Deleting Vista’s Windows Mail “Autofill” entries

Recently, we had a client who complained that when he typed a friend’s name into the “To” field of a new email, he saw entries for his friend’s old email address appear as well as the current correct email address. Even though he had deleted the obsolete address information from the contact list the deleted entries still automatically appeared. This is a quirk with Windows Mail and for some reason Microsoft haven’t gotten around to fixing it yet.

This is a feature called “Autofill” and can be quite useful if you don’t want to have to fill out the whole email address, or be forced to press the “To” button to open your contact list in order to search for your friend’s email address. Unfortunately, Windows doesn’t provide a simple way to delete any unwanted autofilled addresses.

There is a feature under the General tab of the Internet properties, that lets you delete all “Form data” information from your browsing history, but to me this is like cutting off your nose to spite your face. Afterall, you may require information to be filled out in other web forms that you have used and this deleting this form information would necessitate you having to refill the form information again. There is also an option in the “Send” tab of the Mail options to stop the Autofill function altogether, but I think that it is a useful tool when composing email messages. 

The way to solve this issue, is firstly to use the up & down arrow keys on your keyboard to highlight each incorrect entry and then press your “delete” key for each incorrect entry. After all of the old entries have been deleted and this is important, you must send this email to someone. I recommend that you send it to yourself by also adding your email addrsess in the “To” field. It is important to do this stop as the entries will not be removed.

Now compose a new email to your friend and you will see that the unwanted autofilled entries have gone!