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How to merge a contact in Windows Phone

People Hub

The People Hub in Windows Phone is the center for all your contacts. It goes above and beyond your typical contact list and integrates social networks like Facebook and Twitter (thanks Social Extensibility framework). By aggregating all that data into one, contact card, your People Hub becomes invaluable for keeping your friends all in once place. Windows Phone does a good job automatically piecing everything together, though sometimes it misses adding your phonebook contact with their Facebook profile. Here's how to manually merge and link contacts in the People Hub on Windows Phone.

Why does Windows Phone miss merging separate pieces of into one contact? It usually misses it when you've given your friend a nickname in your phonebook that doesn't match up to their real name on Facebook or Twitter. Or maybe your friend is using their middle name as their last on Facebook, and the system is unable automatically to piece them together. Either way, it happens, and you have two contacts in your People Hub that are the same person. Let's link two contacts together in Windows Phone to merge them into one.

How to link and merge contacts in Windows Phone

Link Contacts

  • Select the contact you want to link
  • Tap the link button on the bottom in the app bar
  • Choose and tap the contact you want to link with
  • You're linked!

Linked Contacts

It couldn't be any easier to clean up your address book and get rid of duplicate entries. A few taps and you've now combined multiple contacts into one. A great thing to do when you've started to link Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, email accounts and more to your People Hub.

Have any questions? Sound off below or hit me up on Twitter (@samsabri) for help.

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Reader comments

How to merge a contact in Windows Phone

151 Comments

Didn't mean it like that. I meant it as, "No, there are some people where a Windows Phone is their first smartphone, so they may not know the ropes."

LOL based from the reaction to your statement, things can also go swosh over the heads of longtime users too LOL!

Everyday someone gets their first smartphone. If that smartphone is a Windows Phone we want to be the site for them. Not just enthusiasts. Everyone.

Instead of mocking new WP users who don't know a thing about WP but yet choose to join our WP Community, we should be more and more helpfull and built a community that helps to each other when we need help. I was a hard core Windows Mobile fan (later a WM6.x.x ROM's Cook too) and before i got my WP device, i have read and ask so many questions on XDA-Developers and WP Central forums when something was not clear to me or I simply couldn't find the right answer on internet. Many people helped me with answers here and there even tho i still haven't got my WP device. Today, I am the one who helps novice WP users who ask questions on the WP Central and XDA-Developers Forums, making their transition to WP Community easier as possible. :) 

Even a small and "stupid" thing for someone will be a great discovery.

An easier way is..

Log in to your microsoft live account, select the people tile and under the manage dropdown menu, choose "clean up contacts" and it should find duplicate contacts (like same person has facebook, twitter, skype and regular ohone number), the clean-up contacts option finds them  and gives you the option to merge them.

This feature is not on the Phone directly, you will have to do it on a PC.

Wish it was on the phone though

 

Exactly and it gets a few you may have missed especially those annoying Skype names! Just be careful to check each contact before continuing spouses tend to get lumped together!

What if you delete your FB and all your FB freinds still have their birthday reminders go off on your WP? I had like over 700 freinds on FB and like everyday I have notifications going off. How do I get rid of these FB birthday notifications on WP?????

PS The WP knowledge base says when I deleted my FB it should have auto deleted them on WP but it didn't WTH?

go to calendar app go to settings and disable birthdays fot outlook and facebook usually v your friends birthdays sync with your outlook (microsoft) main acc so they will remain even if fb is disabled :)

contacts on wp8.1 pr wp en general goes from   SUCKS to just mediore.

1. when you filter your contacts from one hotmail account.. sure it doesnt show in contacts.. great job.. but THEY SHOW WHEN YOU TAP ON PHONE AND THEN THE CONTACT BOOK... with a note ate the end of all the contacts WHICH IRONICALLY SAYS  SOME OF YOUR CONTACTS ARE FILTERED AND CANT BE SEEN... YET THERE THEY ARE.

