Suggested Contacts and Auto-Complete Lists

Last reviewed on October 29, 2014   —  148 comments

We get questions like this after users upgrade to Outlook 2010:

I upgraded to Outlook 2010. I heard that the NK2 file is no longer being used and was replaced by Suggested Contacts. My NK2 file was renamed to profile_name.nk2.old. When I start typing names in Outlook, addresses come up so everything appears to be working well, except that I don't see any of my contacts from the NK2 file in the Suggested Contacts folder. Why didn't my contacts from the NK2 file correctly import into Suggested Contacts folder?

Outlook 2010 is working fine, but there is some confusion about the auto-complete list and the Suggested Contacts feature.

Also see Understanding Autocomplete cache (NK2) for file paths and more information, especially if using Outlook 2003 or Outlook 2007.

Autocomplete List | Suggested Contacts | Populate the Auto-complete list | Tools

Autocomplete List

The auto-complete list, aka the NK2 file, was a separate file in Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007. In Outlook 2010, its a hidden message in the data file. When you upgrade from Outlook 2003/2007 to Outlook 2010, the NK2 is imported into the data store and the NK2 is renamed nk2.old. Addresses are added to the hidden cache file as you send new messages and replies. Because the cache is stored in the data file or mailbox, it moves with you and you'll have the auto-complete list when you open your mailbox on any computer using Outlook 2010.

Autocomplete list optionsYou can clear the auto-complete list by going to File, Options, Mail - the option to use the auto-complete list and the button to empty it are in the Send messages section about halfway down the dialog.

If you prefer using a command line, switch, it's CleanAutoCompleteCache.
To use, close Outlook and in the Start menu, Search field or Run command (Windows key + R to open) type or paste the following line and press Enter to run

Outlook.exe /CleanAutoCompleteCache

Clearing the auto-complete list only removes the addresses you see as you type in the To, CC, or BCC fields. It will not remove contacts stored in your data file in the Suggested Contacts folder (see next section.)

To disable the autocomplete list by editing the registry, you need to set the ShowAutoSug data value to 0. Administrators can disable it for all users using GPO.

DWORD: ShowAutoSug
Value: 0

To disable autocomplete using GPO, use a logon script to set this value:

DWORD: ShowAutoSug
Value: 0

To use with other versions of Outlook that support auto-complete, change 14 in the path to the correct version number for your version of Outlook.

Suggested Contacts

Suggested contacts is a "one-hit wonder" feature available only in Outlook 2010 that creates contacts for addresses you send mail to when the address is not already in your address books.

With the introduction of the auto-complete list in Outlook 2003, we saw many, many users who used the auto-complete list as their address book. They never saved the addresses to contacts and if the NK2 file became corrupted, they lost the addresses. Suggested Contacts was supposed to be the answer for this problem.

Automatically creating contacts for everyone you reply to tends to result in a contacts folder filled with addresses you'll never need, so Outlook used the Suggested Contacts folder to avoid polluting the Contacts folder.

While it was a much requested featured over the years, Suggested Contacts was not popular and was removed from Outlook 2013.

Suggested contacts optionsSuggested Contacts solves both problems easily: by using a separate Contacts folder, the "good contacts" folder is not polluted with useless contacts and you don't need to remember to create contacts or worry about losing the auto-complete list.

If you prefer not to use Suggested Contacts, you can disable it in File, Options, Contacts. Note that while this will stop Outlook from creating new contacts in the Suggested Contacts folder, it will not delete the contacts currently in the Suggested Contacts folder.

When Suggested Contacts are disabled, the CreateContactsForOneOffs data value is set to 0 in the registry:

DWORD: CreateContactsForOneOffs
Value: 0

To disable autocomplete using GPO, use a logon script to set this value:

DWORD: CreateContactsForOneOffs
Value: 0

How to Populate the Auto-complete list

Outlook won't populate the auto-complete cache automatically but it’s a fairly simple task for users.

Open a new message and click the To button, select all of the names in the Suggested Contacts folder and add them to the message. Repeat for your Contacts folder. Close the message without sending.

This method works in all versions of Outlook that use autocomplete.

Note that there is a limit to the number of names you can have on the autocomplete list. In Outlook 2003, it's 1000. In Outlook 2007 and 2010 it's 2000. In all versions, it's an MRU - most recently used - list, so frequently used addresses will always be on the list.

Outlook 2010 doesn't save addresses to the autocomplete list

When Outlook 2010 doesn't save addresses to the autocomplete list, first try clearing the cache file, either with the button in File, Options, Mail or by starting Outlook with the /CleanAutoCompleteCache switch mentioned previously.

