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Removing Return Addresses

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Removing Return Addresses.

In other issues of WordTips you learned how to insert a graphic in a return address for creating envelopes or for creating labels. It seems that learning how to remove those special return addresses has resulted in the subject for another tip—this tip.

How you go about removing a return address that contains a graphic depends exactly on how it was created in the first place. There are a couple of things to try, each of which may result in the offending graphic being removed. The first method is to simply try to delete the return address. You do this by following these steps:

  1. Display the Mailings tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Envelopes tool in the Create group. Word displays the Envelopes tab of the Envelopes and Labels dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Envelopes tab of the Envelopes and Labels dialog box.

  4. Click in the Return Address area and delete everything there. For good measure, replace the contents with a single space.
  5. Print your envelopes as normal. The return address should be gone.

If you simply want to remove the return address temporarily, you could click on the Omit check box in step 3. The contents of the return address are retained, but it should not print.

If this doesn't work, take a look in the Word options for the return address stored there. You can get to it and get rid of it by following these steps:

  1. Display the Word Options dialog box. (In Word 2007 click the Office button and then click Word Options. In Word 2010 and 2013, display the File tab of the ribbon and then click Options.)
  2. Click Advanced at the left side of the dialog box.
  3. Scroll down through the options until you see the General Options section. (See Figure 2.)
  4. Figure 2. The general options of the Word Options dialog box.

  5. Click in the Mailing Address area and delete everything there.
  6. Click on OK to close the Word Options dialog box.
  7. Try to print your envelopes. The return address should not show up in the Envelopes and Labels dialog box.

Finally, there is one other place to look if you still cannot get rid of the return address. Word allows you to define special building blocks that print as part of your return address. These entries normally have the names EnvelopeExtra1 and EnvelopeExtra2. To get rid of them, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Insert tab of the ribbon.
  2. Click the Quick Parts tool (in the Text group) and then click Building Blocks Organizer. Word displays the Building Blocks Organizer.
  3. Click the label at the top of the Name column. The building blocks should now be listed in alphabetical order.
  4. Scroll through the list of building blocks, looking for items such as EnvelopeExtra1 or EnvelopeExtra2. If you find one, select it.
  5. Click on the Delete button.
  6. Look for any other similarly named building blocks, repeating steps 4 and 5 as needed.
  7. Click on the Close button.
  8. Try to print your envelopes. The return address should not show up in the Envelopes and Labels dialog box.

For more information on the special EnvelopeExtra1 AutoText entry, see this page:


WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10176) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Removing Return Addresses.

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Comments for this tip:

Trey - IT    02 Sep 2016, 14:52
This was super helpful..
Jean    28 Apr 2016, 14:48
Thank you for providing a simple answer to a confusing problem.
Asa P    27 Apr 2016, 16:29
Thank you for making such a complicated process so easy!
Bruce Bennett    11 Feb 2016, 21:36
Perfect. Finally got rid of the return address. Definitely should be an easier way. Thank you so much.
Candi Diebel    26 Jan 2016, 09:26
Worked like a charm - thank you!
Marcelles    20 Jan 2016, 13:34
Thanks, this was EXACTLY what I needed. Quick, and easy fix!
Trish    09 Jan 2016, 17:04
Thank you for having a very understandable process for helping with deleting the return address. Even, I, with no TECH experience was able to remove the address. Great educational tool.
Trish H
Cliff A    25 Nov 2015, 17:27
Thank you. I've been looking everywhere to get rid of a phantom return address.

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