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Deduplicate records in HubSpot

Last updated: June 16, 2022

Applies to:

All products and plans

HubSpot automatically deduplicates contacts using email addresses, and companies using domain names.

Record IDs can also be used to deduplicate contacts, companies, deals, tickets, products, and custom objects. You can include Record IDs in your import file to deduplicate records via an import.

Users in a Professional or Enterprise account can also manually manage possible duplicates by using the duplicate management tool.

Automatic deduplication in HubSpot

HubSpot deduplicates objects that are created in the CRM (e.g., imports, forms submissions) in the following ways:

Deduplicate contacts by usertoken

When a new contact is added to HubSpot through a form submission, HubSpot checks a contact's user token (i.e., hubspotutk cookie) to see if it matches an existing contact. If you've turned on GDPR functionality in your account, a user must accept your privacy policy banner in order for this cookie to be associated with their contact record.

If two form submissions come from the same browser and computer, the submissions will be merged into one record because HubSpot will detect the same user token for both submissions. In this case, the following will happen:

  • The information from the second form submission will overwrite the information from the first submission because they have the same cookie stored in their browser. 
  • If the email address from the second submission doesn't already exist as a contact in HubSpot, the email address will overwrite the existing email address for the contact.
  • If the contact submits the form using one of their secondary emails in HubSpot, the secondary email will replace the primary email following the submission.

If you want each form submission from the same browser to create a new contact, you can enable the Always create new contact for new email setting in your form options.

Please note:

  • If a form is submitted via a meetings link, a unique email address will always create a new contact, regardless of if an existing contact has a matching user token. In this case, the existing contact's email address will not be overwritten by the new email address.
  • If a form is submitted via a non-HubSpot form, it is not possible to de-duplicate by usertoken or email. All non-HubSpot form submissions from the same browser and device will be associated with a single contact.  

Deduplicate contacts by email address

When a new contact is added, HubSpot will look for a matching value in the Email property.

  • If you try to manually create a contact with the same email address as an existing contact, HubSpot will alert you that a contact already exists, and you will not be able to add the additional contact.
  • When added via form submissions, or API, if a contact already exists in your account with the same email address, the new contact information will be added to the existing contact record. If the contact submits a form with their secondary email address, the email address will overwrite the existing email address for the contact. If you want each form submission from the same browser to create a new contact, you can enable the Always create new contact for new email setting in your form options.
  • When added via import:
    • If a contact already exists in your account with the same email address, the new contact information will be added to the existing contact record. For example, if you import a list of contacts that includes "admin@hubspot.com," and an existing contact in your HubSpot account has the email "admin@hubspot.com," the imported information will be added to that existing contact record.
    • If you're using a contact's secondary email in HubSpot as their unique identifier in an import, if you include both the secondary email and Record ID as columns in your file, the secondary email will replace the primary email when imported. If you don't want the secondary email to overwrite the primary, do not also include the Record ID column in your file.
    • If you do not include the Email property in your import, each row of your import file will be imported as a new contact record.
    • If multiple records already exist with the same email address as a contact you're importing, you'll receive an import error and that contact will not be imported.  

Deduplicate companies by company domain

When a new company is added, HubSpot looks at the Company domain name property value to deduplicate companies.
  • If you try to manually create a company with the same domain name as an existing company, HubSpot will alert you that a company already exists.
  • When added via an import, if a company already exists in your account with the same domain name, the new company information will be added to the existing company record.
  • If you do not include the Company domain name property in your import, each row of your import file will be imported as a new company record.
  • If multiple records already exist with the same domain name as a company you're importing, you'll receive an import error and that company will not be imported.  

Please note: companies created through API will not be deduplicated by the Company domain name property.

Deduplicate records by Record ID

When you want to import contact, company, deal, ticket, product, or custom object records, you can use a unique Record ID to match up these records with existing records in HubSpot. This Record ID can be used to deduplicate records during the import process, or to search for a specific record in HubSpot.