In most cases, this will fix the problem. If the problem persists, you'll need to delete or rename the RoamCache folder found at C:\Users\[username]\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\RoamCache (Windows 7/Vista). In most cases, this brute force method is not needed and simply clearing the cache and letting Outlook rebuild it will work.

Close Outlook. In the Start menu's Search field or in the Address bar of Windows Explorer, type or paste the following command to open Windows Explorer to the Appdata local folder.


Delete or rename the RoamCache folder then restart Outlook.

Users with Exchange mailboxes should switch to online mode before deleting the roamcache folder then re-enable cached mode after starting Outlook. This ensures the cache is cleared from the mailbox as well as the local ost. To turn off cached mode and enter online mode, go to File, Account Settings, double click on the Exchange account and clear the Use cached mode checkbox. Click Next and close the dialog then close Outlook. Repeat these steps to re-enable it after deleting the RoamCache folder and restarting Outlook.


Contacts are not added to the auto-complete list until you send an email - importing the NK2 will not create contacts in Suggested Contacts.

New Contacts should only be created in Suggested Contacts if the address is not in your other Contact folders, but in my experience Outlook sometimes has a problem deciding if a contact exists so you can expect a few duplicates in the Suggested Contacts folder.

Any contacts you need to save can be moved to your Contact folder and you can stop the creation of suggested contacts by changing the setting in File, Options, Contacts.

Auto-Complete Cache Editing Tools


Open source project to read MS Outlook autocomplete (NK2) files and extract email addresses. Beta version 0.5


Use Ingresssor (formerly OwtLook) to edit the NK2 file


Use NK2Edit to edit or delete information stored in the NK2 file or Outlook 2010/2013's Autocomplete Stream, including the display name, the email address, the exchange string, the Drop-Down display name, and the search string. Free for home use; Commercial license available.


Use NK2View to view, edit or delete entries in Outlook's .NK2 AutoComplete file. Export the records to text, html, or xml files. Freeware. Version 1.37

More Information

See Understanding Outlook's Autocomplete Cache (*.NK2) for information specific to Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007's autocomplete cache.
How to import .nk2 files into Outlook 2010 (MSKB)
Autocomplete Stream (MSDN, information for developers)
Nickname cache (MSDN, information for developers)
The Auto-Complete list doesn’t remember names or e-mail addresses (Office Online)

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

148 responses to “Suggested Contacts and Auto-Complete Lists”

  1. Darst Arkills

    This is excellent and helpful information. My company mirged with another and thus our domain changed but my addressed remained the same. I exported out my suggested contacts from Oulook 2010 and brought them into my new Exchange account also using Outlook 2010 where I can see a list of 300 contacts but they don't populate into the AutoComplete even though I have checked the box to do so and my autocomplete is rebuilding as I send messages. Is there any way I can populate the suggested contacts into the autocomplete? This was much simpler with the .nk2 file.



  2. Alejandro Rosado

    THANK YOU. You totally saved the day for us.. :)

  3. John

    Thank you so much for your post! I was pulling my hair out trying to resolve this!

  4. Terry

    I lost my auto-complete list in Outlook 2010 when I deleted my Exchange account. We discontinued MS Exchange and are now using POP3 email addresses. (Don't ask why! - Long story) I'm using Outlook 2010 on Windows 7 and I haven't changed computers or upgraded Outlook, I only removed the Exchange email account and set it up as a POP3 email within Outlook 2010. How do I retrieve the list from MS Exchange and import it into the local pst file?

  5. Cristian


    Your tip should be included as part of the original article!

  6. Charleen

    Hi Diane, my auto complete list also is not populating, i have deleted and re-named the chache populated the list again and worked but when outlook is closed and re-opened my auto complete list is gone again??

    Could you please assist, we don't know what else to do :(



  7. jermaine

    Open a new message and click the To button, select all of the names in the Suggested Contacts folder and add them to the message. Repeat for your Contacts folder. Close the message without sending.

    this works for the session that you are in with Outlook but once you close outlook and re-open it i lose the auto complete. do i have to do this step every time i open outlook.

  8. Sven Portz

    Hi Diane,
    thanks for the answere, but still does not work: started Outlook with CleanAutoCompleteCache, "filled" the cache as mentioned above (put all contacts to the "TO"-field) - and closed Outlook.
    Next time I opened it (now without CleanAutoCompleteCache) no success: no suggested contacts....

