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A couple of people have changed their email addresses these past few months. Even though I updated my address book (adding the new email, deleting the old one), when I type their name it continues to pop up the old email address as well as the new one, and I have to choose which one I want. Both aren't in the contacts, the old one was deleted. Why is it still popping up and how do I get it to stop?

I'm using an iPad.

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Search for "previous recipients" either here or in the mail application and let us know by editing this to narrow down what issue you face in using that feature. – bmike Sep 13 '12 at 17:48
I don't see any "previous recipients" in the iPad version. Either in the Mail app itself or in the Settings app. – Confused Sep 13 '12 at 22:03
The system actually flagged your question as of so low quality that it needed a human to see if it could be fixed. When I was discussing it with another moderator - we should have just closed it as not a real question and waited to see if you could edit it, but I wanted to help you get an answer which is why I pointed it to the closest duplicate on the site. I'm sorry you feel put out, but even moderators can't tell who downvoted this question or why. I assure you there was nothing random about my actions and I will see if I can offer an answer to assist you. – bmike Sep 14 '12 at 2:16
Also, since your account is new, you will want to read the guides that help you avoid making beginner mistakes like asking vague questions without any research or details. Also, discussion about the site and how much it may or may not suck belong on the meta site rather than on the main site - and the main faq will assist you in understanding how the sites work. – bmike Sep 14 '12 at 13:09

I cannot find any reference to a "purge recent addresses" in iOS so you might need to just erase all Mail accounts and see if that clears the cache of recent addresses. In fact, I can't even find confirmation that this is something that is even programmed.

Have you tried deleting all contacts from the phone to be sure it's not a problem with the contact database and not simply a mail issue?

Assuming you have a good backup of your contacts (or they are stored safely in the cloud while you are troubleshooting this) - these are your two options for clearing things further with respect to Mail and the data it contains:

  • wiping the device and setting it up new
  • deleting all Mail accounts and then setting them up again (password, servers, etc...)

The first is a pain, but should work splendidly. The second is not guaranteed to work, but much easier to do and less setup to get all of your data and apps restored and configured again.

I would recommend a good backup before deleting anything and knowing all your passwords before deleting a Mail account (screen captures of each mail settings page is a nice way to document the settings before deleting things). Also - it would be good to log into webmail to be sure that all the messages are still on the server. This shouldn't be an issue with IMAP/Exchange - but POP mail is notorious for deleting messages so you may not want to try this if you're not sure all your email is on the mail server.

Surely a total erase and setting up the phone new would clear this list, but I would start with deleting mail first and then perhaps deleting mail and all contacts to see if the cache of previous recipients gets cleaned out.

Hopefully someone else has a better solution since this isn't something I have tested as I've never had a situation where

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GO to MAIL and open it. In the bar up top click on "WINDOW" and you'll see in the drop down menu "PREVIOUS RECIPIENTS" click on that and a list of emails opens up that your system uses as it's preferred email address. That means you get to type one or two letters and "it" fills in the rest of the wording for you.

You have to erase these every time you enter in a new address for someone.

Otherwise your system keeps putting in old addresses when you try to email someone even though you put in the correct email address into contacts and may even have erased the old addresses.

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