  • To get the Record IDs, export your records or view a specific object's value for their record ID (e.g., Contact ID, Company ID).
  • Include a Record ID column in your file when you import your records into HubSpot. You'll be prompted to match the column with the Record ID property during the import. If you include the Record ID column in your file, any rows without a value for Record ID will create new records.

record-id-selected

Learn more about how to set up your import files.

Please note: if you only use Record IDs to deduplicate, it is recommended to check for existing records in HubSpot before you import an external file. To do this, you can:

  • Export your records with their Record IDs and at least one property that is included in the external file.
  • Use the VLOOKUP function to cross-reference the information in the new file with the exported file. Learn more about using VLOOKUP in Excel or Google Sheets.
  • Assign the correct Record ID values to any duplicate you've identified.
  • Separate the data into two import files; one file with existing records and their Record IDs, and another file containing all new records.
  • Import the files. The file with the Record IDs will update your existing records, and the other file will create new records.

Manually deduplicate contacts and companies (Professional and Enterprise only)

Users with Edit access to Everything for Contacts and Companies can deduplicate contacts and companies in their account using the duplicate management tool. The duplicate management tool identifies duplicates by comparing two records' names, email addresses, IP countries, phone numbers, zip codes, and company names.

If your account has an Operations Hub Professional or Enterprise subscription, you can deduplicate records in bulk (BETA).

HubSpot displays up to 2,000 of the most likely duplicates. Every few weeks, HubSpot will automatically recalculate these results. You can view when the next calculation will occur under the Manage duplicate [records] title.

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to contacts or companies:
    • Contacts: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Contacts.
    • Companies: In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Companies.
  • In the upper right, click the Actions dropdown menu and select Manage duplicates.manage-duplicate-contacts
  • View a list of duplicate contact or company pairs for your review. You can also view when the next calculation will occur.

Please note: if HubSpot displays a parent company as a duplicate of a child company, you will not be able to review or dismiss this pair as a duplicate. You must remove the parent-child relationship before you can merge them. 


manage-duplicates-dashboard
  • To change which properties are displayed when comparing records, above the table, click Select properties to review
    • To remove a displayed property, click X next to it in the Selected properties section.
    • To display a property, click the checkbox next to the property.
    • Click Apply once you've selected the properties.

select-display-properties-duplicates

  • To compare a single pair of possible duplicates, click Review next to a pair of contacts or companies.
     
    review-reject-duplicate
    • In the dialog box, you can compare the record properties and analyze the record to keep. Select the contact or company you want to keep, then click Merge. Learn more about merging contacts or companies in HubSpot.
    • If the two records are not duplicates, in the dialog box, click Cancel. In the table, click Reject to remove this identified pair from the Manage duplicates dashboard.
  • To merge duplicate records or reject suggestions in bulk (Operations Hub Professional and Enterprise only), select the checkboxes next to the records.

Please note: bulk deduplication features are currently in BETA. To request access, reach out to your Customer Success Manager.

  • To reject the suggested pair, click Reject at the top of the table. The records will be removed from the dashboard.
  • To compare the records, click Review at the top of the table.
    • In the dialog box, click the Merge criteria dropdown menu and select the criterion that decides how the records are merged:
      • Most recent engagement: all selected records will be merged into the record with the most recent value for the Last Engagement date property. Engagements that impact this property include interactions with website pages, forms, documents, meetings link, or tracked one-to-one emails.
      • Oldest engagement: all selected records will be merged into the record with the oldest value for the Last Engagement date property.
      • Created first: all selected records will be merged into the oldest record based on the Create date property.
      • Created last: all selected records will be merged into the newest record based on the Create date property.
      • Most recently updated: all selected records will be merged into the record with the most recent property value update. All properties, including hidden internal HubSpot properties, are evaluated. 
  • bulk-merge-dialog-box
    • Click Merge all.

Learn more about what happens when you merge contacts or companies.

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