    In another forum I read from one guy that he had the same problems - just after installing Outlook 2010 SP1 it worked.
    Seems to be a common problem with Outlook 2010, especially when runned via Exchange.

  9. Tourn

    Just a big THANK YOU for this excellent article !!!

  10. Cliff MacBroom

    Having a similar problem with autocomplete and following the steps above. To veryify what I accomplished, i was trying to view the "autocomplete list". Is that possible?

  11. Cathy

    Hello Diane,

    Your article is excellent, thank you for sharing all the advice.

    My situation is a little different in that we want to be able to remove certain addresses from people's cache, but not all addresses. Is there a way to include a text file as an option to the /CleanAutoCompleteCache option, which contains the strings we do want to delete?

    I have been working with a tool, but have not been able to get it to work with consistent results, which after reading your article and a few others, I believe it is due to the hidden message in the data file that you mention. The Tool will modify the stream_Autocache*.dat file properly, but as soon as you open Outlook, at least 9 times out of 10, the names get re-populated and I assume that is due to the streaming data file, or hidden file.

    If you have any ideas or suggestions to accomplish that, I would love to hear.

    Thank you,

  12. menefeeINSIGHT

    I have used the "populate auto-complete List" method in outlook 2010 may times 99.99% the time it works perfect. but recently i had one profile that would add names if you sent to the recipient but would not with just a save message. I struggled with it for ever. finally just by chance i tried using the "address book" button instead of the "TO" button. i always though that this was basically the same button. anyway my auto-complete finally added the name. just thought that i would put this out in case anyone else runs in to this issue... still a great article on a life save of a site. Thanks

  13. Erik Curk

    I can only join all others in THANK YOU for your help!

  14. Kurosh

    Hi Diane,

    Guess I should have looked earlier for this article before posting in: "Moving Outlook to a New Computer"

    The MS article you linked above, "The Auto-Complete list doesn’t remember names or e-mail addresses", has two sections in it. The instructions you give above for deleting the RoamCache folder (if necessary) is only for non-Exchange accounts. You may want to note there's a slightly different procedure for Exchange?

  15. May_thai

    Dear valued friends, any one can help me to increase number of records in autocomplete file (.DAT in outlook 2010). Now it is maximum 1.000 entries, if I sent to a new email address, it will delete the old emial address and kiping only 1.000 records. I want 2.000 records because I have lots of email address to be sent.
    I try this guide: but no luck.

    Any person can help me. very appreciated

  16. May_thai

    I use nk2 editor from, it automatically found stream_autocomplete file and it listed only 1000 entries.

    When I sent to a new address (or several addresses) which would be added in auto complete file (extension .DAT) and older address (or several addresses) which has/have not frequently used, was/were deleted.

    I use nk2 editor again and found only 1000 records (it keeping maximum 1000 records). I have tried many times and found that it keeping only 1000 entries.

    Your kind helps are highly appreciated.
    Thank you in advance

  17. May_thai

    Is there any one has spent experiences (maximum records in autocomplete) in outlook 2007 and 2010 ? if so please share knowledge whether maximum is 1000 or 2000.

    For me, I use outlook 2010, maximum is only 1000 records, I have tried many times for months and could not increase more than 1000.

    Thanks for Diane Poremsky's information, may be 2000 records are default in outlook 2010 but it may have problem with my outlook.

    Please help me to find solution.
    Thank you all in advance

  18. Nathan

    I followed all your instructions and it all works.
    However, i would like to have not only the "suggested contact" on the autocomplete list.
    I would like to have also the "contacts" that i emailed in the past that are are in my contact list...
    Any way to do that?

  19. Kim

    What is stored in the local profile/Microsoft/Office/Roam Cache/stream_autocomplete.dat file? When we add a recipient to our auto-complete list by composing an email and sending it, we see that a contact is created in suggested contacts. When we empty the auto-complete list through File/Options, the suggested contact is not deleted but the autocomplete.dat file disappears in the local profile.

    What is the relationship between the two and where are the suggested contacts saved? How does the auto-complete cache move with you if it is stored on your pc in the local profile?

  20. May_thai

    Dear Diane Poremsk,
    Thank you so much for your post in other topic which we can change Autocomplete List Cache Size.

    I quote the solution:

    "There is a limit of 1000 names on the autocomplete cache in Outlook 2003. In Outlook 2007 and Outlook 2010, the limit was raised to 2000. The limit can be raised in Outlook 2003 or lowered in any version by use of a registry setting. Note: this value will not exist by default and is only needed if you want to change the limit.

