I have a problem with Mail and I don't know how it happened. I somehow accidentally added several names for one email address. Now these names are displayed randomly. This problem is driving me crazy. Each time I send an email I'm obligated to check three times to whom am I sending that email by clicking the name and confirming the email. How can I edit or delete the names behind and email address?


Here is the screenshot when I open new mail message: enter image description here

Then I start typing (pressing "d") the e-mail, list of hints pops-up:

enter image description here

notice that the value that pops up is

"devXXXXXX@gmail.com (Admin m.pYYYYYYY@gmail.com)" and when I press "Enter" it gives the following picture

enter image description here:

In other words, when I look at that address after pressing enter it shows me that I'm sending email to "Admin" with an email "m.pYYYYYYY@gmail.com" though in fact the email is sent to other address devXXXXXX@gmail.com. It means that my email address has a name that contains other person's name and email. The biggest problem is that devXXXXXX@gmail.com email contains several names which swap each time and confusing me...

  • 1
    You also might want to check out the Previous Recipients list in the Window menu. You can delete the problem addresses there too so they don't autocomplete.
    – Richard
    Jan 17 '12 at 21:23
  • Golly it worked!!!!! It was the problem with previous recipients!!!!
    – Lu4
    Jan 17 '12 at 22:55

Check the previous recipients list in Mail. Choose the Window > Previous Recipients menu item, and scroll or search to locate the unwanted name/address combinations. From this list you can add entries to Address Book, or remove from previous recipients. This list is populated and updated every time you send an email.


There should be different contacts for each name in your Address Book.app.

Select the unwanted contact and hit to delete.

  • There are no contacts associated with this email in address book.app, I've made several pictures to describe the problem more clearly...
    – Lu4
    Jan 17 '12 at 22:33

Your best bet is to open Address Book, search for the email address and delete the incorrect contacts.


I had same problem. In my address book, I found a number of email addresses (rather than people's names) showing as contacts. Whenever I opened one of those, I'd find MANY email addresses listed along with it. I had to delete all of those contacts manually. This did not delete the emails where correctly linked to the people's names in my address book. Usually these email address contact were found at the end of each letter's alphabetical listing. It has solved the problem.


In my case, an email address "x@company.org" used to be associated with one person and now it is used by another. I had been trying for weeks to root out the old name but it remained despite deleting/recreating the contact card, emptying the previous recipients list, etc etc.

I found eventually that another gmail account on my mac, for which I had disabled contacts at one point, needed to be enabled again which then showed an older contact card that must have been hidden but still somehow being accessed by my mac mail. Deleting that card FINALLY allowed the new name to associate with the email address.

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