How To Remove Email Addresses To Avoid Mishaps Due To Autocomplete

Sometimes programs that are developed to make life simpler actually make it more embarrassing. Just look at the autocomplete feature that comes with Apple’s Mail app. The app monitors your email address book as you type email addresses into the “to” line of your email messages. If the app identifies an address from the initial few letters you type, it will autocomplete it for you. Usually this is good. However, it can also lead to problems.

Autocomplete embarrassments

Obviously, if you do not double check the “to” field before sending the email it could go to the wrong person. You might say, but I do not 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 issue on the O’Reilly Answers website. This issue can cause you to send a crucial 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 fairly simple task. To do this, from within Mail, click the “Window” tab. Then click on “Previous Recipients.” Hunt for the email address that you would like to remove. Once you have found it, highlight it and press the “Remove From List” button. That’s easy, and quick. And it will reduce any future email address embarrassments.

Monitoring is key

Removing an address does not ensure that it won’t return to your address book. Even collaborating with a person on a Google Doc could add the address to your address book. So, the easiest way to ensure that these confusions don’t happen in the future is to make sure you check your address book, and check the “to” field before clicking “Send.”