Unmerging Two Contacts on Android

AndroidOne day, I went to email a contact on my Android tablet, and as I started to type his email address, a different name came up. Oddly, I noticed that all of Chris’ email addresses were now showing up under Leo’s name (along with Leo’s email addresses).

Additionally, in the Google Voice call log and text history on my tablet, any calls or texts with Chris showed up as calls/texts with Leo.

This was not expected. In Gmail on the web, and in Gmail on my Android phone, both contacts were still distinct, but not on my tablet; they were merged together somehow…

All devices sync up 100% with my Google account, and neither Android device has any non-Android contacts or a sync set up with anything else.

Heck, I don’t even now HOW to merge contacts on Android or if that is even possible.

I suspected that perhaps they accidentally had an email address in common on both profiles and that caused a link. This was not the case.

Strangely, when I went to edit the contact on my tablet, both Chris and Leo’s contact record showed up stacked on top of each other – and separate! – but all under Leo’s name. Very confusing.


And that’s when I discovered that if – while editing a mysteriously merged contact – you click the “more” (3 dots) button, you have an option to Seperate the contacts. One click on “Separate” and a confirmation later and they’re back to how they should be!

I still have no idea how or why they got merged as their names, numbers, and emails have nothing in common.

I also still don’t know why they merged locally on only one device, but nowhere else.

But I DO now know how to fix and I hope that this helps you, too!

8 thoughts on “Unmerging Two Contacts on Android”

  1. I just had this happen. I was trying to see if a contact existed for a new phone number and while scrolling through contacts I accidentally clicked on one.

    The two would not unmerge and I couldn’t figure out what to do. Finally I scrolled through my contacts and found another unneeded email and merged that contact in as well. The red minuses now have a lit circle around them and I was able to unmerge my original important contact. I will probably never get the other two contacts unmerged, but I don’t know one of them and the other is spam so I guess it works.

  2. I have Samsung Galaxy S2 Phone. I entered into edit mode of both mistakenly merged contacts, btut I could not find this “the “more” (3 dots) button”. Can you be more specific?

  3. My problem is that my home number that was saved on my SIM card and device doesn’t show up as being merged with my dad’s Google+ contact (in which he listed our home number), but every time I receive a call from home, it’s his face that shows up, which really confuses and annoys me.

    What do I do when they seem to have merged but don’t indicate that they have, hence I can’t unmerge them??

  4. Thanks so much. I was trying to figure it out in gmail, but couldn’t. So glad your post showed up.

  5. I had this happen to me also. Coincidentally the contact’s name was also Chris. In any case, to unmerge them, I had to click the “Link” option in the 3 dot menu. Kind of counter-intuitive, but once you click “Link” you can unlink the various sources. It worked. Thanks.

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