Outlook AutoComplete Cache Won’t Save

If Outlook’s autocomplete cache won’t save new addresses, the most likely cause is a corrupt entry in the cache. The fix, as one of my colleagues discovered, is to empty the autocomplete cache. In Outlook 2010 and 2013, open up the Options window. Under Mail, find the “Send messages” section and click on the “Empty Auto-Complete List” button. This will erase all saved email addresses from the cache, removing any that might be corrupt and preventing you from saving new addresses. Some people really love to use the cache as their address book, but that is a big mistake. There are too many things that can go wrong. If they really need to keep the addresses, use NK2Edit to export the cache to a csv file first. After you fix the problem, you can import that csv file into a new Contacts folder in Outlook. Don’t re-import it back to the cache, though. You might just re-import the same problem again.

2 responses to “Outlook AutoComplete Cache Won’t Save”

  1. SmokyRT says:

    Hi. I have the same problem. While in a current session of Outlook (2010) Auto Complete works fine on any addresses that have been used during that session, either replying or sending “to” However, once Outlook is closed and then reopened all suggestions are gone. I have opened file-options-mail-send- and emptied the “empty Auto-Complete List” button, Then rebooted Outlook, still same problem. I have clicked the “auto-complete” item off rebooted, same problem. clicked it back on, rebooted same problem. I send test messages after each iteration of attempted fixes. The problem persists. I am using Gmail. I have had no problems for more than two years with this feature until Microsoft did an automatic update last week. Thoughts?

  2. jay c says:

    Hi Smoky, and welcome!

    I believe Outlook 2010 stores the autocomplete cache within the .ost file, which means it’s a pain to manually reset it. Unfortunately, it sounds like there might be something corrupt in your ost file. Here’s the next thing I’d try:

    1. Make sure that all of your email data is still stored on Gmail’s servers. If you can access everything via the web or a mobile device, then you’re good to go.
    2. Close Outlook (and Lync if you are using it).
    3. Assuming you are running Windows 7, click on the Start button and type %appdata% into the search field and press Enter.
    4. In the navigation bar of Windows Explorer you’ll see “►Your account►AppData►Roaming”. Click on “AppData” to get to “►Your account►AppData”.
    5. Open the Local folder, then the Microsoft folder, then find the Outlook folder (but don’t open it!).
    6. Rename the Outlook folder to Outlook.old.
    7. Start up Outlook, send an email to put something into the AutoComplete Cache, then restart Outlook and see if it saved that email address.

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