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Importing contacts in Windows Live Mail into Outlook 2010 Autocomplete List

Posted on 2015-02-15
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Last Modified: 2015-02-18
Hi,
 
 I have a PC where the user has been using Windows Live Mail (for his MSN email account) and the user now wants to use Outlook 2010.
 So I exported emails and contact list (CSV) from Windows Live Mail and successfully imported them into Outlook 2010.
 But the question is how to make the names/email addresses come up automatically in Outlook 2010 when you enter first letter of the person in [To] section in the new email.
 I found the article where I read that it will work if I import contacts into "Suggested Contacts" in Outlook 2010. So I did that and now both "Contacts" and "Suggested Contacts" have the same contacts (first & last name and email address).
 However it does not do auto-complete.
 If I can generate NK2 file from Windows Live Mail, it would be easy.
 Can you help?
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Question by:sglee
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Expert Comment

by:Paul Sauvé
ID: 40611444
It seems to me that if all the contacts show up in Windows Live Mail, then the same contacts should show up when you sync the MSN email account with Outlook 2010.

I know this for a fact since I did this about two months ago with a new version of MS Office 2010 and I didn't have to import my contacts!

My advice, reinstall MS Office 2010, then sync outlook 2010 with the existing MSN email account and that is that.
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by:sglee
ID: 40611560
I have spent enough time to get this point and I just like to know how to make auto-complete list work.
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by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 40611632
Hi.
You should find the checkbox your options.  In my Outlook 2013 I click File, Options, Mail, and look under category of Send Messages, and there is the box to check.  Yours is described below for 2010 and looks the same as you can see in her slipstick link.

http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/office/forum/office_2010-outlook/autocomplete-how-do-i-turn-it-back-on-for-outlook/1eb33843-632f-49c5-962b-353c414acb54
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VB ITS earned 500 total points
ID: 40611812
The easiest way to do this would be to create a new email message and then add everyone in the Contacts list to the To: field. You do not have to send the email, just adding them to the To: field then closing the new email without saving should suffice.

Step-by-step procedure:
- Create a new email message in Outlook
- Click on the To.. button
- Select the Contact list containing all the contacts from the Address Book dropdown (if required)
- Left click once on the contact at the top of the list
- While holding down the Shift key, left click on the last contact
- All of the contacts should now be highlighted
- Click on the To -> button then click OK
Add-all-Contacts.png- You should now see all the contacts in the To.. field
Email-Addresses-in-To-field.png- Close the new email message, save or cancel when prompted (doesn't matter which one)
- Now create a new email and start typing in a name, the AutoComplete entry for this person should appear

Let me know if this works for you.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40613140
When I select all contacts and put them to [TO] and "Save" it to Draft and click New Email, then email addresses popup automatically. However once I close Outlook and reopen Outlook, autocomplete does not work. For some reason, it does not retain the list.
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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40613152
You may have a corrupt AutoComplete cache. Try these steps to create a new cache:

- Exit Outlook.
- Browse to the %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook folder in Explorer
- Rename the RoamCache folder old_RoamCache
- Start Outlook again
- Repeat the steps in my previous comment

When you close out of Outlook then re-open it, make sure you are giving Outlook sufficient time to close properly. Don't open Outlook straight away as it needs time to close, especially on older machines.

If you re-open Outlook too quickly you may end up with two instances of Outlook running which can cause these sort of issues.
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by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 40613185
Hi.  Guess what mine does.  It works like the lady said somehow.  Pretty strange.  Here is the actual info from the link in my earlier post.
Outlook Autocomplete Answer.
As she says, you close the message.  If you send, or reply, it works too.  Save to Drafts does not work.  I tried a made up email address of gon@music.com, and hit the red "X" in the upper right title bar to close the message without sending it, and it stayed in cache and was useable.

How does that do for you?
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by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 40613206
Also, just for clarification, would you be able to confirm you checked the checkbox for autocomplete from my earlier post?  Looks like this for 2013 and pretty similar for your 2010...

AutoComplete Checkbox.
The full picture link is above for your 2010 and also shows the empty cache button like I have.  Simple to empty that way.
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40613259
@Christopher: I believe the AutoComplete function is actually working here, Outlook just doesn't appear to be saving the AutoComplete cache when it is closed then re-opened.
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by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 40613270
Hi VB ITS.
I can see that's where you're going.  I just never heard anyone say the box was checked.

Are you running Outlook too?  I've been trying to test my Outlook 2013 and I get inconsistent results.  Every once in a while it works with Save to Drafts, then it doesn't.  So far, mine seems to always work with Send or Reply.
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40613306
Yes, I'm currently using Outlook 2013 :)

I don't actually save the email to be honest, I just close out of it. I have found that you need to wait for the underline to appear underneath the email address for the address to save itself into the AutoComplete cache.

I can consistently force the underline to appear by using the following procedure:

- Create a new email message
- Type in the full email address in the To... field manually
- Now click on the Subject field
- You should then see the email address become underlined
AutoComplete-in-Outlook-2013.png- Close the new email and don't save it to Drafts when prompted
- Create a new email message
- Begin typing the email address in the To... field - you should see the AutoComplete entry for this email address
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Expert Comment

by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 40613323
I discovered the same thing but forced it using on additional email address, then deleting.  It needs to get poked through a stack I guess.

