Autocomplete: Removing Email Addresses

Autocomplete: Removing Email Addresses

Some programs that were designed to make your life simpler can in fact make it more embarrassing. Autocorrect in text messaging probably comes to mind. But there is also the autocomplete function in Apple’s mail app. Once you start typing an address in the “to” line of an email, the app checks your address book and will autocomplete it for you if it starts with the first letters of a name that is already there. This is often good, but it can also lead to further problems.

Autocomplete embarrassments

Obviously, if you do not double check the “to” field before sending the email it may go to the wrong person. You may say, but I don’t have that many people I email. Well, may very well not realize that you may have a number of old contacts in your address book that you never email. Brian Sawyer discussed this matter on the O’Reilly Answers website. This issue may cause you to send an important business email to someone you never speak to, and you might never even know it.  The person you meant to send it to will never receive it and an email containing delicate information could be read by the wrong person.

Removing autocomplete email addresses

Fortunately, removing autocomplete email addresses from Apple’s Mail app is a reasonably simple task. To do this, from within Mail, click the “Window” tab. Then click on “Previous Recipients.” Search for the email address that you’d like to remove. Once you have found it, highlight it and press the “Remove From List” button. That’s easy, and fast. And it will prevent any future email address embarrassments.

Monitoring is key

Of course, as soon as you remove an address, there’s no guarantee that it won’t one day return to your address book. Something like collaborating with others through Google Docs can fill your address book with personal, rather than business, email addresses. So if you need to truly avoid any email mix-ups in the future, you will have to occasionally monitor your address book for any email addresses that don’t belong.