Windows Phone users hit by duplicate contact bug

Windows Phone users are reporting a strange contact bug that results in some contacts being duplicated.

According to Microsoft enthusiast Long Zheng the bug - which he has personally experienced - appears to have no clear cause, but manifests itself through the duplication of contacts on the phone, with some contacts appearing more than a dozen times.

Mr Zheng's testing has shown that only contacts on the phone are impacted - Gmail and Windows Live contacts seem to be unaffected and removing one or more of the duplicate contacts has no impact on the remaining extras.

There is no suggestion at this point that the bug discovered by Mr Zheng and others is related to a similar one last month which resulted in contacts from multiple sources ''de-linking'' or pinned contact tiles disappearing from the Start screen of a Windows Phone.

The duplicate contacts bug also appears to be impacting a fairly small subset of Windows Phone users, with four reporting problems on a Microsoft Answers forum and two responding to Mr Zheng's blog post with similar problems. Curiously, at least three of those users own Samsung Windows Phone handsets, though that may well be mere coincidence.

It remains to be seen if the ''NoDo'' update for the Windows Phone platform, due for release later this month, will fix this particular issue.

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I've seen this in my LG Optimus 7 but it only happened with one contact only. It was a friend I added in Windows Live Messenger. I had him previously on Facebook but I have my phone to only pull FB data for contacts in my phone (they all are Windows Live contacts, not all).

I deleted the duplicates two or three times, leaving the only one that was liked with both WL and FB and the duplicates went away just as they appeared in the first place. Perhaps it has something to do with Windows Live network, not WP7 itself.

ajua said,
I've seen this in my LG Optimus 7 but it only happened with one contact only. It was a friend I added in Windows Live Messenger. I had him previously on Facebook but I have my phone to only pull FB data for contacts in my phone (they all are Windows Live contacts, not all).

I deleted the duplicates two or three times, leaving the only one that was liked with both WL and FB and the duplicates went away just as they appeared in the first place. Perhaps it has something to do with Windows Live network, not WP7 itself.

Same thing can happen when syncing contacts on your PC and contacts on your Windows Live account. Its not a bug with WP7.

KavazovAngel said,

Same thing can happen when syncing contacts on your PC and contacts on your Windows Live account. Its not a bug with WP7.

I have also seen some WL contacts I just edited on my phone appear as blocked in Windows Live Messenger (I'm using the latest version). It doesn't happen when every edit, but it's weird.

What with the Phantom data issue, bricking update, and now this, I think this is a terrible start for Microsoft's WP7 phone. The question is, how many early adopters will abandon the platform in protest at Microsoft's incompetence?

Flawed said,
What with the Phantom data issue, bricking update, and now this, I think this is a terrible start for Microsoft's WP7 phone. The question is, how many early adopters will abandon the platform in protest at Microsoft's incompetence?

Aah, one small bug and haters like you are going to have a field day. have fun.
FTR, I have Samsung Focus and don't have this problem (WLive, facebook and gmail). I guess my contacts have been in the cloud for a while even when I had a iPhone.

Flawed said,
What with the Phantom data issue, bricking update, and now this, I think this is a terrible start for Microsoft's WP7 phone. The question is, how many early adopters will abandon the platform in protest at Microsoft's incompetence?

The data issue was confirmed as Yahoo's fault and affects ALL phones. Quit trolling.

andrewbares said,

The data issue was confirmed as Yahoo's fault and affects ALL phones. Quit trolling.


Just like the phone bricking was samsung's fault? Just like this is.. someone else's fault other than Microsoft? I'm starting to see a pattern here.

Flawed said,
What with the Phantom data issue, bricking update, and now this, I think this is a terrible start for Microsoft's WP7 phone. The question is, how many early adopters will abandon the platform in protest at Microsoft's incompetence?

I sure won't.

Go troll somewhere else.

Flawed said,

Just like the phone bricking was samsung's fault? Just like this is.. someone else's fault other than Microsoft? I'm starting to see a pattern here.

Go read any news site then. The issue was because Yahoo had incorrectly set up their IMAP servers. So if you were using IMAP and yahoo on any phone, you would have noticed this issue.

The bricking update was because Samsung had modified something in their firmware that caused the update to fail. Notice how it only affected Samsung phones with the odd firmware? Notice how no other phone failed? Obviously this was Microsoft's fault right?

Now back on this topic, yes this is a bug with the OS. And so what? Does iOS not have any bugs? Oh wait it still has the DST issues for what the 4th time now? Does Android not have any bugs? Oh wait it had the SMS issue that affected a small number of users.

I had this issue (at least, I think it's the same issue) on my Samsung Focus. I had one contact that I changed their primary e-mail address on. Soon after, it started duplicating itself, adding about 1 duplicate a day. I could delete the duplicates, but they would just come back. The contact originated from my Live account, and if I looked at Live the contact would only be listed once, even though at one point I had 25+ copies of the same contact on my phone. If left unchecked, the contact would just continue to duplicate, presumably to infinity...

