For the longest time, I’ve been annoyed with Thunderbird because it doesn’t catch duplicate contacts as you enter them into your address book. This seems like a standard thing to check for, but even in the latest release, this still hasn’t been fixed.
This was really starting to get out of control for me, so I did some thinking today about how to fix it, and finally came up with an answer. There is an add-on that’s supposed to do this, but it hasn’t been updated in years, and doesn’t work on the latest version.
So here’s the process that worked for me:
- Open your address book, and select the address book that you wish to de-duplicate
- Go to Tools > Export, and export the address book as a CSV file.
- Open that file in OpenOffice Spreadsheet, and sort it by the column called “Display Name”
- Insert a column to the left (or right, whatever) of the “Display Name”
column, and fill it with entries such as
=if(C2=C3, "Duplicate", "OK")Where C corresponds with the column in which you’re looking for duplicates. Fill the entire column with such entries all the way to the bottom.
- Next, visually look for duplicates and delete them. Once that’s done, do the same thing for the email address column, and you should be able to eliminate all the duplicates.
- To get them back into Thunderbird, go to Tools > Import, and import the file. This will create a new address book by the name of the file.
- From there, simply delete your old address book, and rename the new one to something useful.
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