In part 1 of this blog post, we warned of a hidden issue for those of you who are thinking about synchronizing Outlook with Salesforce that you should be aware of: Windows Easy Transfer Creates Salesforce and Outlook Duplicate Records, Part 1.
In summary, Windows 7 has a tool called Windows Easy Transfer that allows you to move your files and settings from your old computer to your new Windows 7 computer in a few steps. This sounds like a great time saver but it can create duplicates of all of your contact records and you might end up wasting more time than it might have saved you!
When you sync Outlook with Salesforce, and the folder you choose has contact records in it, and assuming you are syncing both ways, then either Salesforce for Outlook or the Outlook Connector will see those contacts as new records and create them in Salesforce. You will also get all of your original contacts from Salesforce into this Outlook folder as well.
Following are the steps you’ll need to take to avoid duplicates when switching to a new Windows 7 computer and how to delete them if you already have them.
To avoid duplicates in Salesforce and Outlook:
- Before you switch computers, make sure all the contacts you want to sync with Salesforce are synced and then disable the connector on your old computer (so it does not sync accidentally).
- Migrate all the contacts you want to the new computer – but before installing a sync tool from Salesforce, create a new Outlook contacts folder and use that to pull all of the contacts from Salesforce.
Note: You may want to keep the old folder that came from your old computer just to make sure you did not forget anything (or as a backup) but your new folder should have the same records, assuming your sync settings did not change as well. This will keep you from getting duplicates in Outlook and will save you and/or your administrator countless hours cleaning up Salesforce.
If you already have multiple duplicates in Salesforce, you can use the Mass Delete tool to remove them:
- Make sure that contacts are set to sync both ways.
- You can then use the created date of the records as a filter to do a mass delete.
- Be sure to move them to the recycle bin instead of permanently deleting them in case you accidentally grab a contact that should not be deleted.
- Once these are deleted in Salesforce, sync Outlook and any duplicates created will be removed as well.
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