From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Sunday, October 25, 2020 3:02 PM
Subject: Re: Outlook Address book
Let me try to describe what I see happening under Outlook 2016. There appears to be some interaction between "who I've sent or received an e-mail to/from before" and the Address Book when you type a name rather than all or just a distinctive part of an e-mail address. Why this is, or how to change it, I cannot explain.
I have never used Outlook to send a message to my partner, Jim. However I have previously sent messages to another Jim and a Jill, too. When I type the two characters Ji (note the capital J) I instantly get a dropdown list appearing with the other Jim and Jill, from which I can select either of the two, but my partners address does not appear.
Contrast that with what I get when I type the single character j (lower case). What shows up is the two previously noted Jim and Jill, plus several additional e-mail addresses I've sent to before, all of which contain the letter j somewhere in them, but my partner's name and e-mail address is still not among the things shown.
Now, I've gone and sent my partner a message using only his e-mail address, but not fetching anything from the Address book. When I next go to create a new message and type j into the To field the first item in the list is now his e-mail address, followed by all the others, so most recently sent, and exactly what was used in the sending, is at the top of the list of options.
Since doing all those tests, I opened Options when I was in the compose window, and activated the Empty Auto-Complete List. After doing that, no e-mail addresses or names show up when I type a part or all of a name in the To field. I can enter multiple names separated by semicolon. If I hit Send, Outlook will begin asking me which address I want if there exists more than one for a given typed name, or just plugging in what's associated with it if there's one.
So, after all of that, I can say I don't get anything in the auto-complete dropdown list that acts like what it appears you and I were used to in the past. When I need to select names from my address book I activate the button for the To/CC/BCC fields and use search and select in the dialog that comes up, as I know a number of the addresses I want to use, and would think should pre-populate in that autocomplete list, are not doing so.
The best explanation of how autocomplete works comes straight from the horse mouth:
Note well in the statement, "The list contains SMTP addresses, LegacyExchangeDN entries, and display names for people to whom you have sent mail previously." (emphasis mine).
So, if you have just set up a new instance of Outlook, the building of the AutoComplete List starts from scratch (if you haven't imported a pre-existing one) so until you send messages to someone for the first time, they're not going to show up.
I find it odd that there isn't a use of the Address Book in generating the auto-complete list. The article also goes into how you can import existing autocomplete lists from other Outlook instances, which I've never done.
Sorry for the length of this, but clearly autocomplete isn't what many of us think it should be.
Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 2004, Build 19041
The purpose of education is not to validate ignorance but to overcome it.
~ Lawrence Krauss