    Outlook 2003: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\11.0\Outlook\AutoNameCheck
    Outlook 2007: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\12.0\Outlook\AutoNameCheck
    Outlook 2010: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\AutoNameCheck

    DWORD: MaxNicknames
    Value: Between 1 and 2000, in decimal"

    and it works with more than 1000 entries saved in my outlook now. Before I found this solution, my outlook 2010 size is 1000 by default.

    Thank again

  21. Stephen

    Terrific. So simple why didn't I think of it! Saved a lot of ear ache given by someone who "didn't want to update to Outlook in the first place" :-)

  22. Pascal

    Dear Diane,
    your answers are always pro.
    I am not fond of auto-complete, as it sometimes loses track of some addresses, with time, and I need to detype it all.
    So I would prefer to use the contact book , defined as address book.
    My problem is that messages will only show and reach the recipient as : info(at)
    This is not what I like, coz impersonal and unpolite :
    I would like : GOGO COMMUNICATIONS - John STEPHENS (info(at) (like they are set in "Display as" in the Outlook contact book ,
    or at least John STEPHENS
    How could I ensure one of these 2 results?

  23. Pascal

    Dear Diane,

    I understand from you that I cannot control the way it will display in the recipient's outlook inbox.
    But when I receive a message from this John Stephens, I don't know who it is if it only shows info (at) . It is a terrible headache for me to quickly identify the sender. Let's imagine ,like inmy company that the different emails from the persons are sales1, sales 2, sales3 (at) This is getting terribly annoying, to have to scroll all message down to their signature to identify the sender.
    This is a terrible limitation of the software. Can I set up a way to ensure it works (Outlook 2007 or 2010)

  24. MD

    Genius. Pure Genius. :)

  25. Adam

    Does anyone know how to get existing PDL’s that where in 2003 contacts to auto populate in Office 2010 type ahead cache? I have run into this with a couple users. I found that deleting the PDL and re-creating it works, but there has to be an easier solution for this or is their? We use an exchange server.

  26. ejp

    Please tell me how to import/add an old/good .NK2 file to a new profile in OUTLOOK 2003 (Win7). The old profile was corrupt and has been deleted. I placed the desired file called Outlook.NK2 in the folder with the active .pst file and and it did not work. I renamed the .nk2 to the profile name (a long name with blanks) and that did not work. Of course when the new profile was created, a new Outlook.nk2 was created but contains no entries.

    thanks in advance.

  27. Eric Lindberg

    Outlook Auto-complete generally works really well and saves time. I've got a couple instances where the wrong individual has been sent messages due to having the same first/last name. Unfortunately, Outlook lists the wrong person as the preferred recipient.

    Is there a way to edit the auto-complete list without having to delete the entire list and re-establish the contact names? I'm using Outlook 2007.

  28. Ryan James

    I have a new computer and put a new MS Office 2010 install on it.
    I have tried importing all of my mail from one computer to another. Only some of the mail moved. I deleted all of the accounts on the new computer and tried again, but the same results. I followed directions from multiple sites, but nothing worked. I have given up on that.

    Now, I have the same old problem with Contacts. All of my contacts are in Suggested Contacts. None of them pop up for autocomplete. I have to go to the TO or CC field each and every time I send a mail. This is time consuming and annoying when it was not always this way. I have multiple accounts in Outlook, but the one above is the primary one for original mail. All the others are generally just a reply to.

    I followed all of your instructions, but after closing the mail without sending, nothing moved at all. I have tried the MS Fix-It, but that said it would not fix the problem.

  29. Aaron Garcia

    in outlook 2010 the autocomplete works fine linked to the To box for a meeting appointment, however when switching to the "Scheduling" view the list of all Attendees allows me to add more recipients to the meeting one per line, however the auto complete function does not work on this input... how can it be enabled ?

  30. Kylie Maxwell

    I have (for some reason) four suggested contacts folders now and only one contacts folder. I cannot delete the suggested contacts folders, even when I have transferred the contacts to my one contacts folder. Can anybody help?

  31. Midhun

    Really an use full post helped me and saved my time great post.........

  32. David C

    Great site, lots of useful info. Been stumped on an issue and looking for a little external feedback. Client has outlook on desktop as well as on citrix. suggest contacts works fine on desktop and semi works on citrix. Certain email addresses (both from their contacts cfolders and from their suggested contacts folder) will not resolve, even after clicking on check names on the outlook ribbon. I can view the contact/suggest contact but can not get it to auto populate the to/cc/bcc fields. Any thoughts or ideas are awesomely welcome an a huge thank you in advance.

