At Home with Tech

It’s time to maximize the potential of all your gadgets.

Tag: email

How to Stop your Email from Suggesting an Old Address

Across the years, your library of email addresses inevitably changes. Take a second to help your computer’s email program clear out the past. Here’s how.

Wouldn’t it be nice if everybody had one email address assigned at birth, and that was it for life? How simple would that be? Then, you could easily keep track of all your contacts. No more old email addresses that don’t work. Of course, I know that’s an unrealistic suggestion (or at least a plot device for a science fiction story).

In reality, we need to pay attention to the never-ending task of updating our digital address books. It’s not like we never had to take a pen to the Rolodex when a friend moved to a different city in the analog days. But that felt less frequent than the seemingly constant tweaks required to maintain your data in today’s email-first society.

Many of us change email addresses periodically for any number of reasons (new job, new internet provider, new device, new name).

That’s life. We’ve all got to keep up across the years.

The Risks When Using Auto-Complete Email Suggestions
But even if you’ve been diligent and kept your Contacts app current, you may still have to contend with your email program’s flawless memory and the pesky problem of an old email-address suggestion.

That’s when you type a name into the “To” field of an email and sixteen address options drop down for you to choose from. (I exaggerate only slightly.)

Then, if you’re not careful, you can send off your email to a long-dead address.

Over time, this potential mistake can become a larger risk as you review an ever-growing list of auto-complete choices.

It makes sense to do a little digital spring cleaning.

Clear Out Old Email Addresses
I use Microsoft Outlook for Mac on my iMac. Removing an email suggestion takes just a few seconds.

  • Simply click on the little circled ‘x’ next to the bad email address. And then it simply disappears, ‘poof!’ That’s it.

If you’re working with a PC version of Outlook, you can also clear all entries from your ‘Auto-Complete List’ should you want to start fresh.

Whichever email program you use, it will be advantageous to perform a similar data review.

Help your Computer Let Go of your Past
This may fall under the category of obvious, but if you don’t take the moment to teach your computer where keep up, you’ll eventually feel the weight of old email suggestions slowing you down.

Make sure the email suggestions you’re offered are current. If not, it’s time to clear out the past. That will go a long way to help you stay present!

How to Find iCloud Email Folders that Disappear in Outlook for Mac

Do you sometimes feel like you need a magic wand to handle your computer glitches? Here’s my story about how I fixed my subfolder syncing problems in Outlook for Mac.

“Shall we play a game?”

Remember that line from the 1983 movie, “WarGames,” starring Matthew Broderick? That playful computer certainly caused a lot of trouble!

Recently I had what felt like a similar experience with my own computer. No, there weren’t any global implications. That said, I did feel like my world was at risk of imploding.


I thought I had lost all of my iCloud email subfolders I had created under my ‘Inbox’ to help keep my email organized…

Well, these subfolders weren’t exactly gone. They just weren’t showing up in my Microsoft Outlook for Mac. I could see them on my iPhone’s native Mail app, but not in Outlook on my iMac. (I’ve been using Outlook for Mac on my iMacs for years.)

Game Over?
So, I knew I had some kind of sync issue that my computer or the software had thrown at me.

Ha Ha.


(Not funny)

I immediately thought of the nightmare of having to delete Outlook for Mac and then rebuild my email all over again on my iMac.

Instead I took a deep breath and put on my Tech Zen hat. I decided to do some Googling for a less dramatic solution. And happily, I didn’t have to go too far down the rabbit hole.

IMAP Syncing
The answer has to do with syncing your IMAP Folders. You need to make sure each of your iCloud email subfolders are properly synced in Outlook for Mac for them to show up. Here’s how you do that:

  • On the top bar of Outlook for Mac, click on the “Tools” dropdown.
  • Click on “IMAP Folders.”
    There, you’ll see all of your iCloud email folders, including the ones that are missing in your email display.
  • Click on each folder that you want to (re)sync and then click on the green ‘Subscribe’ button on the top left. As soon as your subscribe a particular folder, the name turns bold.
  • And then, voilà! Your missing email folders will magically reappear in your Outlook for Mac.

Human Error?
Why my disappearing email subfolder crisis suddenly showed up in the first place, I have no idea. Sure, it’s easy to blame the human. We’ll never really know.

What’s important is I’ve got all of my email back in place on my iMac. (It wasn’t difficult. You just need to remember the IMAP Folders ‘Subscribe’ trick.)

Now, I’m simply back to my general state of détente with my computers and software.

How to Play a Long Audio File from an Email on Your iPhone

If your audio file abruptly stops playing when your iPhone or iPad goes black, it might be time to find a home for that file. Let me explain…

Sending large attachments through email isn’t such a big deal these days. Sure, there are still limits, but emailing a 20MB audio file isn’t a crazy idea. So, when you receive one, the intuitive response is to simply tap on the file icon and listen. And that often works just fine.
(Thank you, Apple.)

But eventually, there’s a problem with the tap-and-listen approach using Apple’s native Mail app…

If the audio file runs longer than the auto-lock setting when your iPhone goes black… the file will suddenly stop playing.

And then, when you wake your iPhone to keep the file going, the file doesn’t remember where it left off. So you’ve got to manually scrub through to get to the right place to keep going.

How elegant is that?

Mrs. At Home with Tech
Someone I know (let’s just call her ‘Mrs. At Home with Tech’) created a clever workaround by simply setting her iPhone’s screen to never turn off.

And while that did the trick, and her audio file played through without a hitch, ‘Mr. At Home with Tech’ thought there had to be a better solution…

Beating ‘Tap and Go’
Of course, ‘better’ is usually a relative term. If you’re clocking speed to solution, I’ve not found a better method than my wife’s tap-and-go approach. But that trick also requires that you remember to turn off your iPhone’s screen when the audio file finishes.

Otherwise, it will shine bright throughout the night, possibly *freaking out your partner when he/she wakes the next morning bathed in an eerie iPhone glow.
*Entirely theoretical scenario… This did not happen to me. Well…

I expect that an AI-driven iPhone future isn’t that far off when your device independently pops on and off to perform certain tasks it deems appropriate. And humans will eventually get used to that just the same as all the 24/7 buzzing and pinging from our chattering smartphones.

For now though, I prefer that all the iPhones in my home at least have the appearance of following human preferences and offer the semblance of sleeping along with their human overlords/companions/pets (just future-proofing this sentence).

Save It!
For uninterrupted access and continuous playback, a more effective first step is to save the file before playing it. That way, it will continue running, even when your iPhone’s screen goes dark.

But there’s still a hiccup here… I’ve not found a way to simply save the file to my iPhone or easily move it into the iTunes ecosystem.

The solution is to move the file to a third-party app. That will do the trick!

Dropbox to the Rescue
There are many apps that can handle this need, but I’m a big fan of Dropbox.
So, here’s how you do it with Dropbox…

Tap on the audio file’s icon.
A QuickTime player window will open to begin playing the file.
On the bottom left, tap on the share icon (little square with an upward arrow).
Find your Dropbox icon.
Click on “Copy to Dropbox.”
The Dropbox app will open up.
Then, save your file to the Drobox folder of your choice.

That’s it.

5 Taps is better than 1
It takes 4 taps… maybe 5, if you move the file into a particular Dropbox folder.

That math can’t beat my wife’s ‘tap-and-go’ approach, but now that the audio file actually lives somewhere outside your Mail app, you’ll have more control of the file and be able to listen to it regardless of your iPhone’s screen status.

Still, not a perfect solution, but it gets the job done.
(If you have a better idea, please let me know!)

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