Email: Turning off Auto-Complete

Sorry, my last blog wasn’t really as helpful as it could’ve been crocodile tearsregarding remembered email addresses. Okay, I’m crying crocodile tears; I’m not really sorry.

Why? Because the last blog is very helpful if you need to remove individual cookies to discipline a badly behaving website.

Today’s topic should be more helpful in getting rid of remembered email addresses. We’re going to talk about turning off the auto-complete function.

In any email program, before you’ll see the fruits of your disabling-auto-complete labor, you need to clean out the wrong or old saved addresses from the address database. That’s Step Number One.

After you’ve accomplished that (or before, just don’t forget to do it later), turning off auto-complete will keep those pesky erroneous addresses from sneaking into your email address list.

NOTE: This should work for any email program. I’m only listing a few of the most used: Gmail, Outlook, and Yahoo. If you don’t use one of these three, play with your email program settings until you find a box or radio button that automatically adds addresses to you contact list and uncheck it.


 In Gmail:

1) Click the gear icon in the upper right corner, and go to Settings,



2) Under the General tab scroll half to three-quarters of the way down to the area that says Create contacts for auto-complete: and choose the radio button I’ll add contacts myself.

turn off auto-complete








I know. I know. Now it’s work to add contacts.

Here’s a shortcut in GMAIL. Click on the dropdown menu arrow in the upper right of the email you want to save the address on, choose Add to my Contacts list.

add contact to list

In OUTLOOK, you need to 1) click on the top left grid, choose 2) People

Outlook to People







 In the dropdown menu by New, Add contact.

Outlook Add to Contacts

Let me know if you find a shorter way in Outlook.

YAHOO is the easiest to add contacts. Right click on any email in your Inbox list, and at the bottom of the dropdown menu it says Add Sender to Contact List.

Yahoo Add contacts

Disabling Auto-Complete In OUTLOOK

1) Open Settings (gear icon in top right corner), then click Options















Click Advanced Privacy Settings

Outlook Advanced Privacy settings


One last step. Highlight the radio button that says Only suggest people in my contact list, and Save.

Suggest people on my list


 In YAHOO Mail

1) Upper right hand corner, click the gear icon, click Settings.

Yahoo mail

Select Writing Email, uncheck Automatically add new recipients to Contacts and Save.

Yahoo auto complete


Technically, you probably won’t have troubles with misspelled addresses popping up in your Yahoo To: field, but this will keep old addresses from sneaking into your contact list.

Hopefully, this trick makes emailing easier for you and will help clean up your addresses.

Have a great week-end, and thanks again for following Patti’s Pathways. 😀

DISCLAIMER: Any and all ideas presented in this blog are solely my own unless otherwise noted. I experience troubles with technology just like any other person, and if I stumble upon a fix or suggestion I feel could benefit others I pass it along. At no time, have I suggested or implied that I hold any degrees or certificates related to computer repair.

I have during my career assembled parts into working computers; done troubleshooting on hardware and software; utilized a great many computer programs and software; designed and updated websites and blogs; as well as created brochures, banners, and flyers.


2 thoughts on “Email: Turning off Auto-Complete

  1. Lou Drewes

    Patty, Thanks! But this was not the solution – in this case My Radio Button WAS “OFF” BUT…
    You might be interested in this feedback I sent Yahoo:
    (If I enter “xyz” in the “To” field as a recipient, “Related” contacts from my own contact list appear – just how are they “Related” or “Relevant” ???????????)
    I am concerned here about Yahoo’s AI (It has to be AI) that provides additional recipient “suggestions” from somewhere in the Cloud.
    Recently, in the additional recipient “suggestions” I DISCOVERED the son of my wife’s second cousin listed! Neither of us list his name/email address in either of our contact lists nor have we emailed him. HOWEVER we have his FATHER in one or both contact lists and have exchanged email with him.

    Your thoughts and comments would be interesting to me!

    Thank you!


    1. Patti Post author

      Thanks for your comments, Lou. You might want to try clearing email history (or clicking the ‘x’ by the names in the auto-complete to remove individual).

      I read Yahoo AI does make suggestions from your contacts list or from emails you’ve received. If the father of your wife’s second cousin sent a bulk email to others, there’s always a possibility that your Yahoo Mail remembered those email addresses if they were listed in the To: field along with yours. It’s a good idea if you forward something to a group of people to put the long list of email addresses in the BCC (blind carbon copy) area and send the original to yourself. Not sure the BCC will keep Yahoo from recognizing those addresses for suggestions, but it’s worth a shot.

      Yahoo Mail AI may also do something like Facebook’s and is making suggestion this way. And beware, I read Yahoo Mail also searches email content to target market ads; Gmail used to, but stopped.

      While the world wide web is a phenomenal informational system, remember none of your information is really private. This is why I don’t save passwords, and clear my cookies fairly often.



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