How to Maintain Outlook’s Auto-Complete List

By: standss , May 16th, 2013

As you type a few characters of an email address or name in the Outlook email TO/CC/BCC field, Outlook automatically provides suggestions of contacts/email addresses that match what you have typed.

outlook auto complete list

With hundreds of other things on mind, it is difficult to remember each contacts email address so the Auto-Complete feature does a great job of remembering this for you.

BUT… People’s email addresses change or you may have stopped communicating with certain people – yet their old email addresses keep showing up in the list.

Even worse, if you typed the wrong email address of the contact and sent the email, outlook saves this address and it appears as a suggestion every time you type characters that match it.

So here’s a quick tip on how to maintain Outlook’s Auto-Complete list:

Deleting Single Entries

It’s easy to delete individual items from the list. Say you want to delete the email address which you mistyped previously, simply type the first few characters matching that address in the To: field to display the list. Then use the arrow keys on the keyboard to move to the email addresses and click Delete.

Deleting the Whole List

Use with Caution because there is no way of getting the list back!

You can also completely delete the list to start from a clean slate by following the steps below: (Instructions apply to Outlook 2013/2010 unless specifically stated)

  • Click the File tab
  • Click Options
  • Click Mail.
  • Under Send messages, click Empty Auto-Complete List.

This should now clear all email addresses.

I hope you find this tip useful.

Related Post

Have you ever mistakenly sent out an important/confidential email to the wrong person as a result of using Outlook’s Auto-Complete list?

It happened to me once, so here’s how I ensure that I always send the email to the right person.

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