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Article ID: KB251
Keyword Name: Merge, Merging, Duplicates, Cleanup, Dupe, Manual, Drag-and-Drop,dedupe, duplicate
Created: November 01, 2017
Viewed: 18652

How to 'Manually Merge' Duplicate Contact Records with Drag-and-Drop

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Author: Kristenson, Joel

Last Updated: 2016-10-04


This article walks through the steps to perform a manual drag-and-drop merge of duplicate contact (voter/donor) records.

It also shows how to view the log notes in the contact’s record card afterwards to see what happened during the merge.  When you run the merge the system will retain all relevant information from both records (without duplicating it), such as contributions, contact info, attributes, notes, etc. It’s good practice when cleaning up your database to:

1) Conform All Address to Meet the Postal Code Standard

2) Find Possible Duplicates by Partial Name, Address, and/or Birthdate

3) Find Possible Duplicates by Primary Email Address


Navigate to the Contacts (Voters/Donors) list.

Run your search query to pull up the duplicates so they are both displaying in the list.  In my example I pulled up duplicate ‘Bob Smith’ records with the same home address.

Click on the row for the record that you *don’t* want as the primary record so that the row turns blueIn my example I highlighted the record with the higher ‘ID’, which means it’s a newer record, which I’ll merge into the record with a lower ‘id’.

You can click-and-hold just about anywhere on the row to begin the process—I prefer to click the small black triangle icon on the far-left of the highlighted row.  Click and hold for about 3-4 seconds.

Slowly drag-and-drop the source contact record onto the target contact record.  A small rectangle icon will appear under the mouse cursor if it’s working correctly.

When you release the source record into the target record you’ll get a pop-up screen with all the details about what’s going to take place.  After verifying the information, check the box in the lower-left, and click [OK].

If the merge is successful the duplicate contact record will disappear.  *If it fails you’ll get an error message as to why.  My example is below.

To view the details of the merge click on the contact’s name to open their record card.

Navigate to the Logs tab > Log sub-tab, click the [Show Suppressed] button, and you’ll be able to view the details of the merge in the text box at the right.  My example is below where you can see the contact record has now been merged twice, the Log Type is recorded as ‘Combine Comment’.

If you make a mistake going through these steps, the roll-back tool will be your friend (if you catch it soon enough)—measure twice, cut once.

That concludes the steps, repeat until all duplicates are cleaned up.

The related resources below link to a variety of similar articles and videos on keeping your database tidy.  If you have any concerns going through these steps please call our live tech support.

Related Resources

Article: Find Possible Duplicates

Article: Rollback – Undo Function

Article: How to Find Duplicate Contact Records by Identical *Primary* Email Address, and Automatically Merge them Together

Article: Auto-Merge Duplicate Contact Records

Article: Auto-Merging Duplicate Address Records

Article: How to Merge Attributes

Article: Automatically Conform Addresses

Article: Why won’t some of my records merge?

Article: Managing Households – Creating, Deleting and Re-Creating

Article: Address Management

Article: Address Normalization (unlimited addresses per person)

Video: How to Manage Duplicates

Video: Households – What To Do B4 Householding!!

Video: Households – Delete and Recreate

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