Check for duplicate email addresses and stop users being logged into the wrong account

If you've recently rolled out Arbor, the Parent Portal or Student Portal, you may have people logged into the wrong account, such as guardians being logged into a student account, or staff being logged into the Parent Portal.

Before completing this process, we recommend checking to see if there are duplicate profiles and resolving them. For how to do this see our articles for staff and guardians and students.


Only people with theSchool: General Admin: Administerpermission can see the notification and resolve duplicates.If you don't have permission, you'll need to ask your admin team to give you permission using these instructions.


Why does this happen?

If a user is being logged into the wrong account, their email address is being used on multiple profiles.

If duplicate email exists, Arbor will try to log you into accounts in this order:

  1. Student Portal (if enabled)
  2. Parent Portal
  3. Staff

Use the instructions below to check if the email address someone is trying to log in with has also been used on a student, staff or duplicate guardian's profile. If it has, you'll need to change or delete the email on one of the profiles so the system will know which account to log into.


Identifying duplicate email addresses

How many duplicates do we have?

You can see a count of all duplicates from School > Data > Data Quality Dashboard. Clicking this will take you to the resolution page.



You can see a count of how many of the duplicates will cause login issues for staff on your homepage, in your To Do list - clicking this will also take you to the resolution page.



Fixing the duplicates

Go to School > Data > Data Quality Dashboard > Suspected Duplicates > Emails.

This page will show you email addresses on more than one profile, that will cause login issues for staff, parents or guardians. We recommend resolving the ones with a tick in the Staff column first.

You'll see a tick in each column only if the people affected are:

  • staff with a current or future Business Role - resolve these to prevent staff login issues
  • guardians who are linked to at least one student with a current or future enrolment - resolve these to prevent issues when guardians try to log into the Parent Portal or Parent App
  • students with a current or future enrolment - resolve these to prevent issues when students try to log into Student Portal

There'll be crossed in the columns where users have left the school, so wouldn't try to log in - it isn't urgent to resolve these.



Click an email address to see what profiles the email address has been added to. You can see what type of user they are.

For example, for the top row in the example above, this can cause login issues for the staff member and the guardian, but not the student. This is because the system will attempt to log in the student first, but this will stop the staff member or guardians from being able to log into their staff or guardian accounts.



If you have multiple students or guardians with the same name, you're able to tell them apart because:

  • Students will have their current registration form next to their name. Any students without this are not currently enrolled in your school.
  • Guardians will show what students they are linked to, helping you to differentiate them based on their children. 

If you're sure the student or guardian profiles are actually the same person, we recommend resolving the duplicate profiles. For how to do this see our articles for staff and guardians and students.



You can change or delete the email address from a profile right from this page. Click the profile you want to amend.

  • Change the email address and click Save Changes to amend the email address.
  • Click Delete to delete the email address.



You'll then be taken back to the slide over, where you can make any additional changes if needed, or close it if you've made all the changes you need to.

If you've made a mistake, you'll need to go to the user's profile directly using the search.



What to do after fixing the duplicate

As the email address for one user will have been changed or deleted, it's a good idea to make sure they can still log in. If you've edited an email address, let the user know the new email address they should try logging in with.

When you've deleted a user's email address:

  • If the person had another email address logged on their profile, this will become the default email address and the email they will need to log in with.
  • If the user didn't have another email address, their username will default to the non-email username. We'd recommend adding a new email address for them to make sure they can log in across all platforms.

Top Tip: Can't find them in the search box? Use the Global search! Here you can see all current and past users with this name!



Can we resolve duplicate emails in bulk?

It is not possible to resolve the issues in bulk from this page.

However, some pages allow you to delete email addresses in bulk, such as if you do not use the Student Portal, and don't want to store email addresses for students. In this case, you can go to Students > All Students > Bulk Update > Student Contact Details.

Click on a blank field to drag down - this will remove the email address from these students.



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I'm still stuck!


  • I have people who are called "Deleted Email Owner" who I can't access, so I can't do anything with them. There is a real person who owns the real email address and this phantom deleted person, who I can't get into to remove the email address from!

  • Hi Jacqui, it sounds like you may be missing some permissions to be able to edit profiles. Please get in touch with us via email as we'll need to take a look at your specific site's setup.


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