1 - Type Website 1 - Value                                          
Jan Puin Jan Puin Belgisch bedrijf die hier nog niets hebben. Company.Be LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/mark-rutte/
  • To isolate the problem, once the "duplicate" is created, export both duplicate contacts at the same time to CSV. That way you can compare the fields to identify any differences that might inform the problem.
    – Blindspots
    Jul 7 at 1:05

2 Answers 2


Follow my instruction carefully, you can get the duplicates and merge it successfully.

  1. After you import a new CSV file, Google automatically makes a different label for the imported contacts' details.
  2. Delete the label (normally label is named as import and date) keeping all contacts.
  3. After deleting the label successfully, refresh the tab.
  4. Now click on duplicates, "hurrah" now you get the duplicates.
  • I followed your steps carefully, but it still did not work. I added the content of the CSV file to the question,.Can you try to import it twice and find duplicates? Nov 21, 2019 at 7:58

I GOT IT! When I export the contacts I know are duplicates, I find that the first column (NAME) has different values (one shows last name first, the other vise versa), so when I remove these values, Google sees that they are duplicates.

So here are the steps I used:

  1. export your entire address book as a backup
  2. export your entire address book again as the working version (or just make a copy of the backup file)
  3. open the working version in Excel and delete the values in the NAME column (but keep the column label of "Name"), then save and close the file
  4. (scary step) delete your entire address book (you should have the unedited backup from step 2, so not too scary)
  5. import the working version with the NAME column values deleted
  6. let Google look for duplicates

It worked for me!

  • Thank you but unfortunately it did not work in my case, even wen I exactly followed your steps. Thanks anyway for the effort and sharing! Do you have a example of 1 line in the backup file and the modified line in the import file. This way I can imported that lines and see the difference with my lines. Oct 17 at 14:46

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