Dear Berry: How do I link contacts on BlackBerry 10?

Need advice on how to solve your BlackBerry woes? Dear Berry is here to save the day.

By Dear Berry on 7 Nov 2013 08:13 am EST

Hello again readers! Dear Berry is here once again with a mailbag full of BlackBerry questions and woes. Today's question comes from Theo who asks:

Numerous contacts appear for the same name - from various sources. Facebook, LinkedIn and whatever I manually enter. Is there a way to have BB10 consolidate those into one contact?

For current users of BlackBerry 10, the contacts application should automatically link contacts based on certain criteria such as same first and last name, cell number, email address, and social networking accounts. As we are all familiar with the fact that duplicates can and do exist, there is a way to merge or link them so that they do only appear under one name. While there is more than one way to do this, I have found this to be the quickest method.

  • Go into the Contacts application and long press on a contact
  • From the side action menu tap on Select More
  • Tap on all of the contacts / names that you wish to merge (i.e. Local contacts, SIM contacts, Facebook contacts, Twitter Contacts, LinkedIn Contacts, etc.)
  • From the side action menu, tap Link Contacts

These steps should consolidate your contacts into one. 

If you would like to reverse this process and unlink contacts, simply go to the contacts name, tap on the Links icon at the bottom and tap Unlink next to each name in the list and then Save. This helps if you inadvertently combine two different people together. While some experience an issue with unlinking, I do find if you let some time pass or repeat the step it does take affect.

For more tips on how to use the Contacts application, check out our tutorial here 

See you next time!

Have a question about BlackBerry etiquette? Need advice on how to cope with your BlackBerry addiction? Dear Berry has you covered and there's no question too big or problem too small. Submit any of your BlackBerry woes by email to or on Twitter @DearBerryCB.

Reader comments

Dear Berry: How do I link contacts on BlackBerry 10?


I see a lot of people saying they get problems with them unlinking so I wanted everyone to read this. 10.2 seems to have fixed this problem for me thus far. So if you're on 10.1 still, have patience, as there is now one more thing to look forward to. If you're on 10.2... well get linking.

Posted via CB10

Oh and I mean official 10.2. The leaked version I used before did not solve the issue for me.

Posted via CB10

You could be right, as I'm using a z10 and we may be using different OS. but have you linked them in the past? I should have mentioned i took the time to clean up my contacts and linked them all first .
Edit: I just sort of thought about what I"m asking, and I suppose the Z30 has always been on 10.2 so it must still be an issue for many people.

Question should be-

Dear Berry: how do I get my linked Contacts to stay linked on BB10?

(as my phone seems to be alive and does whatever it wants to, to my poor contacts, sometimes my contacts even play hide and seek with me)


Lol.... same issue... hope this will be resolved or ability to make one email the master account for contact information... setting feature added with the contact settings...

Posted via CB10

I ha e many problems with contacts remaining linked. I clean up my contacts only to have duplicates again a few days later. I've found that turning off some external sources like Hotmail helps. I suspect some system identifiers are being regenerated causing a broken link. Do others see this problem? Anyone figured out the cause or a workaround?

Posted via CB10

I have had this problem since the beginning of BB10.
It's like my contacts are a living breathing organism. It's really annoying.
I feel like I'm constantly fighting with it to get them straight.

Posted via CB10

Amen. I had actually gave up on trying to keep my contacts consolidated. Someone said it was some remnant memory that pops up when I charge it on my computer but it does the same thing when I use the wall charger. I bought Contact X and while it will merge contacts it won't stay merged long. I've turned off email / etc yet it still happens and let's be realistic, turning off a primary reason why we bought a cell is not a great solution. I'm hoping 10.2 brings some resolution but I had the same hopes for 10.1. We need a true solution. So Mr. Chen, please make that happen.

Posted via CB10 from my Z10 or PlayBook!

