Gmail Tip #23: Cleaning Your Contacts

One of Gmail’s “features” can leave you with extra entries in your Contacts list. Read on for more information…

Gmail has a (debatably) nice feature that automatically adds to your Contacts list the email addresses of those to whom you send emails. While this can be helpful at times, just remember that EVERY unique email address you send to gets auto-added. So, if someone or some company sends you an emai and you reply to it, the email address will get added. For clarification, it only gets added once. We’re talking about “unique” email addresses here. But how do you know what gets added?

Log into your Gmail account and click on the “Contacts” link at the top of any Gmail page. A window will open displaying any Contacts you may have. Any you have manually edited will typically have a “Name” and possibly a “Note” associated with it. By default, any Contact Gmail auto-adds and is unedited will not contain any “name” or “note” information, just the email address. Visually scan down the list and look for any that fall into this category. If you find one, determine what to do with it: Delete is, Edit it, or leave it alone. Obviously what you do with it is up to you, but I make it a personal rule to always edit any email addresses I want to keep and add names (and sometimes notes). Any I don’t want, I just delete. This keeps things clean.

Until I realized that Gmail did this, I was surprised as to how many Contacts were added.

So, every once in a while, I take time to be sure to monitor my Contacts list and clean out any unneeded entries.

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