iOS’ autocomplete skills are a wonderful convenience until they become overstuffed with old entries. Is an old, outdated phone number or email address showing up in the list? Removing them from your contacts won’t remove them from the autocomplete list–you have to do that separately.

Imagine you’re on your iPhone and you need to dash off a quick e-mail. First you normally open Mail and start a new message, then type a few letters of the recipient’s name. A list will drop down of possible recipients. If there are autocomplete entries, a blue “i” will appear next to them.

If this information is out of date, then you can tap the “i” to remove it.

In the resulting contact screen, scroll to the bottom and tap “Remove From Recents”.

Now the old contact will be removed from the autocomplete list.

You can use this same method in iMessage, too–even for group chats. Here’s an example of what we mean.

Whenever you tap any of those blue “i” symbols, you can remove the autocomplete suggestion from your recents.

It’s also a good idea to go through your address book and do a little house cleaning.

To do this, first open your address book and open any contact you need to remove and tap the “Edit” button in the upper-right corner.

Now, scroll to the bottom of the contact and tap “Delete Contact” and confirm you want to remove it. (You could, alternatively, just remove the outdated number or email address for their contact card.)

You will need to go through your entire address book and do this to each contact you want to remove. If you have a lot of names in your address book, then this may take some time but when you’re finished, you will be more assured you won’t see obsolete names or addresses in your iPhone or iPad’s autocomplete fields.

Profile Photo for Matt Klein Matt Klein
Matt Klein has nearly two decades of technical writing experience. He's covered Windows, Android, macOS, Microsoft Office, and everything in between. He's even written a book, The How-To Geek Guide to Windows 8.
Read Full Bio »