2. FILTERED OR HIDDEN CONTACTS SHOW IN ANY SEARCH OR LIST USED BY ANY OTER APP .. like viber... whatsapp

3. contact photos taken from your camera for example, arent saved in your hotmail contact files anymore (ie when you check your contacts using hotmail or outlook.com)... it only saves or shows the photos if your contact has a hotmail account

4. if a contact sends you a text sms you dont know which number is being used! (i want to text a friend at his second movile number..sure i have our recent tread but i dont know if what number that thread of sms is from

That issue drive me crazy as well, sure you have to do some tricks to find the number used.
Another issue is that there is no call duration, you can't tell how long you have been talking on the phone.
On Skype you can't clear or delete chat history. Skype was good you could use it on PC and phone but these short comings by MS doesn't makes it user friendly, that's why it now behind Whatsapp.

Yes. These articles are helpful for new WP users. I know many of my friends, who had bought high end Lumias, but they don't know the functionality, other then a normal smartphone. They even don't know about NFC, and various sattings.
So keep these articles coming. Great job. :D

These things should be self discoverable.. Let the new ones play around with their widows phone otherwise what's the fun in using it??

These types of how to articles should, if not already, be linked in one easy to find section. After all, if folks don't know how to link/unlink, they need things made obvious until they learn.

No such issues with me I have l625 running cyan nd wp 8.1 . When I hard reset my hotmail still links all my previosly linked contacts !!

Odd, as it actually links them in the cloud via your MS Account. 

So if you go to http://people.live.com  (Your People Hub online) they should also be linked properly in there, just as they are on your phone. (If not link them in your People Hub via your browser and they should stick.)

 

Interesting that you write this Sam, as my phone linked your twitter contact with the rest of my girlfriends today. After I unlinked it, my messages say I have been texting you, and texting my girlfriend created a new thread.

You can switch between the numbers. Go to the conversation with that person in Messages. If you've got Windows Phone 8.1, then pull up on the app menu and choose "Switch Number" and pick which number you want to text to. If you've got WP8.0 or earlier, then there should be an icon in the app bar with two arrows. Tap that and you can pick which number.

If i link to numbers into one contact, How can i know which number my contact is using to text me? This Is important for me cause i lose a load of i reply to a number from a different network.

This is one part that Microsoft took out in WP8.1. In WP8.0 and earlier, it always told you at the top next to the person's name. So at the top it would say "NAME, Active #." In addition, each time a change in number took place, such as if the other person texted you from a different number, it used to put a little divider in the conversation to separate the past texts from the new ones from the new number.

Sadly that's all gone now...

And that's the reason why i unlinked the linked numbers of my contacts..... I am blind as to what particular number im replying to.

What I used to do is, I just go to the switching numbers menu (without actually switching it yet) there the active number will be coloured.

The worst thing is that now in WP8.1 the contact numbers from FB is automatically synced and you can't turn this off! As FB always include the country number (1 for US and 55 for Brazil as and example) the People Hub always shows doubled numbers for my contacts (one that a manually add, without the country number) and the imported from FB. There is no way to merge those and I hate this!!

If that's the case manually edit one and delete the other. If you want your contact list clean, clean it up.

Can i tell you an easier way. It is possible.
Open a contact. Copy the phone number with country code synced from fb, and also check whether it is a mobile phone, work phone or home phone.
After that, edit your contact, tap on edit hotmail, add phone number. Paste the number with country code, and set the category same as fb (means, if it was mobile phone, choose mobile here, if it is work phone from fb, then choose work and so on).
Afterwards save the contact.
Now you won't see 2 same numbers in a contact.
But remember, CATEGORY SHOULD BE SAME AS IT IS ON FB. IF IT IS WORK PHONE, SAVE IT AS WORK PHONE ONLY, THEN IT WILL WORK.
Give feedback after doing it... :) ;)

I know I can do that, but if the person choose "home phone" in their FB profile, but used their cellphone number?? If I change to home I wont be able to message her.

Yes you can go to people hub then settings then filter contacts then uncheck the facebook box and what's cool is even if you uncheck the box you can search for people from your facebook account hope this helps

why would that be cool?  if i want dont want my fb contacts to show... yet i can still find them on search? wtf?!  that defeats (part) pf the purpose.

 

worse yet all your contacts will show... filtered or not... if you tap pnone then the contact book, then at the end of the list it STUPIDLY says that some of your contacts cant be seen because they are filterd... but they are all there (not sure with facevook but with other hotmail accounts that are filtered do show)

I often use this to link my outlook.com contacts with Skype contacts. Windows Phone treats them as separate entrees.

