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Removing Outlook 2007 Email Nicknames

Have you ever sent an email to the wrong person by accident because Outlook auto-completed the name for you?  Ouch!  It happened to me recently – several times and with some borderline sensitive emails.  Somehow the name Carol became associated with a prospective client and I emailed “Carol” several things intended for my Lawtopia partner, Carol Schlein.  Yes, I know.  Some of you are laughing about the tech guy having computer problems.  It happens to us all.

As you send or reply to emails from Outlook, it builds what is called the nickname file.  This happens automatically and is separate from your address book, so names and email addresses may be in your nickname file without you realizing it.  I actually like this feature and, in most cases, it is not a problem.  However, if a name ends up in your nickname file that is very similar to another one you commonly use it can cause the issue I described.

Removing unwanted nicknames is easy.  Start an email and start entering the name or address.  When the list of choices appears, use your down arrow key to scroll down to the name you want to remove, then hit the delete key.  I seem to recall that this was easier in Outlook 2003 (you could just right click and delete) but maybe I am imagining that.

Save yourself some embarrassment and remember this Outlook trick the next time it auto-completes an unwanted name in the “To” field.

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