  33. Harry Murphy

    Any ideas? When I modify a contact with for example a Business Fax number & save it. When i then go to send an email & check my conatcts list there are now 2 contacts listed for that person. How do I stop it doing this & just keeping it as 1 contact which includes all the updated information?

    Thanks in advance

  34. Steve V.

    I will tell what I have done to get the GAL into Office 2010 auto-complete list.

    1. Have a PC or virtual PC with an OS with Office 2003 or 2007 installed then with a new account start it up and create a new email and select the TO button.

    2. Select the top username and then go to the bottom and hold shift and select the last name.

    3. Put it in the TO line and select OK.

    4. Save the email as a Draft.

    5. Close Outlook.

    6. Go to C:\Documents and settings\username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook (XP)

    C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook (Vista & Windows 7)

    7. Make sure that you have view hidden files and folders selected to be able to see the .NK2 file.

    8. Copy out the .NK2 file to a location that you have access to.

    9. Go to the PC with Outlook 2010 installed and copy the .NK2 file to the following location: C:\Users\username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

    10. Download the following from Microsoft:

    11. Run the download it will merge your Global Address List with all previous auto-complete listings.

  35. Andrew

    I have tried all the steps mentioned to force the auto complete to save after closing the session with no luck. i work for a company that syncs google email to outlook and unless I send the email it does not save it passed the session. the problem is across the board on every persons computer/outlook I try it on.

  36. Husaam Maudarbocus

    We are doing some re-organisation of our email distribution groups which will involve renaming a fair few of them. We are currently assessing how the auto-complete behaviour in Exchange 2010 will affect users post this change. We can either clear the cache completely (not popular) or modify the entries one by one (even less popular). Any advice how to do this seamlessly for the end user? Many thanks.

  37. steve ballard

    I have to type lots of emails where the domain names and different but the domain name is the same. Like Can I get my 2007 Outlook to autocomplete the domain name part ?

  38. Eric Brown

    Hping someone has some insight - tough autocomplete works in mail for Outlook 2010, autocomplet stopped working in calendar when one goes to invite attendees....any thoughts?

  39. Marmite Sandwich

    Sorry to mention this, but it isn't always sufficient to just create a message with addresses in it and then delete it in order to get the addresses into the autocomplete list.

    I am using IMAP and SMTP servers and, after much experimenting, I find that the autocomplete file only updates after you click send and then exit Outlook. It does not update unless you click send.

    Therefore, in order to populate the list using Diane's method, it was necessary to change the SMTP server name to an invalid name (so the message would not actually send), and then attempt to send a message to all the contacts which I wanted to be in the autocomplete.

    The message gets stuck in the outbox, which you then need to delete before changing the SMTP server back to the correct name to avoid the dummy message being sent. Then quit OL and you will see the autocomplete file update. It does not update without the send.

  40. George G. King

    Is there any way you can choose Suggested Contacts and change them into contacts?

  41. Andrew Goto

    Is there a way of saving autocomplete contacts in outlook, before i loose them help please! any easy way please

  42. Andy

    Hello, I am using the 2010 Outlook and have followed all the above... However my autocomplete list does not stick between sessions either. What else can I do? Would you suggest any changes in register? I'm getting desperate...

  43. Fred Berry

    I wish there was a way to control the actions of autocomplete. For instance I send an email to "Al" and it properly inserts the correct email address "Al" which is linked to an email address in the contacts list as "Al". All I need to type to get this address is the letter "A". Then I sent another email to "Tony", listed as "Tony" in Contacts, but linked to an address that starts with "anthony...". The next time I just type "a" autocomplete inserts the address for "Tony", and because I don't touch type I never notice the error and send an email to "Tony" that he should never have received. So now I have to shut off autocomplete to avoid the chance that I will repeat this calamitous mistake. Is there some way to lock the autocomplete list to avoid this?

  44. Steve

    This article helped me resolve a problem for one of our users - somehow her auto complete cache had cleared itself. I wrongly assumed the suggested contacts folder was the new autocomplete list in Outlook 2010, so I wasn't sure why it wasn't working.

    Read a few other articles online that just sent me on a wild goose chase. Then after finding this article I applied the new email fix you mentioned and it was fixed in seconds.

