Why do I have duplicate users?

Userlevel 2

I have duplicates of some users, all with the same email address. How did this happen? How can I fix it?


Best answer by Eric Fitz 25 June 2020, 18:23

View original

30 replies

Userlevel 1

If you’re seeing lots of user records in your Intercom platform that all have the same email address, it’s because you’re passing different values for user_ID for each one.


When you define both an email address and user_ID for a user, Intercom uses the user_ID as a unique identifier.


For example, if you have two users, both with the email address, but both users have different user_IDs, Intercom will recognise these customers as two unique users.


While you can’t merge duplicate user profiles, you can clean these up.


Firstly, you’ll need to make sure that, in your Messenger code, you’re always passing the same user_ID for each user on login. This will prevent duplicate user records from being created in future.


Secondly, you can export your users in a CSV file. When you open this CSV in Excel, Google Sheets or similar, add a column at the end called is_duplicate_user. After this, filter the Email column to identify any duplicate users.


Decide which user record, among the duplicates, you want to keep. For the ones you want to delete, add a value of true in the new is_duplicate_user column.


Once you’ve identified which records you want to keep and which you want to delete, re-import the CSV file into Intercom, mapping all columns to attributes, including your new is_duplicate_user column. You’ll notice that a new is_duplicate_user attribute has been created as a result.


Finally, apply the filter is_duplicate_user is true to your user list, and select Archive from the More dropdown menu. This will remove the duplicate users from your Intercom workspace.

Is this the same as having multiple chat instances for the same lead or user? If no, how can I fix this.

Screen Shot 2021-01-10 at 2.08.18 PM

Userlevel 1

Hey @user580​, in that example you've outlined above, are these three conversations with users, or leads?


UsersScreen Shot 2021-01-11 at 2.50.41 PM

Userlevel 1

Thanks for sharing that with me. Are all three conversations started by the same user? (i.e. same user_ID, same email address)


If so, that would be expected behaviour - it's possible for the same user to open multiple conversation threads.

And they all have the same user_ID

We have numerous duplicates that somehow came about. We have not changed anything and are not passing new User_IDs. What's going on?

Userlevel 1

Hey @jonas s12​, are they different conversations from the same user? Or is the content of each conversation the exact same?

Hi @eric f11​ ,


So is there no way to fix this problem of having two users of the same email? I know you can't merge it but is there a way to fix this as it isn't answered yet unless I missed it.


The issue I found was that for my instance, I have 2 leads with same emails but one has a user_id and the other is unknown. Is there no way of changing the User_ID from unknown to the one that has? And if I do change it, will they merge?


Userlevel 1

Hey @mark y​, I'm afraid there 's no way to merge two user profiles. It's possible to merge a lead into a user via the API, but it's not possible to merge two user profiles.

Hi @eric f11​ we have a similar problem, but we are not passing the userId, just the email



I try a Chrome incognito window arriving in the step where I set my email and I appear as a new customer like shown here: (notice email and user-id which I suppose is auto-generated)int1 Then I open another browser like Edge and I do the same putting same email

I was expecting to be recognized as the same user and have only one chat in the Intercom Messenger dashboard, instead I appear as a new customer with same email and different user-Id

 int2This is causing some issue because we have returning customer which appear as new customer everytime.

They are not logged-in customer, but our onboarding is able to be interrupted one day and resumed within 30 days and the key is the customer email.


Is there a way to mitigate this behaviour?


Why, specifically, is it not possible to merge duplicate users that have the same email address? I'm having a hard time understanding why intercom does not allow this when any other CRM/chat tool of note does.

Furthermore, this article here is listed from a post on "how to clean up duplicates" but there is nothing here that outlines how to clean up duplicate users.


Userlevel 1

Hey @alessandro r12​, looks like you have duplicate leads here, not duplicate users. A lead is someone who's visited your site but hasn't logged in. It's not possible to merge two lead profiles, and a lead will only be recognised as the "same" lead if they return to your site on the same cookie.

Userlevel 1

Hey @shubh​, the merging of duplicate users is product functionality that we don't have yet. As for the rationale behind this, I'm unsure, but it's a popular feature request, and I'm happy to lend your support to this via the @Product Wishlist​ group.


As for how to clean up duplicate users, my first reply to this thread goes into detail on how to do this via a CSV export and re-import - you may have missed that part as it's hidden below "Expand Post", though!

Yeah, I understood from the support on your Messenger that if the customer loses the cookie, even if he/she has the same email, he/she will be treated as a new Lead.

I was expecting the same Lead for same email, but I understood your point of view.


Eric, what's the process for getting this feature requested? It's crazy you can't merge user accounts. Given the javascript SDK does not allow you to add users, if you are leveraging a web form to push into intercom, you can't create a lead, it has to be a user. Then via the API if your app creates a user, you end up with duplicates. And the "solution" listed to clean up duplicates is not viable because you lose data associated with one of the profiles. So merging users is an absolute requirement.

Userlevel 1

Hey @shubh​, in my reply to your other message on this thread, I mentioned that I was recording this feature request in our Product Wishlist group 🙌

@eric f11​ Is there a way we can filter out duplicate emails when we are sending outbound messages? If we can't merge two user profiles, we at least need the ability to filter duplicate emails. Some of our users ended up in our system several times, and now anytime we send outbound messages, they get a ton of the same message. Its very annoying for them and there's no clear way to fix this since we can't merge users. I'm not seeing a filter option that allows for this - is there any way to do it?

Userlevel 1

Hey @hillary​, I would recommend that you first go about removing these duplicates from your Intercom workspace. Guidance on how to do this can be found in my initial reply (you may need to click to expand the post to see it!).

I followed a link from your support KB titled "how to clean up duplicate" and it pointed me here.>


A thread with zero instructions as to how to manage duplicates XD


So if I can't merge them can I at least delete one?


My duplicates are coming from HubSpot even though that platform doesn't permit dupes by domain (aka same email) and my intercom integration is set to be strictly one way. /shrug



Addendum -- your answer was hidden because the UI of this forum is intentionally obtuse.


  1. Is there a way to do this without utilizing the clunky import function.
  2. I still dont' understand why they exist in the first place in my scenario; I'm not manipulating user_ids your hubspot integration app is to the best of my knowledge.

The solution suggested is quite annoying. We have over 80k users. Exporting, sorting and re-uploading sounds like an immense amount of manual and tedious work.

We use to keep data clean. Reviewing and deleting duplicates manually/automatically is just one of their features. Works really well!

@eric f11​ This is a Feature that we would like to have as well.. If there's anything you can do to bump this up the ladder, that'd be appreciated.