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Email Contacts Limitation - Workaround

If you're using "Windows Mail", the default email program that comes with Windows Vista, you will eventually find that when you click on "Create Mail" and start typing the name of your contact in the "To:" field, it will not auto-complete the name and you will have to type in the actual email address. If you don't remember it, you're forced to look it up. This is because it's set up to remember only the last 29 email contacts to whom you've send new emails.

You can work around this email contact limitation by using one of the three methods listed here.

Method 1:

If you know that your contact is listed as "John Doe", but it will not auto-complete, simply start typing at least the first 3 letters of his name, then press the tab key on your keyboard (above caps lock).  It works every time.

When using this method, you have to make sure that the name of your contact is exact as you start typing.

However, if you can't remember exactly how the name is spelled or listed in your contacts, use Method 2, below.

Method 2:

One of the ways you can send a new email to your contact without having to remember their email address is:

  1. Open "Windows Mail"
  2. Click on "Create Mail" (top left)
  3. Click on "To", as illustrated below

New Message Box

You will then get the dialogue box you see below:

Select Recipients Dialogue Box

  1. In the Search Box, start typing the name of the Contact you want or scroll down to search for it.
  2. Click once on the name to highlight it and then click "To:" (above center).
  3. Click "OK" and you can now start typing your message to the contact of your choice.

Method 3:

If you have your "Windows Sidebar" running, you can install the "Contacts" gadget. Once installed, it automatically lists all your existing contacts and all you have to do is click on their name, then their email address and the "New Message" Email box pops up, ready for you to type the message! You don't even have to click on your email program in the first place!

To install the "Contacts" gadget:

  1. Click on the "+" at the top of your sidebar
  2. Double click on "Contacts" and that's it!  All of your existing Email contacts will be listed there.
  3. Click on the name of your contact to select it.
  4. Click on the email address and your Windows Mail "New Message" box will pop up, ready for you to type your message.

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Email Contacts Limitation - Workaround