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How to change your default e-mail address in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard

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Don't look at me like that, I KNOW this should be a no-brainer. But I've just spent 30 minutes on the phone to Apple Care technical support, with a man paid to be confused about this sort of thing, as he flipped through pages and pages of "so your caller appears to have found something which is fundamentally broken with our OS" help-me files, so you can rest assured it's not just me having a blond moment.


The problem is to do with auto-fill - a feature of OS X which is another of those features that, when you first come across it, reminds you why you love Mac - but which you never bother to figure out how to use or adjust and so are completely in the dark about when it behaves unexpectedly.




Auto-fill remembers information like your postal address, mobile number and email address so that, when you fill in a form on, say, amazon.co.uk, all you have to do to automatically enter all your details is hold down Command + Shift + A and Safari will securely paste your info into the form fields for you.


The e-mail address part was the sticking point for me, because having recently done a complete erase re-install of Leopard, I was at a complete loss as to how OS X had managed to retain any of my personal information - when I was registering an install of Photoshop and the "click here" box already 'knew' my email address (which was actually incorrect).


I hunted high and low on every Mac help forum there is and no one seemed to have encountered the problem before - it was as if I was the only Mac user in the world who didn't know how to change the default system wide e-mail address.


Here's how it's done..


Open Safari and open preferences.

Click 'AutoFill' and next to 'Using info from my Address book card', click 'Edit'.

Your own V-card will open in Address book.

Change your details and quit Address book.


Sounds simple, right? And it is - and I feel really dumb for not knowing already how it's done - but hey - it's just reminder that even we hardened Mac heads sometimes need a refresher on the basics.

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The reason the information was retained is because that Auto-fill is not a function of OS X, but rather Safari. It's been available in Firefox and, at least some versions of IE, for quite awhile, too.

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