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Deleting Names From Contacts


Cheri from Venice, Florida is having trouble editing her e-mail contact information.  She writes “I am using windows 7, and I would love to know how to delete names and emails from my contact list. I try and it won’t let me do it. I can’t find anything anywhere that helps. Yes I checked your forums and also Windows forums. I backspace and erase the name and address, then it says ” you made changes to this name, do you want to save changes?” I say YES, and the save button disappears and it will not let me make the change. HELP!!!”

Hi, Cheri.

Thanks for the great question!

You didn’t specify which e-mail service that you’re using, so the images here will be from my e-mail service, Gmail.


First off, I think that the reason that your save button is disappearing is because your e-mail service, more than likely, won’t allow a blank contact name.  So if you’re simply deleting the person’s name, then your service probably thinks that you’ve made a mistake, and therefore won’t allow you to save.  But I think that deleting the name isn’t what you want to do.  If I’m reading your question correctly, it seems like you’re trying to remove the contact completely from your contact list.

Before I get to that, let me throw out another tip that I gave some time ago that you can use in your contact to help thwart e-mail hijacks.  Create a contact with the name or something similar, as long as it’s all A’s.  When the hijacker tries to send an e-mail to this address, it will, of course, fail and the hijacker will go away.  Computers are easily fooled.

As far as deleting your contacts go, here’s how to do that.  Like I say, I’m using Gmail as my example, but the basics will remain the same for any e-mail service that you use.

First off, of course, open your contact list.  In Gmail, it’s on a drop-down menu on the left hand side.  The default choice is GMAIL.


In Gmail (and let me be the first to say how much I dislike Gmail’s new interface for contacts… I find it clumsy and overly difficult to use), you scroll down to the contact that you want to delete and click on the three boxes on the right, which is MORE ACTIONS.  From the drop-down that opens up there, click DELETE.


Another option, one that’s especially handy if you want to remove multiple contacts, is to use the check boxes on the left of the screen.  In the new Gmail interface, some of them are covered with silhouettes, but if you mouse over them, the check box will appear.  3

Once you select at least one target, a new banner will appear across the top of the screen that includes a trash can icon at the upper right.  Once you’re finished selecting targets, simply click the trash can and they’re gone.

~ I hope that this helps!

Randal Schaffer

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One Response to “Deleting Names From Contacts”

  1. Leslie Maier says:

    This is an extremely timely tip. I am in the process of removing ALL of my gmail contacts because most are outdated (I normally use Outlook which is another story). THANK YOU for this tip.

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