How-To

How to Enable or Disable Gmail Suggested Recipients

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Would you rather that Gmail didn’t make suggestions about who to send your emails to? Learn how to enable or disable Gmail suggested recipients in this guide.

Gmail is packed with features to make sending an email as quick and simple as possible. This includes offering suggestions for contacts when you start typing in the To field. Sometimes, however, Gmail may suggest recipients that you barely recognize and that you’re never going to want to use.

For example, try typing just the letter U into the recipient field. You’ll probably see a huge list of unsubscribe email addresses that you’re never going to need again. ‘Uncle Dave’ may be much harder to find than he should be.

Thankfully, you can take control of the contacts that appear as suggested recipients. This is not necessarily as simple as you might expect, but it is possible. If you want to know how to enable or disable Gmail-suggested recipients, follow the steps below.

Can You Enable or Disable Gmail Suggested Recipients?

The short answer is that there is no way to turn off Gmail-suggested recipients. You won’t find any option anywhere in the settings to enable or disable this feature, because it is always enabled.

If there are certain contacts that keep popping up when you really don’t want them to, it is possible to stop specific contacts from appearing in the suggested recipients. It’s even possible to stop any appearing at all, with a bit of effort, although the workaround isn’t ideal.

How to Stop Saved Contacts Appearing in Gmail Suggested Recipients

Gmail-suggested recipients are populated from your contacts. When you start typing, Gmail looks for any of your contacts that match the letters you have typed and suggests them as a recipient. This includes both contacts you have created or saved yourself, as well as ones automatically saved by Gmail.

If the unwanted suggested recipient is one of your saved contacts, you have two main options: delete the contact altogether or delete the email field.

To stop saved contacts from appearing in Gmail suggested recipients:

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account on a web browser.
  2. At the right-hand side of the screen, click the Contacts icon.
    gmail contacts
  3. Click the Open In New Tab icon.
    gmail new tab
  4. To delete a contact completely, hover over the contact and click the Three Dots icon.
    gmail three dots icon
  5. Click Delete and the contact will be removed completely. It will no longer appear in suggested recipients.
    gmail delete contact
  6. If there is other contact information such as a phone number saved with your contact, you may not want to delete it completely. In this case, moving or removing the email address will also stop it from appearing in suggested recipients.
  7. To move or remove the email address, hover over the contact and click the Edit icon.gmail edit contact
  8. In the Email field, you will see the email address. Copy it and paste to the Notes section if you may need to find it at a later date.
    gmail copy email address to notes
  9. Delete the Email entry completely and click Save.
  10. The contact will no longer appear in suggested recipients.
  11. Repeat for any other contacts you no longer want to appear in suggested recipients.

How to Stop Other Contacts Appearing in Gmail Suggested Recipients

As well as the contacts you have saved or created, Gmail will also suggest other email addresses that aren’t from your main contacts list in a list called Other Contacts. These are the email addresses of people you have interacted with on Google products. These could be people you have emailed before, or who have emailed you.

It also includes contacts that you’ve previously shared content with using apps such as Google Drive or Google Photos, or people who are in the same groups or events as you. You can delete these contacts individually or get rid of them all at once.

To stop other contacts from appearing in Gmail suggested recipients:

  1. Sign in to your Gmail account.
  2. At the right of the screen, click the Contacts icon.
    gmail contacts
  3. Click the Open In New Tab icon to access the full Contacts page.
    gmail new tab
  4. In the left-hand menu, click Other Contacts.
    gmail other contacts
  5. You’ll see a list of all the contacts that Gmail has automatically saved.
    gmail other contacts list
  6. To delete an individual contact, hover it and click the Three Dots icon.
    gmail other contacts three dots
  7. Select Delete.
    gmail delete other contact
  8. If you want to get rid of all of the automatically saved contacts at once, hover over one of them and check the box that appears over the contact icon.
    gmail check box
  9. Click the small Arrow next to the Check Box icon.
    gmail check box arrow
  10. Select All to select all of the contacts in the list.
    gmail select all
  11. Click the Three Dots icon.
    gmail three dots icon
  12. Select Delete.
    gmail delete all contacts
  13. The other contacts list is deleted. These contacts will no longer appear in suggested recipients.

How to Stop Gmail Automatically Saving Contacts

Deleting all of your automatically saved contacts will solve the problem for a short while, but as you start interacting with other people in Gmail or other Google apps, the list will start automatically filling up again, and you’ll find these addresses appearing in your suggested recipients.

If you want to stop this from happening, you’ll need to turn off automatic contact creation.

To stop Gmail from automatically saving contacts:

  1. Sign in to Gmail in your browser.
  2. Click the Settings icon.
    gmail settings
  3. At the top, click See All Settings.
    gmail see all settings
  4. In the General tab, scroll down quite far until you find Create Contacts for Auto-Complete.
    gmail create contacts
  5. Select I’ll Add Contacts Myself.
    gmail create contacts myself
  6. At the very bottom of the screen, click Save Changes.
  7. Gmail will no longer populate your Other Contacts list with people you interact with.

Managing Your Gmail Settings

Learning how to enable or disable Gmail-suggested recipients can stop the frustration of unwanted email addresses being suggested when you’re creating a new email. Whilst there is no way to turn the feature off completely, you can choose which contacts are suggested and which aren’t.

There are other ways to make Gmail work the way you want it to. If you find that your Gmail account is a bit of a mess, there are some great tips for organizing your Gmail account. If you’re constantly getting unwanted emails from the same website, you can block a domain in Gmail.

Do you want to see all of the emails you’ve received from a particular recipient? You can learn how to sort by sender in Gmail next.

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0 Comments

  1. Dr. Ned Meacham ll

    February 8, 2024 at 10:21 am

    Hello,
    Your input works well when using Gmail from a Browser (Laptop/Desktop); yet the same settings don’t exist when using an Android phone.
    I have a contact that I have no idea who they are, that I blocked the first time I received spam from them. Yet everytime I use my smartphone to send an email that begins with the same first letter of the unknown person, their email shows up in suggestions. I hate it and have found NO Way of deleting it.
    You have any ideas?
    THANK YOU!

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