It would be nice if it were a true merge and not linking only.
There is a difference, and Linking is a good feature to have,
But we need a true Merge feature and we also nee a True Add to Contacts Feature.
Now that Liquid Daffodil's Add to Contacts is going away. I purchased it a long time ago
Also downloaded the xapbundle file so I can reinstall it whenever
But these are sorely missing features of Windows Phone that are needed.

The reason it's linking and not a 'true' merge is because you can't edit a contacts social profile details. If you have duplicates, that's when you can merge.

If i say, true merge is extremely inconsistent man. People update there social network sites on daily basis, like, facebook, linkedin, twitter, skype etc.
So, it it is true merge, then the problem would be inconsistency, because details are different on different sites.
Lets take an example, many times, your content for fields like job or home address is different on different sites. On linkedin it is in detail, but on fb and twitter, it is short.
So, if it becomes true merge, ambiguity and inconsistency will take place. You will be seeing many home addresses and many jobs in one contact. ;)
That's really annoying... ;)
But in linking contacts, whenever you change any detail on the particular networking site, it gets synchronized with your phone automatically, and you always get update information without any manual work of saving and editing contacts.

At last, MICROSOFT IS NOT FOOL. THEY ANALYSE AND OPTIMIZE EVERYTHING. THEY HAVE CHOSEN THE FEATURE OF LINKING CONTACTS, THEN YOU SHOULD HAVE TRUST THAT IT IS FOR ANY BETTER AND COMFORTABLE REASON...:) ;) :D

Pete The Penguin is exactly correct. It is also a reason. You cant edit details of others on there social networking sites. You cant even import and export contacts of social sites. It is the inyegration which Windows Phone provides with security... :)

I am thinking of 2 contacts,, not so much for social sites.
So, I will concede that I may not have thought it thru completely in that respect and
at leaset we have Linking

It's really a convenient tool, too bad it's only local. You reset the phone and your contacts is back to the old mess. Why MS never makes this linking reflect our cloud contacts, I never know.

That is not entirely true,, because the contacts are backed up to Outloook.com contacts
Unless you have something not setup properly.
When I link a contact, it shows that way across all systems. Not just my phone
When I restore, everything comes back the way it is supposed to be.

Its for certain names if I have a nickname that doesn't match facebook or other social site it wont keep it everytime I hard reset I have to link my momma back under her facebook name

You are totally wrong man. Whenever you change any thing in your contacts, it also gets changed on people hub in outlook.com
Furthermore, all the devices connected with that particular id, gets the same updated information after synchronization. This is the best thing of WP that you never need to backup any thing, as, everything already connected with cloud... :)

We need a guide on how to REMOVE contacts from certain places. I was linking a number I had to a contact, picked the wrong name by accident and now when I text my girlfriend it says some dudes name...

Love the linking feature ... it never worked properly on my old android phones... anyway, quick question guys, is there a way to export the contact pictures ? The pictures I added only appears on the phone.

Really? Tell me than. Why, when I link a Skype contact to Outlook contact the (Skype)foto off that person never shows up on my phone?
Looks basic to me

Yes, well in WP contacts most of the contacts are called Outlook contacts but in Windows 8.1 they are called Live contacts. It's is so hopeless.

Just hopefully more apps will start using the social extensibility, so we can link more into the people hub for easy access. Eg WhatsApp and BBM, would prefer quick links to them so I cam access them via peoples tiles. Instagram would be nice to link in too.

The forums is all about help and information for all, We all started as new users with a Windows phone at one time and needed some sort of help and turned to WPcentral for help, or the knowledge of others to stair yourself in the right direction. So please let think of were we were many moons ago and not criticize the users or the writers of these fine article's.

I like articles like this, my first Windows Phone OS was WP8. Bought my first WP early this year. Features change during a OS life cycle so some folks would be surprised at what features they have after having there WP for a year. Some features you will never use.

I don't get why in Windows phone 8.1, the company field of the contact is gone. It's one of the searchable fields that you have in the people hub apart from fields names. I think all the fields should be searchable.

Does anyone know how to backup my contacts? They still have the same backup from my Omnia 7.. Have had 920 and 925 since then, now 930..

I have done this since wp7. I wish it remembered you links since the is managed on the phone. You'll have to relink them again if you reset you phone. I wish it really updated contact info on the account that is writeable, aka your mail contacts updated with friends facebook information if they change it.

