Recover Autocomplete After Computer Failure Re-install

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Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account

I have Office 365 on Windows 8.1. After installing a new hard drive and then Office 365, I am unable to recover my old mail and autocomplete email addresses. Recovering the old mail is secondary but I survive on autocomplete.

I have four email accounts and the original .ost files for all of them. After setting up email accounts I tried to import the old .ost. No go. I tried to replace the new .ost with the old while Outlook was not running but Outlook complained that the .ost was for another mailbox.

Please offer suggestions on how to restore my autocomplete list.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
A ost is an offline cache file used by, IMAP, and Exchange server. The email should be still on the mail server, so you don't need to export the contents.

Do you have your calendar and contacts in a pst file or were they in the imap ost file? I recommend using a pst file. See Outlook 2013 and IMAP accounts

The autocomplete addresses are in a autocomplete stream file on the old hard drive - [old-drive]:\Users\username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\RoamCache. You can use it with the new drive if you rename the file to replace the one the new profile created.


Outlook version
Outlook 2013 64 bit
Email Account
Thanks, Diane. I really appreciate the suggestions. Unfortunately my contacts seem to be stuck in the old .ost file. Notes too.

It is a shame that Outlook is designed in such a way that my own data is not accessible to me.

Thanks again.

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Not all is lost. Close Outlook. Make a copy or two of the old ost file. Get the profile from the old registry - instructions are here

In 2013, the profile is under the office keys at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Outlook\Profiles

Export it, double click to add it to the registry.

Place one of the copies of the ost in the %localappdata%\Microsoft\outlook folder and remove copy from the name, so its using it's original name. If the new pst is using the same name, delete or rename it too. You want the old profile to use the old ost file.

Open outlook - if it works according to plan, the account will use the old ost file - you can export the calendar, contacts, and tasks file to a pst.

If that doesn't work how large is the file? If its small enough to transfer, i can try recovering it or you use purchase commercial software - i have a list of software in the tools section at - most have trials so you can see if they find your missing items before purchase.
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