BlackBerry 101: Recent Contact Management

Tips & Tricks

Have you ever wondered why when you type the first few characters of a contact name or an email address into a “To”, “CC” or “BCC” field in your BlackBerry® 6 or BlackBerry® 7 OS smartphone, it displays the email addresses of contacts who are not in your contact list? That’s because your smartphone helps you by remembering the names and email addresses contained in sent and received email messages – even those that are not recognized as entries in the Contacts app. This feature is called Recent Contact Management, and is intended to help you quickly compose emails. By default, the entries in the Recent Contact Management list are presented as suggestions along with entries from the Contacts app while you are completing the “To”, “CC” or “BCC” fields based on what you are entering.

If you want to turn off this feature so that only contacts from the Contact apps are suggested, or would like to know how to add a Recent Contact to the Contacts app, read on.

Add a Recent Contact to the Contacts app

Any name and email address that appear in the Recent Contact Management list can be added to the Contacts app. I’ve often used this after deleting an email message by mistake but had wanted to add the sender as a contact.

1. From the Home screen open Messages
2. Press the Menu key and select “Options”
3. Select “Recent Contact Management” to view the Recent Contact Management list
4. Highlight a contact, followed by pressing the Menu key and selecting “Add to Contacts”
5. Do one of the following:

  • Select “New Contact” and complete the info for the new entry
  • Select an existing contact to add the info to it

6. When finished, press the Menu key and select “Save”.

Clear the Recent Contact List

I recently mistyped an email address when composing a message and only realized my mistake after the message had been returned, indicating that it was undeliverable. Because I had pressed “Send,” the incorrect email address was added to the Recent Contacts Management List; in order to remove it so it was not a suggested contact, I simply cleared the list.

1. From the Home screen open Messages
2. Press the Menu key and select “Options”
3. Select “Recent Contact Management” to view the Recent Contact Management list
4. Press the Menu key and select “Clear List”.

Bonus: Curious about how long a contact will stay on the list? Check out KB32484 – Recent Contact Management retention.

Turn off Recent Contact Suggestions

When the Recent Contacts Management list is disabled, only contacts from within the Contacts app are searched when you type characters in the “To”, “CC” or “BCC” fields. Follow these steps to disable this feature:

1. From the Home screen open Messages
2. Press the Menu key and select “Options” followed by “Message Display and Actions”
3. Uncheck the box next to Show Recent Contacts When Composing Email
4. Press the Menu key and select “Save”.

Tip: By default, the Blind Carbon Copy (BCC) field is hidden. If you want to BCC someone, press the Menu key and select “Add Bcc:” which will add the field to your email.

Have a question about Recent Contact Management? Leave it below and let us know!

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