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Deleting E-mail addresses from MacMail autocomplete list

Like many other emailing applications Mac OS X Mail is pretty good at remembering the email addresses of people you usually communicate with. As soon as you start typing it in the To: field of an email, a few suggestions will come up. It is pretty useful expect when you want to get rid of those addresses that you don’t use very often.
Mail icon
Image via Wikipedia

Fortunately, there’s a way to delete old (or unwanted) addresses from the auto-complete list in Mac OS X Mail. The new address will be remembered automatically, and soon the auto-complete feature is as useful as ever again.

Delete an Email Address from Auto-Complete in Mac OS X Mail

To remove an email address from the auto-complete list in Mac OS X Mail:

  • Start typing the recipient’s address or name in a new message.
  • Select the desired address from the auto-complete list as if you’d compose an email to them.
  • Click the small down arrow in the recipient.
  • Select Remove from Previous Recipients List from the menu.

You can also search for the unwanted address directly in the previous recipients list:

  • Select Window | Previous Recipients from the menu in Mac OS X Mail.
  • Highlight the address you want to remove.
    • You can highlight multiple addresses by holding down the Command key.
  • Click Remove from List.

Clean up Mac OS X Mail’s Auto-Complete List

To clean up or empty the auto-complete list of previous recipients’ addresses in Mac OS X Mail:

  • Select Window | Previous Recipients from the menu.
  • Click on the Last Used header so the arrow points downward.
  • Make sure no entry is highlighted.
  • Hold down the Shift key.
  • Click on an address last used a year ago.
    • Of course, you can choose a different interval and select all addresses not used in the past month, for example.
  • Verify all entries not used in the last year are highlighted.
  • Click Remove From List.