Recently I`ve opened Skype as usual and have seen this:

Multuplying contact lists

All my contact lists have been duplicated. I guess this is a bug in Skype.

  1. How to purge redundant contact list entries?
  2. How to prevent this duplication from happening again?

Skype desktop version is

  • 1
    Questions about desktop software belong on Super User.
    – ale
    Mar 15, 2016 at 17:09

5 Answers 5


Same thing. It seems Skype adds these duplicates every time it starts. In my case I ended with more than 10 duplicates for every contacts list. Skype version The only option I found is to fix skype's local database manually (or write a sql script for that :)). Skype uses SQLite to store it's data in %APPDATA%\Skype\, so it can be changed with SQLite browser (manually) or using SQLite command line tools. I wrote this SQL script that deletes duplicates:

delete from ContactGroups
where custom_group_id in
(select custom_group_id from ContactGroups
where custom_group_id is not null
group by custom_group_id
having count(*)>1) and id not in 
(select min(id) from ContactGroups
where custom_group_id is not null
group by custom_group_id
having count(*)>1);

Batch script to run it:

set SKYPE_USER=<your skype user name>
sqlite3.exe %APPDATA%\Skype\%SKYPE_USER%\main.db < CleanupSkypeContactLists.sql

(assuming you saved sql code above as CleanupSkypeContactLists.sql in the same directory as sqlite3.exe from SQLite command line tools). And don't forget to quit Skype before running the script. The script deletes duplicates, but when skype starts, it adds them again, so I still have 2 copies of all my contact list. Anyway it's better than having continiously increasing number of them.


This is a known bug in Skype dating from this year. Every major revision of Skype seems to fix some problems, but also to create new ones which are sometimes never fixed.

The only known remedy to the duplicates problem as supplied by a Skype Community Ambassador named ruwim is :

This erroneous behaviour is easily reproducible on the latest Skype version.

However, everything is correct with the previous version.

If version is sufficient for you, it can be downloaded from onedrive.live.com.

So your options are either to :

  1. Use a database script as suggested by Andrew Khmelev before entering Skype.
  2. Wait for Microsoft to fix the problem.
  3. Downgrade meantime to Skype version
  4. Move to an alternative such as Slack, Google Hangouts, Telegram or Jitsi. (I have no experience with these.)

It seems like with the latest there is no even need to clean up: once you upgrade, multiple lists just disappear.


Apparently fixed in (from www.skype.com/go/getskype-full), but it can mess up the existing groups.

I suspect that the best solution would be upgrading to it after manually removing the duplicated lists.


As suggested by harrymc's answer above.

Use Andrew Khmelev's database script or manually remove the duplication lists. THEN, wait a bit (possible server sync updating?...) then sign off and close Skype entirely. THEN, uninstall Skype properly from Windows Programs through the Control Panel. Once entirely uninstalled, go to Skype.com and download the latest version. As said that the duplication bug was fixed. It was for me!

Slight chance that most (to all) of your contact lists will be removed. Depending on what lists you had before the bug.

The above instructions is exactly what I did, maybe it will help some people. Simply adding in my successful experience. I'm nobody special.

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