Outlook won't find contacts based on name

Posted on 2014-10-15
Last Modified: 2014-11-26
In Outlook 2013 I have a workstation that, for some reason, won't let the user type the name of a contact in the To field.  I look at the user's contact properties for the address book that he's using and I see that "show this folder as an email address book" is checked, but greyed out.  I look at Outlook Options under the mail tab and I see that "Automatic Name Checking" is checked.

This workstation is part of a domain, but they're not using Exchange, Oulook is using POP and IMAP.  

What else to look for?
Question by:Azra Lyndsey
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Expert Comment

by:Dejan Vasiljevic
ID: 40382527
Hi Azra Lyndsey,

Follow these steps:


In Outlook, click File > Options.
Select the Mail tab.
Scroll roughly halfway down until you see Send messages. Ensure the Use AutoComplete List to suggest names when typing in the To, Cc, and Bcc lines box is checked. Image: Use AutoComplete to suggest...
If it's already turned on, your first troubleshooting step should be to clear out the Auto-Complete list. Click the Empty AutoComplete List button.
You’ll see a confirmation window about clearing the AutoComplete list, Click Yes.
Try sending a few test emails to the same email address. If AutoComplete doesn't start working, try the other steps listed in this article.

If that doesnt help -


Exit Outlook.

Open the %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook folder.

Click Start, and then enter %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook in the Search program and files or Start Search box. You can also copy and paste the location into Windows Explorer address bar.

Right-click the RoamCache folder, click Rename, and change the folder name to old_RoamCache.

Start Outlook.

Names or email addresses that are entered in the To, Cc, or Bcc boxes should be remembered after each message is sent. Those names and addresses are available as a suggestion the next time that you compose a message.



Author Comment

by:Azra Lyndsey
ID: 40382840
So if I'm reading you right, Outlook will only show suggestions in the To line after you've already emailed that person?

Expert Comment

by:Dejan Vasiljevic
ID: 40382909

So lets say that my email is , and I am not exchange user, I've created an account in Outlook 2013.
When I want to save email of my friend I can either add him at contacts or send an email to him. After adding to contact when i type James in "to" section it will show me and all other James which I have in my contacts. It will do the same thing if I don't add him in contacts, but I've sent him an email. So basically after it, it will automatically add him to contacts list. That is how autocomplete works.

If You need any more help, please let me know.

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Author Comment

by:Azra Lyndsey
ID: 40382922
After adding to contact when i type James in "to" section it will show me and all other James which I have in my contacts.

But only after actually emailing the person, correct?

Expert Comment

by:Dejan Vasiljevic
ID: 40382927

You can add him to contacts manually in Outlook, and after that if You type in James it will show You suggestions for all James that You've created in contacts in Outlook. Also if You just email to it will check it, and for the next time You do not need to type full email, just type in James, and it will show suggestions. So either add him manually in contacts or email to him.


Author Comment

by:Azra Lyndsey
ID: 40382960
OK, this is the problem that we're having: when you type a name that is in the contacts, it doesn't get suggested.  Only the email addresses (not even the names) of that match the string you're typing will be suggested.

Accepted Solution

Dejan Vasiljevic earned 500 total points
ID: 40383323
Then You have a problem with AutoComplete, and the repair method is the one that I've mentioned at the top, my first comment at number 1. (1ST solution)

If You recently updated from old Office (Outlook) to newer one in Your case 2013, it may be corrupted .pst or .ost file,  You can check that in Program Files/Microsoft Office/Office and SCANPST and then navigate to Your .pst file (this is the repair solution) and go to Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook and chose your pst. The default one should be Outlook.pst. And try to repair it with SCANPST. Just click start.

If problem persist after 1st solution (at the very top of the comments) and this one with .prs repair, try to import NK2 Files.
The NK2 stores Your clients and such things of Outlook. And if You upgraded from old one to newer this might be Your solution, because if the 2010 and 2013 (your Outlook) the nk2 files are stored differently then older. So You will need to win+r and then type outlook.exe /importnk2 and press "enter".

If that doesn't help, you will need to build nk2 from scratch and for that You will use method which I mentioned in first comment as 2ND

Tell me if there is still a problem.


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