Gmail; Get rid of wrong email addresses

Gmail (Google Mail) likes to collect every email address that you send mail to.  After a while, when you start to type an email address, many of the addresses it prompts you with are wrong.  If you’re not careful, your email goes astray and you get replies like “You’re lucky I saw this!  I don’t check that address much any more.”

Clean up bad email addresses

This method gets rid of the bad addresses Gmail has collected so far.  See the next section for how to stop Gmail from collecting more of them.

In the top left corner of the Google Mail web page is a page selector that says Gmail.  Click the down-arrow at its right end; a page menu drops down.  Select Contacts.gmail 05 page

Gmail displays a list of your contacts.  Several lists are available, including any Gmail groups you’ve created.  The display defaults to the last list you looked at, or to “My contacts.”  Use the tabs in the left pane to switch to “Other contacts;” this is where Google stores email addresses that it automatically collects.gmail 15 other

Check the box in front of each address that you want to get rid of.  At the top of the page, click More.  A menu of things you can do with selected addresses drops down.  Select Delete contacts.gmail 20 delete

Stop Gmail from automatically collecting email addresses

Wouldn’t it be nice if Gmail automatically collected just the email addresses you wanted to keep?  So far, they haven’t figured that one out; it’s all or nothing!

Personally, to avoid getting prompted with wrong addresses, I’m willing to manually collect my email addresses.  This is easy to do (see the next section).  And it’s easy to change your mind later.

Here’s how I stopped automatic collection:

Click the gearwheel icon in the top right corner of the Gmail web page.  A menu drops down; select Settings.gmail 25 settings

At the top of the Settings page, make sure the General tab is selected.  Scroll down to “Create contacts for auto-complete.”  Select “I’ll add contacts myself.”  gmail 30 autocomplete

Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Save changes.

Collect email addresses yourself

Here’s a quick way to add a sender’s address to your address book:

  • In the open e-mail, mouse over the sender’s name or address.  Gmail displays a box of information about the sender.
  • In the bottom left corner of the box, click Add to contacts.

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5 thoughts on “Gmail; Get rid of wrong email addresses

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    1. pablovilas13 Post author

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      Reply
  2. cnswines

    Thank you. Finally someone managed to properly explain, with adequate screen captures, how to get rid of wrong email addresses in gmail. I read 10 different forums before I found you. Thanks!

    Reply
  3. Erik Camiel

    I’m okay with gmail collecting emails addresses for me. What I want,is an automated way to identify and remove wrong email addresses (based on failed deliveries).

    Reply

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