Merging Contacts/Duplicate Contacts

We know you’re probably confused about duplicate contacts and merging those duplicates in your system, so we wanted to straighten some things out for you.

In short:

  • Drift does create duplicate contacts within the Drift system. 
  • Currently, there is not an option to merge contacts. 
  • That being said, playbook targeting + email sending fully accounts for these duplicates. 
  • Duplicates also will not count towards your contact limit. 

Duplicate contacts happen for one of three reasons:

  1. When, for example, a user comes onto your website in an incognito window and types in their email into your chat and the browser cannot verify if that person is who they say they are. Anyone can say that they are "" but we do not want to automatically take those messages and add them with the real contact records for Bill, as there’s no perfect verification and the last thing we want is to put false data in records that you know for sure are Bill (in this example).

  2. If you installed Drift using Javascript SDK and are automatically identifying contacts, duplicates will never be created. That is, unless a person starts a new conversation in a new browser and they are not logged in. Like in the example above, if the browser cannot identify the user, Drift will create a new contact for them so that we keep the information of your contacts as safe and accurate as we can.

  3. If you are using the Javascript SDK, HTTP API, or CSV upload and you are identifying people with unique user ID’s (Ex. user 123456), duplicate contacts can occur when an email is entered by the user in chat and they are on your site anonymously. If a person starts a chat as an anonymous user, the user ID Drift will default to using once they submit their email address is actually their email address. This could create a duplicate ID where a person is assigned to the user ID 123456 AND an email like "".


Good news is that you do have the option to manually delete multiple contacts to keep your database clean of those pesky duplicates. 

We recommend not deleting duplicates, as these will not affect how Drift functions and will not count towards your contact limit!

Creating a solution to this problem is on our to-do list, so look out for that feature in the future!

So remember, duplicate contacts exist when someone starts a conversation as an anonymous contact. Drift will create a new record for them unless they come back in that same browser and we already know who they are.


If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out! You know where to find us.

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