How to Clean Up Mac OS X Mail's Auto-Complete List

Clean broom sweeps clean
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Mac OS X Mail has a good memory for people you've mailed. A really fantastic memory. It never forgets any of these addresses until you manually remove it.

No problem. But then… throwing out the old feels good, it makes room, metaphorically if not actually, for the new, and — who knows — maybe it makes Mac OS X Mail faster, too.

It's even better when finding the stale and getting rid of it is so easy as it is with Mac OS X Mail's store of previously used addresses.

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 addresses are sorted with the least recently used on top.
    • Click the header until you see a triangle pointing downwards in it.
  • Make sure no entry is highlighted.
    • To deselect all, first, highlight just one, then deselect that address by holding down the Command key while clicking it.
  • 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.