How to delete email addresses from auto-complete list?

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Outlook version
Older version
Email Account
I hope the title makes sense.

What happened was this: A friend asked me how to delete email addresses in Outlook 2003.

I replied that it was easy, thinking that he just wanted to remove addresses from his address book or Contacts page.

But when he showed me HOW he was trying to delete addresses, and WHERE he was accessing these addresses from, I realized that the problem was beyond my (small) level of expertise.

He opened Outlook and took the necessary steps to send a new email. (File > New, I think was where he started)

In the blank email that popped up, he clicked in the 'To' box and typed the letter 'p' (he wanted to mail his friend 'Patterson')

This was the first problem - a box containing four 'p' address entries appeared, but none of them were from his address book. This why I thought they might belong to an auto-complete list of some kind.

Next problem arose when he asked, "Dunno where they came from. How do I delete them?" I couldn't see how to do it - right-clicking an address didn't yield a 'Delete' menu item.

Hence my question here - hope you guys can a) understand it and b) offer a solution :)

Search the Help function for "autocomplete" where you will find:

To delete them as they come up in the To box, type the first letter per usual, then use up/down arrow to highlight an address, press delete. OR, to delete all that are showing, just press delete repeatedly until they are gone.

FYI, "AutoComplete is a feature which displays suggestions for names and e-mail addresses as you begin to type them. These suggestions are possible matches from a list of names and e-mail addresses that you have typed before, known as the AutoComplete name list.

  • On the Tools menu, click Options.
  • On the Preferences tab, click E-mail Options, and then click Advanced E-mail Options.
  • Select or clear the Suggest names while completing To, Cc, and Bcc fields check box."

Thanks ajmich.

The thing that was puzzling us most was where the sudden influx of unknown auto-complete listings had come from. Turned out it was because I'd set up an 'Out of office' message for him while he holidayed, and the computer was adding all the addresses to which it was replying, spam included, to the AC list.

Cheers :)
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