I've had this problem as well. I believe it's related to Skype. I only have a handful of contacts on Skype, and every time I start Skype, they are the ones that become duplicated in my Contacts list. I've taken to outright deleting the duplicates as nothing has become unlinked/unpaired from the original.

Yup. Same here. One of the many bugs that unfortunately keeps me from recommending this phone to others. It has caused real problems for me at work - not knowing who you're getting a text from. If it weren't for my disdain for apple and the promise I see in bb10, I would have dumped this phone after about a week. A phone should do the basics right. My z10 cannot.

Posted from BlackBerry Z10

I feel your pain, but since the official 10.2 release I haven't had them unlink by themselves yet. Knock on wood.

Posted via CB10

For me even on a official 10.2 my contacts still unlink themselves.
This is sad. How do u plan make a come back when the z10 can't deal with contacts. If it was a ios or droid bbm issue BlackBerry would be right on top solving their problems. Just saying.

Posted via CB10

I have an issue with deleting/editing phone numbers and email addresses. They revert back to the old numbers/address. This is my biggest gripe with this phone

Posted via CB10

A better question would be "Once I've taken the time to link my contacts' accounts, how can I keep them linked so I don't have to keep repeating the same exercise?"
I've stopped bothering as they keep unlinking.

This is not the best way when you have hundreds of Google Contacts and linking them to their Facebook and LinkedIn contacts. Especially when your Google contacts is grouped into

The best way is going into the the contact you want to link and search for the contact and link them

Posted via CB10

Don't waste your time they will unlink. I'm running 10.1. Like most things BlackBerry like side loading it waste your time and usually won't work..

YouTube issues
Blackgram issuess
BBLINK tirnkng off Windows 8
Camera photo search issues
Never getting an update

I'm a little irritated with my BlackBerry this morning.

And what about If i save a contact the contacts App links to all my accounts and i don't want that because i don't want Gmail contacts in my work exchange

Posted via CB10

Yeah, but even after doing that, in Whatsapp, it still reads and shows them as separate contacts, is it possible to make Whatsapp only show the one, after all linking is done?

Posted via CB10

A solution to this problem is to get rid of WhatsApp and make your friends download BBM. Thats what I did and haven't looked back.
Also, WhatsApp is a year subscription and BBM is free. It was a no Brainer for me

Posted via CB10

Couple Issues with Contacts.

Need to have Title in BOLD Type - damned hard to differentiate between 1 contact and another.

Once a contact is linked, often you will get 2 entries ea for their phone # and e-mail address - no amount of self editing will delete the duplication.

Written with the superlative Q10..Z30 a coming!


Upon opening Contacts, below my 3 favourites, there is a slew of contacts in no particular order prior to the "A's". Delineated by a blue line? Wtf is that all about?

Written with the superlative Q10..Z30 a coming!

Contact linking has been a mess since I first got the Z10. Weird things just happen... Thanks for the comment about the default picture selection with the first selected contact link. been a pet peeve of mine.

"How to link contacts"

I think the easy answer is "don't bother".

Great in theory, but it's just a nightmare. Contact issues are one of my biggest pet peeves with this phone!

Posted via CB10

You must have reading my mind. Just did the update to .424 and found upto 15 copies of some contacts. Deleted copies then discovered the Link process you just mentioned. Way quicker than my previous method of opening each contact then selecting Link. Loving the dark theme.

Posted via CB10Zed30

Contact management is also my biggest pet peeve on BlackBerry 10.


This is what I found.

1) If I setup my social media accounts (fb, twitter, skype...) first then I enter my contacts one by one I can link everything (after a few hours) and they will stay linked. This method will create saved contacts in your email accounts.

2) If I setup my social media accounts first then I transfer info from my Torch, only the exactly written entries will link themselves. This method will not create an outlook, Gmail or work email sync (I deleted all the saved contacts online before restoring my email accounts).

