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How to Prevent Gmail From Automatically Adding Contacts

Gmail by default automatically saves details of every person you email to in your contact list. If you are a prolific email user who receive lots of email from different people, and if you diligently reply to them all, your contact book must have grown to unmanageable proportions, just like entrepreneur and angle investor Brad Feld found out a few weeks ago.

Mr Feld had hit the 10,000 mark which is the limit Gmail has set for the maximum number of contacts a user can have all due to the auto-saving feature on Gmail, because of which he was unable to add any new contacts. One doesn’t need to be terribly insightful to realize that adding contact info of all correspondents without the user’s permission is an awful idea.

Brad Feld has respectful influence in his circle of business and his blog post generated some buzz around the web. Maybe it was this, or maybe not, that finally brought some senses into Google.

The company announced in a blog post yesterday that they have added an option to Gmail that allows users to get out of the automatic-contact saving nonsense.

The option can be reached from the settings page in your Gmail account. Scroll down the page until you come to the entry “Create contacts for auto-complete”, and switch from the default “When I send a message to a new person, add them to Other Contacts so that I can auto-complete to them next time” to “I’ll add contacts myself”.


Don’t forget to save the changes before you leave the page.

The Google team has also made a few other small changes to Gmail. These are mentioned in brief below:

  • Better warnings for typos in email addresses: Gmail will point out exactly which address has errors.
  • Fewer annoying error pop-ups: When you reply to a message in the Trash, Gmail will allow you to move the conversation out of Trash right from there.
  • Easier transitions between certain actions: After you create filters from the "Filter messages like this" option that shows up on some messages, you can go right back to what you were doing before.
  • Keyboard shortcut guide for everyone: Hitting Shift+? will show keyboard shortcuts and an option to turn them on, if you haven’t.
  • Refresh button: Refresh is changed from a link to a button.


  1. In the Google search bar, I usually cannot back up with the "left arrow" button in order to change a letter or add a letter that I missed. I have to hit the "Backspace" button and erase everything up to the error I had made, then retype everything from that point forward. This started about a year ago.

  2. Why would I want erase/delete all these automated added contacts since it helps you auto-complete and hence recognized as a previous person to whom you've sent an eml but couldn't have known otherwise?!


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