I eventually fixed it by totally deleting the contact and all its duplicates, then readding the contact from scratch. No problems since.

it_freakDude said,
Why is Samsung firmware always buggy?

I don't think you can blame the firmware for this one. Clearly a bug in Microsoft's code.

I'm still having the start menu contact tile bug. One of my pinned contacts keeps losing her cell phone number and her first name.

Just to put the relevance of this 'bug' in context...

There have been contact issues with Android from v1 to v2.3 that still exist.

Duplicated contacts
Improperly merged contacts

The merged contact issue on Android is the craziest, because if you have two people with even 'similar' names, it will join them, and then if you allow Facebook to sync with the contacts, it becomes even crazier with several people jammed into one contact.

For example if you have contacts:

Johnathon Smith Email: donkey50000@gmail.com Phone: 111-555-1000
Jon Smith Email: monkey12345678@hotmail.com Phone: 234-555-5555
Johnny Smith Email: joesmoo@joesmoo.com Phone: 897-555-2345

(So there is nothing similar but the last name and the first name being similar or being a variation.)

And even though they have nothing to do with each other, they will randomly get joined by Android and then rejoined by the automatic Gmail Contact Sync.

So then you have two or more contacts in one entry, which you have to unjoin, which sometimes won't pull them apart properly.

The duplicate problems are inconsistent, as we have seen contacts entered from the phone and never accessed via the web or Gmail duplicate and have had contacts added via Gmail contacts duplicate themselves as well.


Google doesn't seem to care according to our tech's inquiries, and it still hasn't been fixed.
Go figure...

thenetavenger said,
Just to put the relevance of this 'bug' in context...

There have been contact issues with Android from v1 to v2.3 that still exist.

Duplicated contacts
Improperly merged contacts

The merged contact issue on Android is the craziest, because if you have two people with even 'similar' names, it will join them, and then if you allow Facebook to sync with the contacts, it becomes even crazier with several people jammed into one contact.

For example if you have contacts:

Johnathon Smith Email: donkey50000@gmail.com Phone: 111-555-1000
Jon Smith Email: monkey12345678@hotmail.com Phone: 234-555-5555
Johnny Smith Email: joesmoo@joesmoo.com Phone: 897-555-2345

(So there is nothing similar but the last name and the first name being similar or being a variation.)

And even though they have nothing to do with each other, they will randomly get joined by Android and then rejoined by the automatic Gmail Contact Sync.

So then you have two or more contacts in one entry, which you have to unjoin, which sometimes won't pull them apart properly.

The duplicate problems are inconsistent, as we have seen contacts entered from the phone and never accessed via the web or Gmail duplicate and have had contacts added via Gmail contacts duplicate themselves as well.


Google doesn't seem to care according to our tech's inquiries, and it still hasn't been fixed.
Go figure...

i've found from restoring contacts from multiple sources (google, twitter, facebook etc) it just piles them up... sure i can link them/delete them manually but point being the OS should be able to filter out exact duplicates of what's already there.

This is also with htc sense and it's extended contact management stuff added into the mix.

I've never had this happen and I have contacts that are from FB, Windows Live and Local to my phone (like home and work numbers etc).

Einlander said,
If you go to http://windowsphone.live.com at the bottom of the page click contacts. It has an option to remove duplicates. How he could get them duplicated that manytimes, I dont know.

in the contacts menu options
Mange>Clean up contacts

Does this apply to locally stored contacts though, which this issue actually effects?

He has Google, Facebook, and window's live accounts, so I'm assuming the contacts are being pulled from those network accounts. I don't think the solution proposed by Einlander would work with accounts other than Windows live. Not only but also, this doesn't appear to be the result of normal cross account contact duplication, it's actually some kind of bug in Microsoft's code.

Flawed said,
it's actually some kind of bug in Microsoft's code.

I would assert it's a circular reference by linking all the accounts on the phone and all the accounts on the web.

definitely a bug.

huh, people actually use local contacts rather than synced contacts? why?


Ah well a bugs a bug I suppose, needs fixing.

duddit2 said,
huh, people actually use local contacts rather than synced contacts? why?


Ah well a bugs a bug I suppose, needs fixing.

Maybe the contacts from the owner's previous phone that were stored on the SIM card.

duddit2 said,
huh, people actually use local contacts rather than synced contacts? why?

Does it matter? It's a serious bug. No point making excuses for Microsoft. Clearly their Q&A teams are doing a terrible job. I can't believe they didn't test this kind of configuration.

Flawed said,

Does it matter? It's a serious bug. No point making excuses for Microsoft. Clearly their Q&A teams are doing a terrible job. I can't believe they didn't test this kind of configuration.

Yes, because Op said that MS didn't need to fix it, and like every phone out there is doing this. This is the nature of bugs, they can manifest themselves sometimes, but not other times. I'm sure MS will work on this bug, and hope that they say something publicly about it

Sraf said,
and like every phone out there is doing this.

Really? I haven't seen an android or iOS phone with hundreds of duplicate contacts for the same person. Please provide screenshots...