Posted via CB10

BlackBerry should actually figure out how to prevent unlinking contacts when syncing with BlackBerry link..... I don't use that stupid programme anymore

Posted via CB10

having used a BlackBerry for a very long time a lot of my personal contacts have been mixed with my work space after migrating to bb10. Has anyone found an easy way to highlight particular contacts and move them to the personal space?

Posted via CB10

Yea. Contact Management on bb10 is the worst aspect of the entire OS. An exercise in anger management.

Posted via CB10

Question, once everything is all linked, I noticed my contacts main picture ALWAYS defaults to linkedin, sometimes depending on my contact, I want their BBM or Facebook or twitter pic to be the default, and when I click on the pic that I want, it changes to that pic, but then if i reboot my phone, the said contact picture goes back to the linkedin pic.

I really wish I could *merge* contact links of different Info into one contact card. I am tired of duplicate info on each contact that is impossible to edit, of the links unlinking after an update, of random linking between contacts. Another pet peeve is, if I save a contact to my sim card, an entire copy of that contact is added as a separate card. So unnecessary and annoying. I really hate the contacts application. I've given up on it working properly.

Posted via CB10

I did exactly what is described here to link my contacts. All 300 of them. They don't unlink (happy me!) but now I'd really like to sync this linked contact list someplace as a backup. Can anybody suggest something? I was thinking about erasing my whole yahoo contacts list and somehow sync it back there. Does anybody know if that is senseful? It should provide me with a nice, condensed contact list, right?

Contacts in BlackBerry 10 has been an exercise in frustration for me. It was fine until I started trying to sync between Outlook and my phone, but now they just randomly do whatever they want.

Yesterday I was using universal search to look up a contact, but the result was no contact found with that name. I knew the contact should have been in there as they have been in my contacts list for years. I manually looked up the contact to find that the entire contact record was missing. I was busy so I put it aside until later to straighten out. Later, I came back and voilà, search found it and it is again in my contacts list. No reboots or any other fixes.

I don't need these types of problems from my phone. Fix contacts - all of the problems in contacts - now.

Posted via CB10

Thanks, this is a much faster way to link them. Individual contacts may have a suffix or middle name in different locations (LinkedIn, etc.) so they are disjointed.

Posted via CB10

After taking the time to link all my contacts ( more than 1000...) they get unlinked as soon as I use BlackBerry Link and I connect the phone :(
For the time being I stopped using BBLink, it's the only way to keep my contacts linked.
Any idea how could we backup / save our linked contacts until this "auto unlink bug" gets fixed?
P.S: I'm running the official 10.2

Posted via CB10

Linking my contacts was working quite nicely while Under 10.1. I'd never experience such unlinking issue, event for an important contact number (around 1200 contacts coming from various account).
The problem start after I upgrade to 10.2 ...most of those link has just disapear, wich is quite labourious for such large contact list.
I rarely use the linking method as describe above just because this method default the contact informations to the first in the list you have selected. While I generally want the contact info from my main account to be display by default (as these informations are not alway up to date from the various Social account). So the only method that I found working the way I needed to, is to open the contact from my main account (identify it first), then tap link and then add the various other contact to be link, one by one. In that situation the contact from my main account became the default one, but this is quite labourious.
Under 10.2, worst I found many situation where I can't even link some contact together, it just refuse to link them.

Questions / Comments
- Fix the contact linking process.
- Why we could not select a contact to act as the default one from our linked contact ?
- While Skype contacts are listed in our contact list, they are not fully integrated (no option to filter them out and no account identification).
- Where and how the linked contact informations registry are stored, and could we get a way to restore them back (ex; after a wipe, after an OS reload or update, ...).
- Contacts apps still missing "Category field" and also usefull filter (Sort by Companies, Sort by Categories,...).

