Merge Duplicate Contact Records (Salesforce Classic)

This post shows you how to merge contacts using Salesforce Classic.  If  you're using the Household Account model (where newly created contacts are assigned to a household organization), you should not use this method, as it will not merge households.  Instead, see this article about Merge Contacts in Lightning

This method can be used if you're still using classic AND are using the bucket account model (*where newly created contacts are assigned to the account 'Individual".

This lesson shows you how to merge duplicate Contacts while maintaining relationships to connections, team members, and other related records.

To start,  the Contacts must be associated with the same organization.  It is usually easier to have them related to an organization other then Individual as it makes it easier to find and merge.  If you need to review how to edit contact records, click here.

Once the contact records you want merged are associated with the same organization, open that organization's record.

Note:  If you want to make sure that all values and notes are preserved, print out the contact's record and list of related items to compare after the merge is complete.  

Organization Record

Organization Record

Scroll to the Contacts related list under the organization's detail and click on Merge Contacts

Find Contacts

Find Contacts

1) Enter the keyword to find the contact to merge.    You can use an * as a wildcard search.

2) Mark the checkboxes next to the contacts you want to merge, and then click Next.

3) Take note if the contact has customer portal access as you want to leave this as the Master Record in the next Step

You can select up to 3 contacts to merge at once.  If you need to merge more than three, simply repeat these steps after you have completed the first merge.



Select the Values to Retain

Select the Values to Retain

In this step you have the option to select the values from the different records that you wish to maintain in the merged record.

Fields highlighted in Blue indicate where a difference in the values is present.

1) If one of the records was marked as Customer Portal in the first step, make sure it is the one marked as "Master Record"

2) If the contacts both have Portal User access, select the username that the contact wants to use moving forward.

For fields that are multi-picklists, such as Volunteer Type and Interest, it will not merge the values present in both records.  If necessary, you can add the other values from the removed organization to the remaining record after it is merged.

3) Once you have marked all the values you wish to preserve, click Merge.

You will then get a warning message that lets you know that the merging of the records can't be undone, and if you want to proceed.  Click OK.

Once the merge has been completed, you will be taken back to the Organization record, and the remaining contact will be included in the Contacts related list.   Open the contact record to confirm that all the changes were made.  All the records related to the two previous contacts are now related to this record as well.

By Default - only system administrators have the ability to merge organization and contact records

Merging records requires permission to DELETE records.  Therefore, only system administrators are able to merge records.

Make it your business practice to have your staff make requests for you to merge duplicates that they find.

OR... you can grant a few selected staff people profile permissions via a permission set, that gives selected users delete permissions for Organizations and contacts.


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