    Thanks for sharing,


  45. Peter Glick

    Great article but I still have the problem with autocomplete not working after exit'ing Outlook 2010 on a Windows 8 laptop - it does not even create the autostream files. If I delete the RoamCache folder, Outlook will re-create the folder but with nothing in it. If I use NK2 to create the files, Outlook never updates them or appears to use them. I've double checked the options in outlook and all looks ok - help!

  46. Peter Glick

    "Try a repair of Outlook - it won't mess up your current profile."

    Good idea - tried the repair option within Outlook for the email account, and then scanpst.exe. Still no joy. Would a full removal and reinstall be the next option (hopefully not!)?


  47. Baldwin

    Hi Diane / all,

    Regarding Auto Complete lists, i have encountered several users having problems with this option. Under Outlook Options>Mail>"Use Auto-Complete List to suggest names when typing....", this option is unchecked and is greyed out.I have followed above steps and it didn't help. We are using Win XP environment, Exhange Server 2010, Outlook 2010. The only solution we have is to recreate the user's XP profile from our server. Currently the user has 2 PCs and both of them have greyed-out Auto-Complete list.
    Is there any way to resolve this or avoid it other than refreshing his profile from domain server? Please help.. your advise is greatly appreciated!


  48. Federico

    Thank you so much!
    This worked to me and my organization (we've just started using Google Sync and the autocomplete list was empty at all for all my users).

  49. Frank

    AutoComplete-THIS WORKED FOR ME - After trying so many different things what I found out unless you send the email the name is not saved. One solution above I tried was I clicked on the TO and selected all contacts and put "test" in subject BUT before that I changed smtpout server to something invalid. This put the one email in the outbox. I then deleted the email after canceling the attempt to send. Closed outlook and reopened. IT SEEMS TO HOLD THE NAMES. Hope this works.

  50. Jennifer

    I have 4 "Suggested Contacts" folders that I cannot get rid of. Regardless of which POP3 account I am using, auto complete always tries to use only one of the "Suggested Contacts" lists and does not use my full "Contacts" list. I would like to type a name and have it found in the default "Contacts" list, not one of the "Suggested Contacts." Can I control this without constantly clicking the "To" button and going through that process?

  51. Stormy

    Do I understand correctly that when using the Scheduling Assistant in the Outlook 2010 Calendar Auto Complete will not work. I have a person that comes up with Auto Complete when I am creating an email to send but not when creating an appointment. Any suggestions or ways to make that work?

  52. Chira

    Is there any way of copying and pasting my suggested contacts list or even printing it off?

  53. Anita

    Many thanks for your helpful post. It fixed my problem!

  54. JR


    Maybe this was already discussed, but we have the problem in Outlook 2010 with existing autocomplete addresses being deleted. We aren't touching the suggested contacts folder, but we do occasionally update the Outlook contacts folder through an import from ACT! 2012. Would this wipe out the Outlook autocomplete list or at some of it? If so, how do you recommend updating contacts in the address book without effecting autocomplete? It's a pain to lose the autocompletes for people we routinely email. Thanks

  55. Jason Heithoff

    This seems to work until you close Outlook. After reopening the autocomplete cache seems to be empty again.

  56. The Grill Man

    To add a new contact, I often right-click on their name/email address in the from or to line of an email message and choose "Add to Outlook Contacts" (Outlook 2010). However, they do not show up in my contacts. After much frustration I found that they are going to "Suggested Contacts" which I find odd, because I am making a definite decision to add them to my contacts. Is there a way to get them to go into my Contacts folder instead of Suggested Contacts?

  57. Khalid Abdul Haq

    thank you very much , you are the best

  58. Peter Koueik

    I am also experiencing the same problem as Sven. I have used you suggested method (Outlook.exe /CleanAutoCompleteCache) before and it worked fine. Now the only difference is that our email is run by exchange; so i will have to agree with Sven on this one.
    Can we use a third party to view the autocomplete list and add contacts to it, if we have contacts saved in .CSV or other formats?

  59. Bill Scheerer

    When a colleague retired, I removed his first name from the suggested contacts list. The first name referenced a maillist that had his work and personal e-mail addresses. Unfortunately, Outlook 2013 removed the two individual addresses (one - his work address - I subsequently removed from his Contacts file) from the suggested contacts list, and I cannot find a way to put that individual file back onto the list. [I find the feature very useful.]
    Can this be done?

