autocomplete in "To" field does not work for display names

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johnpank

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
POP3
I have Outlook 2013. When I start typing in the box to the right of "To...", it only searches contacts based on email. For example , for display name = "Joseph Blow" and email = jblow@xxx.com, it will find jblow@xxx.com when I start typing "jb" but it will not find "Joseph Blow" when I start typing "Jos". But if I click on the "To..." button and have the address box pop up, I can then start typing "Jos" and it will find "Joseph Blow". I have outlook syncing to my account on Hotmail.com
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Normally, the autocomplete list only contains names you've sent mail to. If Joseph is in the list as Joseph Blow (jblow@domain.com) then either jos or jb should bring it up. If its listed only as jblow@domain.com, then using jos won't work.
 

johnpank

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
POP3
Normally, the autocomplete list only contains names you've sent mail to. If Joseph is in the list as Joseph Blow (jblow@domain.com) then either jos or jb should bring it up. If its listed only as jblow@domain.com, then using jos won't work.
Thanks for your response. I searched my prior sent messages and I see that Joseph Blow (jblow@domain.com) appears in their "To" lines. ( It actually appears as a Joseph Blow link and when I copy and paste that link to a text file, I see that it is Joseph Blow (jblow@domain.com). But autocomplete only recognizes "jb" and not "jos". Also just to clarify: Are you saying that autocomplete does not search my contact list -- only my prior sent messages?! Is that by design?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Correct, autocomplete doesn't search the address book, it is a list of addresses you sent to previously. It may or may not list the entries using the same name as in your address book. If you have it in your address book as Joseph Blow and he uses Joe Blow Jr in his display name, outlook uses his display name.

That said, it if it in your list as Joseph Blow (jblow@...) then Jos or jb should work. Blow won't as it only works on the first letter of the display name and of the email address.

You can use http://nirsoft.net/utils/outlook_nk2_edit.html to view the contents of the autocomplete file to see how the addresses are stored.
 

johnpank

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
POP3
Thanks again Diane. This information clears up a lot of bafflement I have had since switching from the Hotmail web interface to using Outlook. I also always wondered why, when I changed people's emails in my address book, that their old address kept showing up. I'll use NK2Edit to fix all these discrepancies. I guess I will need to always remember to immediately send someone an email after changing their email address so that the new one will appear in the autocomplete -- and also allow me to click the X next to the old one when the old one appears. Do you know if this kind of behavior has always been this way in Outlook? I can't believe that the Outlook team really believe that this is the way it should work. Is this behavior actually documented anywhere? -- John
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Yes, Outlook has always worked like this, although earlier versions didn't have autocomplete, only auto-resolution (you type part of a name, outlook looks for a match).

If you change an address, you should delete it from autocomplete - begin to address a message to the person and delete the address. This way it won't use the old address. When you send to them later, you can type their name in the to field and tab out - Outlook will find the match for you.
 

johnpank

Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
POP3
When you send to them later, you can type their name in the to field and tab out - Outlook will find the match for you.
This doesn't appear to be true. If I change the email or add a display name, it only finds them if I first sent them an email by clicking on the "To..." button and selecting them from my contacts. Then it finds them the next time.
 

Forum Admin

Senior Member
Try this: create a contact for bo peep email address is bo@peep.com. Save it.

Start a new message and type peep in To field. tab out and type something in the body. If peep doesn't convert to bo peep (bo@peep.com), press Alt+K to force it to resolve.

Once the address is resolved, Outlook adds it to the autocomplete cache.
 
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