How-To Geek

Delete Wrong AutoComplete Entries in Windows Vista Mail

If you’ve entered the wrong address into the Windows Vista Mail client, you might have problems getting rid of the wrong autocomplete entries in the list. There’s a couple of things you can try to delete the entries in the list.

First, you can use the Down Arrow key to select the incorrect entry in the list, and then use the Delete key to remove the entry.


This usually works, but for some people it just doesn’t work, the wrong addresses come back. What you can do is completely wipe the auto-complete cache in the registry. Start by completely shutting down Windows Vista Mail.

Open up your registry editor by typing in regedit into the start menu search box, and then browse down to the following key:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows Mail\Recently Used Addresses

Once you are there, look for the entries in the right-hand side. Delete everything other than the (Default) key.


Now you can restart windows vista mail, and all of your auto-complete entries should be gone, including the wrong ones.

Derived from mtnpilot’s thread on the forum.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 07/28/07

Comments (18)

  1. Matt Wollner

    Any suggestion on how to do this on

    – The auto complete for a text box on a web page.
    – A user name and password on a web page. I accidently clicked save password on my bank’s web page. I would like to remove this just for this one web site but keep all the information for all the other web pages.

  2. The Geek

    You can do it in the options page for your browser… if it’s firefox it’s Options \ Security, and IE it’s Options \ Content \ AutoComplete.

  3. Emmanuel Robles

    how can i open the registry editor to delete the automatic completion for an e-mail address that i type into the To and CC fields in windows vista?

  4. Nissi1

    How do I set up Windows mail?

  5. alan w

    Where can I get drivers for my 35mm negitive acaner The scanner is aPF3650 PRO Supplied by Jessops
    alan w

  6. Steve Hindson

    Thanks, e-mail autocomplete advice worked.

  7. Neal Barratt

    Thanks for this – but it doesn’t seem to work if the address you have the problem with is associated with the default address. Even changing the default address, then deleting, then changing the default back doesn’t remove it.

  8. Neal Barratt

    Follow up to my post on October 14. I found that I had entered my ‘return address’ incorrectly in the account set-up in Windows Mail. When I corrected that, the problem was solved by the method originally suggested by the geek. Thanks.

  9. Kathleen

    Thank you so much for the instructions. I have had friends’ and family members’ e-mail addresses change, but if I typed their names Windows mail inserted their old addresses, and because their new e-mail addresses were similar to the old (mostly just domain changes), I had to type the whole new one every time or it would auto-insert the old one. Phew!!! Such a relief!

  10. Shawnde

    Thank-you Sooooo Much. This absolutely worked for me!

  11. Melinda

    Could not get it to work….aaarrrgggh. Wrong email address still shows up.

  12. Melinda

    I spoke too soon….It worked after I did a shutdown. HOORAY!! and Windows 1-800 # wanted to charge me $60 for a support question. A big thank you to the geek!!

  13. Hendo

    Top advice, This worked a treat

  14. Kris

    ok, but how do you get auto complete to work for all the addresses in your contact list? It seems to only be holding them for 24 hours/

  15. Larry

    How do I uninstall Crawler address bar. I tried add/remove programs and can’t find it there.

  16. Larry

    How do I find out which windows vista I have on my computer?

  17. mar 2011

    Your first method didn’t work for me: After restarting winmail, then creating new msg, typed beginning letter of unwanted address, and saw it had reappeared.
    Your 2nd method (regedit). I didn’t want to delete all autocomplete addresses (that appear encrypted) in that reg key.

    A little of searching also found this. The successful method is here:

    Note the critical “Make sure you DO NOT SIMPLY CANCEL COMPOSITION”
    That’s the only step you MUST add to the first method on this page.
    Added detail from my one experience: You can send the email FROM a fake account (the top pulldown “From”), if it bothers you to send a blank email to your own address. It seems that the message compose window needs only to THINK it has sent itself. That causes it to permanently delete the unwanted autocomplete.

  18. ayanna

    I’ve been using windows forever, am now using vista, but i still can’t figure this one out:
    How about getting rid of the errors included in the metadata drop down boxes in my windows music folders (ie., i accidentally hit the enter key after typing in the letter “b” when I actually wanted to select “Blues” or “Ballad” from the Genre drop-down list…so now the Genre list includes a few errors that cause me to have to scroll excessively for the desired genres.) This is not just a problem in my mp3 files, but also in other cases, too. I’ve seen others’ online suggestions to ignore them, they will ‘go away’ in time, but it’s not just that 2 years later they’re still here, but there are also just way to many of them to ignore when speed and productivity are important. Well, HTG, you’re my last hope! (PS, thanks everyone for those useful tips for that pesky email autocomplete problem!)

More Articles You Might Like

Enter Your Email Here to Get Access for Free:

Go check your email!