  60. Neilster

    Hello -

    My AutoComplete file is not being saved. As suggested in your previous posts, I open a new email, click the "To" button, select all the names in Contacts, and then close the email without saving it. The AutoComplete works fine after that, until I close Outlook. When I re-open it, it no longer works. I've tried the CleanAutoCompleteCache command, to no avail.

    One thing to note: I've looked at the contents of the RoamCache folder, and it doesn't show the Stream_Autocomplete file. Note also that HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences DWORD: ShowAutoSug is enabled (value 1).

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  61. Neilster

    (If I may modify the comment I just left...)

    A few things to note: I looked at the contents of the RoamCache folder after cleaning the cache and re-launching Outlook, and there was no Stream_Autocomplete file. I did try using NK2Edit to create a Stream_Autocomplete file and populate it with my contacts. I saved it in the RoamCache folder, but that doesn't seem to make any difference.

    Note also that HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\14.0\Outlook\Preferences DWORD: ShowAutoSug is enabled (value 1).

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  62. Neilster

    Hello Diane - thanks so much for your prompt response.

    I did as you suggested, but there's no stream in the new RoamCache that is created by restarting Outlook (there are a total of 7 files, if that matters). As I noted previously, the autocomplete does work after creating a dummy e-mail, even though there's no stream. That makes me wonder where that information is being stored (and why it doesn't appear to be saved after closing Outlook).

    Not quite sure what you mean by making a new profile, but I did upgrade from a previous version of Outlook. I didn't do it myself, so I can't really tell you what old files may or may not have been saved or backed up.

  63. Peter Koueik

    I populated my autocomplete list by opening a new email --> address book --> choosing all my contacts. Then i pressed send and quickly closed outlook so that my email was stuck in outbox. But before all that i went to options and removed the automatically send when connected option so that when i restart outlook it won’t send the email before i get to delete it. Unfortunately, this is the only way to populate your autocomplete list when using outlook 2010 and being run by exchange; you have to send. So this is how to fool the system. Before i switched to exchange i could populate the list by just adding all the address and then closing the new email window without saving.

  64. Neilster

    Yes, I did do the clear autocomplete, both switch and button. The new profile doesn't appear to be making any difference...

  65. Neilster

    I did just now...doesn't seem to have changed anything.

  66. Peter Koueik

    I wish it works. I tried it before doing what i suggested. After i did my way i also experienced some problems sending some emails.This was because the addresses appeared in the autocomplete list, but for some you will have to type the entire address and you can not just choose it from the list; for the first time only. I did this for a few emails using the list as a guide. Now everything is working fine. It was as if they appreared there but they were not fully there; strange.

  67. Neilster

    I don't have any addins.

    I kind of figured you were getting near the bottom of the barrel! Maybe at this point I'll try reinstalling and cross my fingers.

    Greatly appreciate your kind help and persistence.

  68. Gryphon

    I'm using Outlook 2003.The auto complete was working fine until a few days ago. When I start to type a name such as Da for "Dave" the auto complete will show with options but when i highlight the correct name and e-mail address and hit enter the full e-mail address fails to populate. Da is there and then it drops down a line just as it would when typing in the main body. I have try unchecking and rechecking the show suggestion box. Any idea on what I can do to fix this?

  69. Gryphon

    Thank you very much for the reply. I tried all three options and I'm still having the same issue. Do you have any other ideas to help fix this? Again thank you very much for your time.

  70. DarkKnight

    Something happened to my outlook and the Autocomplete option is now seen as disabled, how do I get it back to life?

  71. Laura

    You say in your article "Suggested Contacts was removed from Outlook 2013" Is there a 3rd party replacement that could help? I'm trying to get all my names in my address book to work in Auto-complete without having to send an email to each one first. In other words, I want autocomplete to fill in as I type for names I haven't used in the past.

  72. Niall Whelan

    Is it possible to turn off the autocomplete for just specific contacts? I have two people with similar names to whom I don't want to accidently send the wrong mail; one's my boss and the other is my report so all sorts of bad things could potentially occur if I mistakenly sent mail intended for one to the other.

  73. joomir

    How can i add suggested to my contact in outlook 2013?

  74. Fiona

    Thank you. It took me about 30 minutes of searching but how to populate the auto-complete list gave me exactly the information I was looking for.

