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When typing a recipient's name in the "To:" field, will bring up an autocomplete menu showing all email addresses for that recipient (e.g., Home and Work). If I don't pay attention and just hit Enter or Tab to autocomplete the recipients name, picks the first address.

Is there a way to choose the default email address that selects for the autocomplete of a recipient? I'm not sure if this settings resides in or the Address Book.


In the example below, there are two email addresses for the recipient. defaults to the Home email, whereas I'd prefer it to default to the Work email for this contact. Recipient Autocomplete

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You can use <kbd> for keyboard shortcuts. ;) – nyuszika7h Feb 10 '11 at 20:00
up vote 3 down vote accepted

You can if you have the contact in a group in Address Book. Select the group, then go to Edit > Edit Distribution List... You can select the contact's default email address (the default one is marked in bold). As far as I know, this only sets the default address when emailing that group, though. I don't know of a way to set a default address for a "normal" contact. (After trying to figure out a way off and on for several years, I'm inclined to say it isn't possible, but hopefully someone will prove me wrong.)

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I'm afraid you're correct. For this particular contact, I have his default address for the distribution lists that he's in set to his work email address. However, whenever I email just him, I end up accidentally sending it to his home email address. – Matthew Rankin Feb 10 '11 at 17:40

Remove the email address you don't want to be the default from the 'Previous Recipients' list in

Mail -> Window -> Previous Recipients -> Search for Name

This will make the default (and much faster) first address the one in the Previous List and any others in the address book will be further down the auto-complete list.

This works until that recipient sends you a new email from that same address, which puts that email address back into the queue.

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What order are the addresses in in Address Book? If you put the work address first there, it might be on top in the Mail list and be the default selection.

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The work email is first in the Address Book. – Matthew Rankin Feb 10 '11 at 18:29
Then maybe make it last? Not the most logical solution, but the strangest things work sometimes. – CajunLuke Feb 10 '11 at 19:21
See my answer: remove the unwanted email from the previous recipients list in, which is separate from the address book. – alfwatt Nov 14 '12 at 20:53

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