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Gmail autocomplete -- how to clear contact suggestions when composing a new message?

Android Enthusiasts Asked by James Adams on January 2, 2022

When I compose a new message in Gmail on my Android phone I’m offered several suggestions for the recipient (i.e. for the email’s To: field) via an autocomplete function. These are often very old/unknown contacts which I’d like to no longer see as autocomplete suggestions, but I can’t yet work out how to clear this list.

The contacts suggested appear to have come from an old list of “Other” contacts, i.e. people that I’ve contacted infrequently and who were not actual contacts I’ve added to my contact list. These only show up when I compose a new message in Gmail on my phone, and the autocomplete works as expected when on a non-Android device (laptop).

My assumption is that the Gmail autocomplete function is reading these outdated contacts from a list stored somewhere in a file on my phone which is impervious to the contact sync process or somehow not being cleared as expected otherwise — I’ve tried all manner of syncing phone contacts, deleting old/other contacts outside of Android, etc. but no joy so far.

An idea I have is to somehow search Android’s filesystem for a file that contains the unwanted contacts and if found then wipe that file clean. Is this reasonable, and if so can anyone suggest guidance that’ll make this less of a wild goose chase?

My phone details:

Model: Nexus 5X
Android version: 7.1.2
Baseband version: M8994F-2.6.37.2.21
Kernel version: 3.10.73-ge570678
Build version: N2G47F

Thanks in advance for any help or insight.

5 Answers

Went to 'Other Contacts' in My Contacts and deleted the culprit that kept showing when I composed. Did the trick - using Gmail.

Answered by David H on January 2, 2022

Although I'm not very familiar with this issue. But give a try on accounts.google.com-how we collect data. I will personally look into it since I had many expired contacts but never had Gmail recommended me those. Also reset the contacts data from Google's server. That might do it. You are proposing that it may be due to some external sources. Regarding this I can only say that in your phone/devices there might be some VCS files from where these contacts are suggested. That's my guess only though.

Answered by R.Medhi on January 2, 2022

I have exactly the same issue as the poster above. My contacts have been cleaned out of the old address, the Gmail on the computer does not suggest them but the Gmail app on Android insists to keep showing old email address of someone who changed jobs four times in the last year or so and I communicate with a lot. And I only have his current email address in contacts yet Gmail for Android insists on preferring the older emails, a real pain. Yes all the standard suggestions if cleaning contacts etc are not what this and other posters look for.. but for Google to fix this automatically.

However I did manage to clean it with doing this: Phone > settings > apps > Gmail - force stopped Gmail - storage: cleaned both cache and data - restarted Gmail which first looked as if I was a first time user, but it still know my email address so I could just click next and they all came back. The new is cleaned up

Answered by bart louwagie on January 2, 2022

I think it should be possible to wipe the autocompletion of unwanted entries by deleting the associated contacts. For that, you should go to https://contacts.google.com/ and search the unwanted contacts. I am not sure if hiding the contact is sufficient or if you have to delete them, but I suppose you can find that out yourself as I want to keep my contacts.

Best regards

Answered by Luca H on January 2, 2022

In your case, you could try clearing gmail's local data.

Go to

Settings -> Apps -> 3-dot Menu -> Show System

Then Scroll down and Select Gmail. Tap on Storage -> Clear Data.

This should remove anything stored by Gmail locally.

Your Emails and other data will be synced back when you reopen Gmail.

Answered by Albin K C on January 2, 2022

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