How to Clean up the macOS Mail Auto-Complete List

Delete old addresses from Mail's address completion list

Clean broom sweeps clean
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macOS Mail has a good memory when it comes to remembering the people you've emailed. In fact, it's so fantastic of a memory that it never forgets any address until you manually remove it.

Sometimes, though, you'll see that an old address is there that you never email but is still getting in the way when you want to message someone with a similar address. 

Instead of deleting just one entry from the list, why not remove them all?

If you want to get rid of every auto-complete address in Mail, you can do so by selecting multiples at once.

Clean up the Auto-Complete List in macOS Mail

Follow these steps to empty the auto-complete list of previous recipients' addresses in macOS Mail:

  1. Select Window > Previous Recipients from the menu.
  2. Choose 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Hold down the Shift key and 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.
  5. Verify all entries not used in the last year are highlighted.
  6. Choose Remove From List.