If you use Gmail, I would still use hotmail to save your contacts, as google uses really low resolution images for the profile.

Linking contacts or people is not aggrevating, nor does it make me mad. What your article was trying to say is that it "aggregates" linked contact data.

My mom is what this article was written for. She just moved from Android to a Lumia icon and loves it. She's still learning, but picked it up much faster than Android.

I hate when Skype does not recognize the contact because of the username. It's hard to link that. And if you hard reset the phone, some of the contacts you have linked will be automatically unlinked, not sure why that happens though. Also there will be multiple Windows hotmail account linked within one contact instead of one hotmail, one Facebook, one Skype, one gmail, one twitter, each linked together.

How does it act when you rename the users in your Skype? in our business, we never leave the often unintelligible Skype names (tricks20203 for John Doe, for example). Instead we rename them to the actual person's name in Skype. The Skype ID is still visisble on the top banner or can be found easily enough in the profile. I don't need to sync these contacts (at least at this time), but am curious if that would solve your problem when searching for them in your Skype contacts.

Mark, I'm not talking about the Skype app, I know by searching their name we can filter the user id but what I'm trying to say is about the people's hub. There are many Skype contacts which are not linked to the respective contacts. It gets unlinked from the primary contact profile when I do a hard reset or switch to another WP. So I've to keep linking them together everytime. Because under the people's hub we can only see the Skype user id and not their name, we have to lookup with their id to find the user the full name.

If people don't already know that, chances are they probably don't have this app either. ...derka derka..

Since I did a hard reset on my phone, Sina Weibo contacts fail to sync or link in my Outlook contacts. Not all Weibo contacts appear in the People app too, but they're present in my Windows 8 PC when I checked.

I have serious problem I have got two threads for a same name, number in my messaging anyone have solution!? This happened because-
1. I made a contact and linked with the original one.
2. Then in messaging app I switched it to other number while messaging.
3. And, then in contacts I delinked, and then deleted the latest contact that I had made and added.
4. After this the original thread started showing up under the latest contact NUMBER.
5. And, the original contact number now had another thread.
6. I tried undo the steps but, after I came back to first stage, where there was no contact created, now I have two threads under same number and name. When I open the profile by taping the contact name both the threads opened the same profile. But the profile contact directs to the latest text thread when pressed text under profile. I need a fix for this ASAP. @ Sam

Is there any way to create custom field names for the numbers instead of the fixed given options ( work, home, mobile, fax)? I want to create something like 'Security' 'Outward' phone numbers under one company contact

ICYMI, after the facebook integration moved to a social extensibility framework, the linkage does not saved on the cloud. This means that if you buy a new WP, you have to create those linkage manually again.

I have L1020 and everything works fine when I upgraded to WP8.1 DP (I still have all of my linkage when the linkage switched to a social extensibility framework). But when I buy a new phone (L630), and after I signed in with my Live Account, I lost all my linkage on my L1020. This is terrible, is this really have to happen?

 

edit:

forgot something, even that the twitter account still exists on the L630, but I can't find any of twitter account I'm following to on my L630 (turned off the 'hide contact without phone number', uncheck all the account but twitter, nothing's there! Still exists on L1020, though).

thanks for the info sam, really appreciate your help.

how many accounts can be merged into 1?

cause samsung phones running android can merge up to 5 contacts.

I believe it is unlimited as I have had numerous legacy contacts left from my old PDAs, sim cards, multiple Google, including names that were reversed (I have my phone set to FNAME LNAME, but many of my contacts from older devices syncing in Google left things as LNAME FNAME; LNAME, FNAME; etc.) I had to delete multiple iterations and also sometimes had to copy one set of numbers from another contact iteration to replace an errant or out of service number on the principle contact.

There are people in this community we called the RAM Whiners. And there are also called the "Weiner Whiners". They are the ones who think about themselves as super smart that this simple article for them is useless. This article is not even for you weiner whiners.

The contacts on WP still lacks alot , you can't add an individual names for numbers saved under one contact , I usually group my contacts under category's , work mates , plumper's, movie theaters numbers , each category contains 4 or 5 numbers , and I can't sort them, it a mess

Try using the "Groups" feature. In the People Hub, swipe to the left. Hit the "+" and add your group. You can then populate each group with whatever contact you want (I believe there is a 25 contact limit, though. But since you said each category has 4-5 contacts, it shouldn't be a problem). Make a new group for the categories you need.

