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Friday, May 01, 2009

How To: Permanently remove addresses from Apple's Mail application

Apple's Mail application, similar to many modern e-mail clients, contains a function that remembers previous recipients. As more people change e-mail addresses for work, because of a hacked account,  being spammed, or just to try out a new e-mail service, it gets harder to maintain your contact list. While many users change or delete e-mail addresses in Address Book, they are finding the old addresses keep appearing in the auto-filled To: field in new messages. 

MacFixIt reader "81Saluki" asks:
"A friend recently let me know that they changed their email address. So I went into AddressBook and changed the info.  But whenever I create a new email and start to type in the person's name, Mail wants to use the old address.

Is this a bug or am I overlooking something?  Bottom line:  How do I totally get rid of the old email address?"

While updating your contact's information in Address Book is definitely the first step; the second step involves editing your "Previous Recipients" list in Mail. To do this:

1. Open Mail. 
2. From the Mail menu bar click Window, Previous Recipients 
3. You can now select each address you no longer need to show up and click "Remove From List" (Hint: Use Command-Click to multiselect addresses.)
You may sort the "Previous Recipients" list by name, e-mail address, or last used by clicking on the column header (twice to switch between ascending and descending).

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