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Macs/Apples/iPad 1 - Can't Delete Bad Duplicate Contacts



My wife is a total technology illiterate. I have lots of computer experience, but had never held an iPad until recently. My daughter recently gave my wife her old iPad, probably 3-4 years old. She says it a first version iPad and doesn't have a camera.

Our problem: My wife entered her friends in Contacts, but made some mistakes. Instead of re-displaying the contact which had an error (Ex: first name spelled wrong) and editing it, she created a new Contact with the name spelled correctly. Subsequently she found the email address was in error for this contact, so she created a third entry with all correct data. Hooray! She finally got it right.

When I found what she had done, I tried to delete the two erroneous entries, but they didn't appear in the contacts list. Only the third correct entry appears. However, when my wife wants to email this person and enters the person's last name, all three entries appear, from which she must select the correct one.

Can you tell me how to delete the two erroneous entries in the contacts listing? It's not a crisis but I feel there must be a way to delete incorrect entries. I hope you can help.

Thank you.

Robert Kunz

ANSWER: Robert,
Thanks for writing! It sounds as if you aren't viewing the complete contacts list when attempting to delete the erroneous ones. Make sure you go to "contacts", "groups" (upper left), and choose all contacts.  If you are syncing her iPad with a computer, it may be easier to manage them there...

Good luck!

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


On the opening screen display, I touch "Contacts". A list of contacts is displayed but there is no "groups" on that display, not in the upper left or anywhere else on the screen.

We don't sync the iPad to my computer but I have backed up the iPad to my computer. Could I fix the problem in the backup file? If so, can you tell me what the file name is? Scanning my computer, I have not been able to find a file that I could identify as the iPad backup file.

Robert Kunz

If you're backing up to the computer, you're probably also syncing via iTunes.  Restoring from backup is more drastic than you need to do.  Let's head on over to Apple's own support website at
(iCloud: Troubleshooting iCloud Contacts)

If you don't have the "groups" option and only have contacts, it makes it simpler.  All contacts should be displayed in your list, but if your wife didn't actually add a contact, and simply mis-typed an email address in the mail program, and sent it, those options will show up when she attempts to send a new email since she previously sent an email to that mis-typed email address.

If in fact this is the case, use this hint:

Let me know if this helps you and good luck!


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Ed Dyer


I don't answer Mac OS 9 questions anymore, thank you. Current Tech: Mac OS X 10.4 - 10.8, Some shell scripting, cron, Mac OS X Server 10.2-10.6, AD-OD Integration, Automator, Word Press Blogging, All CURRENT Mac models, iLife '09 and previous, iWork '09 and previous, Apple Remote Desktop, WiFi, iOS jailbreaking/unlocking, some MS SharePoint (design, not development) Devices: iPhone(original-4s) & iPad(through 3rd gen), AppleTV(all models), Airport Express, Time Capsule Old Skool, meaning I have this experience as a base, but don't answer questions on it anymore: Mac OS Environment 7.5.3-OS 9 (please upgrade for pete's sake!), PowerBook G3/G4(all models), Mac/Windows Networking, PowerPC 604-G4 desktop models, Outlook 2001, Photoshop 7 and previous, Flash MX, Dreamweaver MX Mac OS X Public Beta-10.4, all Windows Server operating systems and use. Dabbler: Newton 2100 w/ WiFi and NSync, Yellow Dog Linux, Suse Linux (PPC), Ubuntu Linux, Vista Business


I worked in IT for ten years with a specialty in Macintosh technologies and Project Management.
I've worked with the Macintosh Operating system and various machines since my first PowerMac 8500 running Mac OS 7.5.3 in 1996. I support my friends and family in keeping their Macs healthy and upgraded. Now I use a MacBook Pro for our home media network and we're pretty much down to iPads and iPhones for daily use.
Most important: I've also worked on PCs for a number of years with various flavors of Windows(95,98,NT4,2000,2000Server,2K3Server,SBS 2K3Server,Mil,XPHome,XPPro, Vista Business), but I've always used the Mac as my platform of preference.
Publications : VPNs and Outlook(2001)

Mac OS X Certification Alliance, Linked In

Publications : VPNs and Outlook

I'm an Apple Certified System Administrator (ACSA) through 10.4 and have the lower certs as well (ACTC for 10.1 - 10.6), an Apple Certified Help Desk Specialist for 10.3 (ACHDS) and a member of the Apple Consultants Network, as well as an Apple Product Professional for 2002-2009.
I have an MCP cert. from MS as well...

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