A reader wrote in
One thing that makes me crazy is when I start to type a name in the "To" field of Outlook and old email addresses pop up. Is there a way to delete some of the options that pop-up then? For example, when I type in "Bob K" his correct email as well as some old emails pop-up. I looked in his Contact file and the old emails that are popping in aren't in there. Seems like they are stuck in old memory. Is there a file someone that you can clean out those things?
Dear Annoyed with an Ex,
Don't despair and definitely don't feel alone. There are others just like you out there being haunted by an Ex-email address in Outlook. Before you go joining a support group, let me see if I can help.
I love the autocomplete feature that Outlook (and GroupWise) offers. It keeps you from having to type the entire name or email address of the recipient. It's very easy to get rid of those extinct or incorrect suggestions that Outlook offers. HERE'S HOW:
To Delete Old Email Address from Outlook's AutoComplete List:
- Next time you see it pop up - DON'T DO ANYTHING...you don't want to scare it into the To field...
- Upon sight, make a slow and steady movement with your hand toward the Down Arrow on your keyboard. Use the down arrow to highlight the soon-to-be-dead address
- Then in a quick swift motion, tap the Delete key on your keyboard. That gets rid of it from Microsoft's "nickname cache". Consider your digital soul cleansed of emails past.
Now if your name complete has stopped working - well that's a whole 'nother animal...read this.
Thanks to my good friend and legal marketing extraordinaire, JoAnna Forshee for asking me to blog about this issue. BTW, Joanna and I once shared a pair of martini's called the Good Witch and The Bad Witch - I'll let you speculate who had witch.
Your problem is located in a hell known as Frequent Contacts (one of the worst ideas of all time in my opinion). Frequent Contacts requires maintenance. Whoa, wait, now that I think about it - I should really say that - it wasn't a bad idea - its actually probably a good idea IF users were ever properly TRAINED on the nuances of and how to manage a feature such as Frequent Contacts. Ah, but I can only dream that training be SOP in a business. OK, sorry, I'm back. You should make it part of your monthly tech housecleaning to purge the frequent contacts list (I wont call it an address book, because its not). Frequent Hell will store just about any email address you send to - or attempt to send to. If you mistakenly typed my email address as email@example.com (missing the "s" in partners) then GroupWise tucks it away in FC. So the mailer daemon shows up, you realize you typed the address in wrong and resend the message with the correct spelling: firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, the next time you attempt to email me - guess what pops up - the WRONG listing as it will appear first alphabetically. What to do? Go to FC and clean it out. Here's a good site that will tell you how.
I have another suggestion for you based on my experience with Gwise. The FC can be sorted and filtered six ways to Sunday - use that to run this three step process to a better frequent contact list.
- First, sort by date - delete all the entries that you haven't used in the past year. Don't be afraid, just do it, DELETE SOMETHING!
- Then sort according to how many emails you have sent. Now delete any email that you have only sent to once or twice.
- And finally - sort by mail stop (or SMTP or something like that) and delete everyone within your firm (they're in the global anyway and this will get rid of names of those who have left the firm).
There, now you have a semi-healthy frequent contact book. By the way, if I was asked to make a list of "All Time Stupidest Conversion Ideas" - converting a FC address book to an Outlook Contact Folder might be right at the top.