Bulk deleting from Mail.app Previous Recipients

If you use Mail.app on OS X, you're probably aware of the Previous Recipients list that you can use to autocomplete email addresses. You're probably also aware that it's a pain to edit the list, as the search box at the top only matches email addresses that begin with whatever you type, which is next to useless. Bad Apple.

A lot of us legacy Sun folks at Oracle have a lot of sun.com addresses in there that are no longer relevant, so it would be handy if there was a quick way to clear those out, right?

With a little inspiration from this discussion that Google turned up, it turned out to be a simple task, with a single SQLite command:

% sqlite3 ~/Library/Application Support/AddressBook/MailRecents-v4.abcdmr

sqlite> delete from ZABCDMAILRECENT where ZEMAIL like '%sun.com%';

sqlite> .quit

Sorted :)

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I am an Interaction Designer in the Systems Experience Design team, arriving at Oracle via Sun where I've worked since 2000. I currently work on sysadmin user experience projects for Solaris. Formerly I worked on open source Solaris desktop projects such as GNOME, NWAM and IPS.

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