How to Remove Email Addresses from Autofill in Mac Mail Program

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Until recently you could easily delete a previous recipients email address from the Mac OS X email program so that it would no longer autocomplete with that email address – and you could remove that email address right from the To: line in Mac Mail. However now, it may seem, the ‘remove from previous recipients list’ option is gone from that dropdown. Here’s how to delete an email address from autocomplete so that it doesn’t autofill on your Macbook or other Mac.

Previously, after the mail program on your Mac autofilled the To: or Cc: field with an email address that you didn’t want, you could click on that email address and one of the options in the resulting menu would be “remove from Previous Recipients List”.

remove from previous recipients list


That in and of itself was a small hassle, taking 3 steps to complete as it did, but at least it had the advantage of a) letting you know that the email address was in your previous recipients list, b) giving you an obvious way to remove said email address from your previous recipients list, and c) letting you do it from right within your email composing window.

Then came the day – ah, that fateful (or at least fitful) day – when you went to remove someone’s email address from the previous recipients list, only to find that the option seemed to have been removed.

How to Remove Email Addresses from Autofill in Mac Mail Program

We say “seemed” because it actually didn’t go away for all auto-filled email addresses, only some. It turns out that this is a function of the contact program on your Mac having more than one email address associated with the person or entity with whom it has that particular email address associated. And when there is more than one email address associated with the same contact, your Mac won’t offer you the option of removing that email address from the previous recipients list while you are composing email.

Not only that, but your Mac may well have been silently adding email addresses that it thinks are associated with a given entity, which “Siri found in Accounts”.

email addresses added by macdd siri found in accounts

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Now, generally the ‘Siri found in Accounts’ addresses will be your own, because it is pulling those email addresses from the Accounts section of your settings and preferences. But it’s not at all unheard of for Siri to decide that your device belongs to a different contact (that b*tch – she’s so fickle).

siri wrong contact for owner of iphone

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How to Remove Email Addresses from Autofill in Mac Mail Program

Anyways, we digress – the point is that there will be times when you want to remove an auto-filled email address from the previous recipients list, but will not have the option from the Mac Mail composing program. So here’s how to do it.

How to Remove an Email Address from the Previous Recipients List in Mac Mail

Open your Mac email program, and from the menu at the top, click ‘Window’

mac mail email menu window

This will reveal several options, one of which is Previous Recipients

mac mail email previous recipients

Click on Previous Recipients and it will bring up a window with a list of your previous recipients.

remove from previous recipients list mac mail

From here, you can click on the contact to highlight it (you can highlight more than one at a time by holding down the Command key and clicking on the ones you wish to select), and then you will have the choice of removing them or adding them to your contacts.

remove previous recipients from list mac mail

A few things to note:

  • The list of previous recipients is alphabetical by name
  • You can search for the recipient using the search box in the upper right
  • You can sort the list by email address or the ‘last used’ date BUT
  • At least for us, the previous recipients list only retained the last 90 days of recipients

And that’s how to remove people from your previous recipients autofill in Mac Mail. P.S. If you’re wondering how we added the heart to the title of our Correspondence folder, read our article on You Can’t Change the Color of Mailbox Folders in Mac Mail but You Can do This.

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How to Remove Email Addresses from Autofill in Mac Mail Program

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