Shameless plug (we make the app) -

If you're looking to import Yahoo Contacts to your People Hub, and temporarily increase your need to merge contacts, our Purple Contacts app will do the trick: http://www.windowsphone.com/s?appid=14c047f6-fb90-43b1-9847-32c56af05f47

Our trial version lets you see how many contacts you can bring in, and presents a preview of some of the contact data we can copy into the People Hub.  We charge a small bit for it.  Hope some of you will find the cost worthwhile versus copying all that info manually.

We've got a thread going too if you want to report back any issues you see: http://forums.wpcentral.com/developer-spotlight/299739-purple-contacts-i...

 

It's also worth mentioning that if you have a lot of friends on, for example, Facebook, and decided to connect your Microsoft account with that, it takes a while for WP to load all your contacts on the phone. I have discovered this only recently after doing a reset on the phone, it took a while for some of my contacts to display the merged information. (I am using and HTC 8S, so maybe it's an entry level phone problem only.)

Yes they do need to write abt it.I knew the option but not the function.Still in android this is already there in android no need to link contacts.This should be there in wp also.Still good to see an alternative at least.

I wish Windows Phone took merging into consideration when making groups. For some reason, your merged contacts don't display properly in groups.

Also u can edit your contacts on a browser. Sing in to your outlook/hotmail account then on the top left click contacts. After that u can edit, merge, delete, what ever u want.

Also in the people hub there is "showing" click it and u can choose what u wanna see (all contacts, just fb contact, LinkedIn, skype or whoever u want.)

People hub is te worst thing in WP.

If i want to call someone I want list of people rom my phone. If I want to skype someone I want list of people from Skype. Unfortunatelly I have one big list.

Could it be that WP8.1 does this, to some extend, automatically?

1-2 days ago I entered my Cousin's Phone Number with a specific Picture from her Facebook Profile just to find the newly created entry being merged with her Facebook Contact which, I believe, was not there when I looked for an entry to add the number instead of creating an entirely new one like I did.

Just wondering now that I see this article.

Is there any way to mass merge contacts, and to merge them permanently in one online source? I'd like to trim and manage more than one thousand contacts, since my Lumia located and used a Windows Live backup with more than 500 contacts, plus my Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

I'd like the ability to actually merge contacts, not just link them. The goal being to get rid of one source in favor of another.

Plus its annoying that the link feature doesn't persist after a reset/backup restore.

Good to bring awareness Sam. Thus is such a good feature in WP, that a first time user would not be able to figure out. Windows phone team need to pump up marketing three kind of features just to give a glance to users. Also, whatsapp contacts need to be linked as well and windows need to add this integration in is.

contacts on wp8.1 pr wp en general goes from   SUCKS to just mediore.

1. when you filter your contacts from one hotmail account.. sure it doesnt show in contacts.. great job.. but THEY SHOW WHEN YOU TAP ON PHONE AND THEN THE CONTACT BOOK... with a note ate the end of all the contacts WHICH IRONICALLY SAYS  SOME OF YOUR CONTACTS ARE FILTERED AND CANT BE SEEN... YET THERE THEY ARE.

2. FILTERED OR HIDDEN CONTACTS SHOW IN ANY SEARCH OR LIST USED BY ANY OTER APP .. like viber... whatsapp

3. contact photos taken from your camera for example, arent saved in your hotmail contact files anymore (ie when you check your contacts using hotmail or outlook.com)... it only saves or shows the photos if your contact has a hotmail account

4. if a contact sends you a text sms you dont know which number is being used! (i want to text a friend at his second movile number..sure i have our recent tread but i dont know if what number that thread of sms is from)

Thanks Sam! What I hate the most is that even after linking accounts up I seem to still have issues with my contact list in skype.  I see either the whole outlook ID (email address) or I see multiple entries for the same contact.

This is very annoying and all this has started ever since skype started linking outlook accounts with pre exisiting skype IDs. Does anyone else face this annoyance? Please do let me know if there is a solution for this.

I am not able to use search option in people hub on my Lumia 525 with Win 8.1 DP, it has been started when I reinstall the DP after using Nokia Recovery Tool. it says the contact is not listed where as if i just scroll down then it shows the contacts.. please help me with the solution...