Managing Autofilled Email Addresses in Mac Mail

If left unmanaged, normally useful features in an app can sometimes become a bit of a problem. One place where this is often the case is the email suggestion and autofill feature in Mail. Type an email address incorrectly one time, and Mail may try to make the same mistake time and time again, or maybe it consistently tries to send messages to an associate’s email address that was changed over a year ago. Fortunately, these hiccups in an otherwise helpful system are easily remedied once you know how.

Mail is getting the information it uses to autofill email addresses from two sources: the Contacts app (or Address Book on OS X versions before Mountain Lion) and a list of email addresses you’ve sent to before, called Previous Recipients. The Previous Recipients list will actually show which addresses are also in Contacts, so that’s a good place to start.
To access the Previous Recipients list, open Mail, then choose WINDOW, PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS from the menu at the top of the screen.

You can sort the information in Previous Recipients by NAME, EMAIL, or LAST USED by clicking on the heading at the top of the corresponding column, or you can search for an address by entering a part or all of it in the SEARCH field.

Just locate the address you don’t want autofilled any more, select it, then click REMOVE FROM LIST.

If this icon  is to the left of a name in the list, that means that address is also saved in your Contacts app. You will need to remove it from there as well if that is the case.

Jason Merrill, Mac & iOS Consultant

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