Some programs that were developed to make your life simpler can actually make it more embarrassing. Autocorrect in text messaging probably pops into your head. But there is also the autocomplete function in Apple’s mail app. When you begin typing an address in the “to” line of an email, the app checks your address book and will autocomplete it for you if it begins with the first letters of a name that is already there. This can be good, but it can also cause problems.
Before sending your email, the simplest thing to do is to check the “to” field. Be sure it is addressed to the person you wish. The problem is that you probably have a lot more people in your address book than you realize. Because of this, the autocomplete may pull up people you rarely talk to. This is an issue Brian Sawyer discusses in the O’Reilly Answers website. This can cause you to send important work emails to the wrong person. You might not even realize this since the person probably won’t respond.
Removing autocomplete email addresses
Fortunately, removing autocomplete email addresses from Apple’s Mail app is a reasonably simple task. To do this, from inside Mail, click the “Window” tab. Then click on “Previous Recipients.” Search for the email address that you’d like to remove. Once you’ve found it, highlight it and press the “Remove From List” button. That’s simple, and fast. And it will prevent any future email address embarrassments.
Monitoring is key
Removing an address does not guarantee that it won’t return to your address book. Even collaborating with a person on a Google Doc may add the address to your address book. So, the best way to ensure that these confusions don’t happen in the future is to make sure you check your address book, and double check the “to” field before clicking “Send.”