How to Stop Gmail From Adding Contacts Automatically

Gmail automatically saves the recipient’s email address in your contacts when you send, reply or forward an email. If you don’t want to see them in your contacts list, here’s how to disable the function and delete auto-added contacts.

Gmail wants to make managing contacts as convenient as possible, so it automates contact creation and auto-completes email addresses when you’re composing. It also includes these contacts whenever you export contacts in Gmail and sync to your phone. However, you can disable Google’s behavior altogether and prevent unwanted emails from crowding your Google Contacts.

RELATED: How to Export Contacts in Gmail

How to Stop Gmail From Adding Contacts Automatically

First, open the Gmail website, login into your Gmail account, and click on the gear icon in the top-right corner.

Click the “See All Settings” button.

Click the "See All Settings" button.

Under the “General” tab, scroll down to the “Create Contacts for Auto-Complete” section. As we mentioned above, Gmail enables the option to add the email address to your contacts automatically. Select the “I’ll add contacts myself” option.

Select the "I'll add contacts myself" option.

Click the “Save Changes” button at the bottom.

Select the "Save Changes" button at the bottom.

Now, you can move out of Settings and back to the Inbox.

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After this, Gmail won’t add random email addresses to your contacts list. Instead, you can manually add email addresses to Google Contacts, which is quite simple.

How to Remove Auto-Added Contacts

Preventing Gmail from auto-adding emails solves only a part of the problem. What about the ones that Gmail has been adding for years? Here’s how you can remove those email addresses from Google Contacts.

Head to the Google Contacts page and sign in to the account with unwanted emails in contacts. Next, select “Other Contacts” on the left column. All the email addresses Gmail added over the years will appear there.

On the Google Contacts page, select the "Other Contacts" on the left column.

Click one of the contact icons to select it.

Click the drop-down arrow next to the “Selection Actions” icon at the top and select “All.”

That will select all the email addresses in the “Other Contacts” list. After that, you can unselect the contact emails that you want to keep.

All the Contacts selected in the "Other Contacts" list.

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Next, click the three vertical dots at the top, and select “Delete” to remove the unwanted contacts.

click the three vertical dots at the top, and select "Delete."

That’s it. Removing those unassigned emails will reduce the size of your contacts list and make transferring contacts between your Google accounts a breeze.

RELATED: How to Transfer Contacts Between Google Accounts

Samir Makwana
Samir Makwana is a freelance technology writer who aims to help people make the most of their technology. For over 15 years, he has written about consumer technology while working with MakeUseOf, GuidingTech, The Inquisitr, GSMArena, BGR, and others. After writing thousands of news articles and hundreds of reviews, he now enjoys writing tutorials, how-tos, guides, and explainers.
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