How To Remove Email Addresses To Avoid Mishaps Due To Autocomplete

November 29th, 2012

Sometimes things that are created to make your work easier can in fact create problems. The thing that comes to my mind is autocomplete in text messages. But one more huge one is the autocomplete function in Apple’s mail app. This can easily cause you to send emails to unintended parties. This occurs if you are entering an email address into the “to” field and it has the first couple letters as an address in your address book, it will autocomplete that address for you. This may be helpful, but it may cause problems as well.

Autocomplete embarrassments

For instance, old or seldom used email addresses for your contacts will make their way into your address book. Which is a problem that writer Brian Sawyer recently addressed at the O’Reilly Answers website. As outlined by Sawyer, he’s often sent business-related email messages to his contact’s personal Gmail addresses because of this. This might not feel like a big deal, but what if the recipient rarely checks his Gmail address? A crucial piece of business email might be ignored for days. What if a whole family uses the same Gmail address? A private business email could be read by the wrong person.

Removing autocomplete email addresses

Fortunately, if you are cognizant of what emails are getting pulled up regularly, then you can easily remove them from your address book. To do this when you are in Mail, click the “Window” tab. After you select “Previous Recipients,” search for the email address that you want to remove, highlight it and click “Remove From List.”

Monitoring is key

Of course, as soon as you remove an address, there is no guarantee that it won’t eventually 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 want to truly avoid any email mix-ups in the future, you will have to occasionally monitor your address book for any email addresses that do not belong.