But I've done your oldRoamCache thing, and still get the same results I think.  This testing is time consuming.  I opened my Stream_Autocomplete_0_15A625A31F93064AA73E60D505584809.dat file in the RoamCache folder with Notepad and see pretty much what I'd expect for recognizable email addresses.  My POP3's seem to have all gotten spaces injected in between all the letters while SMTP's are intact.  I was wondering if autocomplete is using memory for autocompletes that are not send or reply,  rather than a cache file, so that closing Outlook will lose autocomplete for non-send/reply email.
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by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 40613379
I found when I sent a fake email, it did get written to my stream file, but not when I saved or closed the file I think.  And when I delete the autocomplete entry on the address list of suggestions (you get an "X" delete option next to whatever address the autocomplete is suggesting) it doesn't delete it from my stream DAT file, yet it is no longer available in autocomplete.  So there is more info needed.  I found Diane from my link above helping some more folks with the following statement.

Microsoft link for autocomplete repairs.

It is from the link
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/office/en-US/a82a394a-28ec-447b-9e1c-738e73e0ab27/outlook-2013-autocomplete?forum=officeitpro

Clicking on her NK2 Utilities link brings you to more helpful info, where for 2010 and 2013 you can jump to the middle about.  At the bottom are 4 third-party cache editing tools.  One named NK2Util will edit 2010/2013 stream files despite it's name, since older Outlooks used the NK2 files.

Now to repeat her NK2 Util link explaining this.
http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/email/understanding-outlooks-autocomplete-cache-nk2/#tools

I'm running Surface RT 8.1 so I have to get my stuff at the Store only.  If you try a util please post info.  Thanks.
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by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 40613397
The NK2 Edit looks tempting.

Wanted to add that I read somewhere tonight there is a 1000 name limit for addresses in autocomplete.  I should have noticed more about that but wanted to get confirmation that limit is not the problem for sglee.
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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40613405
I personally use NK2Edit which, despite it's name, can work with the AutoComplete cache in Outlook 2010/2013 as well as the older versions of Outlook.

Can't say I'm too familiar with any utilities that can work in Windows RT 8.1 though. From what I know, I don't think it's even possible to use these utilities as you can't run anything in Desktop mode in Windows RT. Sorry, you may want to open a separate question on EE for suggestions so we don't flood this question with comments that aren't related to the original issue.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40613438
@Christopher Jay Wolff
I verified that "[x] Use Auto-complete List ..." was checked.

@VB ITS
Let me rename RoamCache folder and try.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40613442
@VB ITS
Renaming RoamCache folder did not work. When I exit Outlook after creating a new email with every one in Contact list selected in the TO list, I don't even see the file "Stream_Autocomplete_xxx" file created.
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Expert Comment

by:VB ITS
ID: 40613448
Did you wait for the underline to appear underneath everyone's name in the To.. field?

Insert all the contacts into the To... field, click on the Subject field, then close the email message without saving it. Open a new email message and start typing in an address - do you see the AutoComplete entry for this person?

I have seen in the past that sometimes you need to open then close out of Outlook twice for the Stream_Autocomplete file to get recreated.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40613452
"Did you wait for the underline to appear underneath everyone's name in the To.. field?" ---> All the emails, as soon as they were populates, were underlined immediately.

"do you see the AutoComplete entry for this person?" --> Yes. Every single contact name comes up automatically until I close Outlook. But when I go to RoamCache, the Autocomplete file is not there yet.

I just ran NK2EDIT after selecting everyone from the contact and Outlook still open, but it does not show any entry in NK2 screen.
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40613459
Finally I got it working.
(1) In Outlook, I changed account password so that email can't go out.
(2) I created a new email with everyone included and clicked [SEND].
(3) Email got stuck in OUTBOX.
(4) I exited Outlook.
(5) I saw Autocomplete file (194K) in RoamCache folder.
(6) Opened Outlook, moved the email from OUTBOX to DRAFT and deleted it.
(7) Opened email account and corrected account password.
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by:VB ITS
ID: 40613466
Interesting. I've never had to send the email for the addresses to get saved into the AutoComplete cache.

With that being said, I only do this with Exchange mailboxes and not Windows Live accounts.

Good work on finally getting it sorted!
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by:Christopher Jay Wolff
ID: 40615921
Hi again.  Yes, what a relief.  For future readers of this question, I thought I would make a last post with Microsoft links to solidify things, since I bothered to look it up.  Mostly I was looking for this excerpt from MSDN...
MSDN article excerpt on Autocomplete.
which is from this first MSDN link and is called "Nickname cache" but should be called something like Functionality and Recommendations for Autocomplete Stream, and covers Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013.
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff625288.aspx

This next MSDN link is called "Autocomplete Stream" and discusses the digital layout of the stream and at the bottom it explains the weighting to determine address order in the autocomplete list.  It says it is for Outlook in general and mentions 2007, 2010, 2013 in places.
https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ff625291.aspx

For Outlook 2003 and 2007 the procedure is here, but the link for MFCMAPI.exe is too old.  Go with 2013 link for MFCMAPI.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2534468?wa=wsignin1.0

For Outlook 2010, the procedures for all our discussions are summarized.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2679568

For Outlook 2013 the procedure is here, which also states that add-ins can cause Autocomplete to malfunction.
https://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/04e15104-3b0b-42ac-82c2-ddab98c13cdc/autocomplete-not-working-properly-in-outlook-2013?forum=outlook
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Author Comment

by:sglee
ID: 40616472
It was good to know that I could simply select all the entries in CONTACT list to create "Suggested Contact List" on the fly like that.
Thank you for your help!
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