I did the contact link and now all my contacts appear on one name? I don't know what to do now I opened the one contact and when it opens all of my contacts are link to that one and are all under the same name? When I try to unlinked them it doesn't work and is very slow and now I can't even get my black theme on my contacts anymore even is checked to be in dark, help please

Posted via CB10

I sync my contacts with my Gmail account. It wreaks havoc on both my phone contact list and gmail contact list constantly. Linked or unlinked, I eventually run into a scenario where either I am totally missing a contact or still have a contact but am missing their phone number. If I were to clear my phone and reload a fresh OS, it would pull in my social media accounts like Twitter, FB and Linkedin just fine, but the numbers and addresses that normally populate from my Gmail account would likely have issues depending on how I had the contact lyncs prior. It seems as though if I linked a FB to a Gmail contact it would be fine. If I linked a Gmail to a FB contact, it would totally remove the contact from my Gmail email account.

Contact sync solution that worked for me.

Before syncing contacts. Look at the phone number e-mails etc... if there is any difference edit your local contact to make the same as the social contact. example if their phone number is on facebook. In the US is reads +18885551234. And local contacts just 8885551234. So make thelocal contact have the +1. Also some FB emails say work since the person on FB didn't specify it was a personal e-mail. So you have to make your local contact work also. Else it doubles the e-mail.
Hope this helps some of you.

Once I spent hours doing this all my contacts stay linked.

Posted from my awesome Q10

Tex, I think you are on to something... here is an excerpt from on BB Knowledgebase article KB34444, dated Oct. 29, 2013:

BlackBerry 10 OS includes logic that is used in order to automatically link these contacts together.
Contacts will automatically form a link if they share the same information for any of the following:
• First and Last name
• Email address
• Social networking profile (for example, same LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook profile)
• Mobile Phone number

Contacts who share the same account source, however, are not automatically linked. For example, if a single CardDAV account has two contacts who share the same first and last name of Justin Jones, these contacts will not be automatically linked. A consequence of this behaviour is that any contact created on the smartphone will not automatically link with any existing contacts in writable sources. This will also result in contacts which are created on the smartphone being written to all writable accounts.

Additional Information

The Mobile Phone number is used as linking criteria due to the fact that it is more unique. Other types of phone numbers are not used for linking due to them often being shared between multiple people (for example, a home phone number).
Any contact that has been manually linked or unlinked at some point becomes ineligible for automatic linking. This helps prevent undoing any link corrections made by the user.

Why is work the default phone number? Can you change that to mobile? It's 2013! BlackBerry I get its a work phone but 9 out if 10 times your getting someone's mobile number. 

I love this option... but it would be nice to not have all your social contacts come up when you are searching for phone numbers (testing, phone calls etc.).

Let me give you the biggest suggestion: take your complete list of contacts in a Hotmail/Outlook account (not Gmail) and link them to your phone (by adding the account). Pay attention to "call" your contacts (name and surname), even is not obligatory, as the same names they got in their social (fb,twitter). Link then also the fb account to your phone. That's all, your contact will come out linking your contacts automatically. Then, the Hotmail /outlook is the priority list, the social lists the secondary (but they will give their pictures profile to your fiends). Try to do that and look how amazing it is!! Don't waste time using Gmail contact list, believe me.
See ya!

via my super Z10

Contacts app is still bad! I'm on 10.2 and I've linked my contacts again and now it's all good with the use of Intouch App for backup.
BlackBerry Link should be the one proving the option to backup/restore contacts with their linkages. It's current contact backup/restore/sync just shIT us in the face.

Where is my «Seven flying D's» Logo???

The main problem I keep having is that all my contacts will not show up in the contacts inside the phone calling module . I thought i had fixed the issue by syncing my phone with the SIM card, it seemed to work fine. But after a while it went back to hiding some contacts. And i can't figure out how it decides which contacts to hide.

Posted via CB10

Your primary contact list HAS to be on an Hotmail/Outlook Web account.
Don't add local contacts.
Add new contacts directly from web account (hotmail/outlook).
Don't use Gmail (it don't work good as hotmail).

Try and tell me! ;)
I solved the problem after months...
Now I'm very happy!! Yeah yeah.
You will be happy as me!


via my super Z10