  75. George G.

    Good morning Diane,

    I hope you don't mind another question about the wonders of Autocomplete. I can't seem to find solid info about an issue I'm having. I know that when a user is deleted from a distribution group (Exchange 2010) that users need to delete the saved autocomplete entry in Outlook (2010). This has been my response to them when they receive NDR's for former employees. However, I can't seem to find anything that explains the behavior when adding new employees to a distribution group. Thinking back, the only issue I'm ever approached with is when a user sends an email to a DG and they get undeliverables for former employees. I don't ever hear of issues where an email is sent to a distribution group saved in someone's autocomplete and new employees not getting said email. Should it work the same way? If a user has a DG saved in autocomplete, and new names have been added to the DG in Exchange, are those new users not getting the email?

  76. Bill

    Moved outlook 2003 from XP to Win 8 using easy transfer. all went well. outlook works,
    except new email, autocomplete, first letter, box appears with cached list-will not populate address picked. Tried every suggestion found. Have not uninstalled and re-installed.

  77. Bill
    Thanks for quick reply Diana. Above link (borrowed) shows what happens when I enter a name or letter, suggested names appear. When I pick one, nothing happens. Box disappears and only the letter or part of what I entered remains. The address in the box does not populate the To: box.

  78. Bill

    They show up but will not populate. I have renamed the nk2 file to old and with a fresh nk2, started a couple of cached files. They show up fine but will not populate. Strange????

  79. adrian

    Outlook 2010. I cleaned out the suggested contacts and transfered the remaining valids to contacts. so suggested contacts is empty now. BUT when make a new mail or transfer an existing one, the autofill for the address refers to the empty suggested contacts. how can i make it refer to contacts? thanks for helping me out

  80. Sade

    Thanks all! I don't know if anyone finally found a solution but this might help some. I found the issue for me was down to the user not having ownership of the suggested Contacts folder. Once I gave
    made her owner, she was able to start populating cached addresses again and the autofill now works.

  81. Shobhit Chandak

    Thank you so much for your help for the suggestion of putting the contact list into the box and then not sending it... have spent half a day trying to mail people and doing so one by one by typing the mail id... thanks again....

  82. Rick

    Thank you so much for this article, the section "How to Populate the Auto-complete list" was exactly what I was looking for.
    After I backed up all my email and transferred it to a new PC, it was a pain having to click on the to and then choosing the suggested contacts from the drop down, then find the address(es) I wanted to add Thanks again very much!

  83. will

    My problem is that I sometimes get a second entry in the autocomplete list for the same email addresses. The only thing that I can think that causes this is if the name is already in the autocomplete list and when I respond to an email it adds the name/email address again. I have looked several times trying to find any differences between the two entries but they are exactly the same. Is there any way to stop Outlook from "doubling" autocomplete addresses?

  84. David Shaft

    Very helpful, thank you.
    Something I have not been able to ascertain from various discussion groups, and MS useless help, is how to only use my contact list as the auto fill of the address. Am I forced to use the auto-complete or suggested contacts? It seems to me that the hierarchy of auto-complete should be the contact list first and then the helpful generated lists second but this does not seem to be the case.

    Outlook does not seem to have a clean link to the contacts list. When I type a name there are no suggestions that come up. If I type a first name, and there are no conflicting other first name in my contact list, then once I put the cursor somewhere else it will eventually populate the email address but no names. is not very clear as to the person when you have over 1000 contacts to deal with.

    I've cleared out suggested contacts and auto fill and have switched them off so that they do not get populated for testing this.

    Is there a setting buried in the options that is not correct ?

    BTW I've windows 7 and outlook 2010.

  85. David Shaft

    Thank you again Diane.

    I guess what I am asking is this is not happening and what do I do to correct this?

    The list of things I have done:

    Cleared Auto-complete
    Cleared suggested contacts

    Made sure the "use Auto-complete list" option was checked in the Send messages option
    Made sure the "Always use the default account" option was checked in the Send messages option
    Made sure the "Automatic name checking" option was checked in the Send messages option
    Made sure the "Automatically create outlook contacts" option was checked in the Contacts option

    Copied and pasted all contacts to the suggested contacts
    Repopulated Auto-complete with method mentioned (copied all contacts to a new email, took offline, Sent, removed from outbox). Is there a way to get the full names to be populated in auto-complete as well as this seems to be the missing link?

    Tab out (completely non intuitive!) works after about 5 seconds and then the address only (no the persons name as well) shows up. This would be a real pain if addressing more than two people.

  86. Rick

    Diane, thanks for this excellent information. My Outlook name autocomplete list hasn't worked between sessions of Outlook for a while. Your information on clearing the RoamCache folder (Brute Force method) did the trick as clearing the cache through Outlook wasn't solving the problem. Not a big problem but an annoying one that is now squashed. My thanks to you. :)

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