Outlook Contacts & "To:" field name auto-completion


I have an Office 365 mail account ("hosted exchange"),

On my Laptop I use Outlook 2013 and it's got the .ost file on my Laptop with my e-mails etc.

If I create a new e-mail on my Laptop and I start typing in the "To:" field then it would bring up contact names or e-mail addresses of people that I e-mailed before.

When I however go to "people" or "contacts" then those same names or e-mail addresses are not there...

I need to understand where Outlook keeps those e-mail addresses or contacts that it picks them up with auto-complete in the "to:" field but one cannot find those very same contacts under 'People" or "Contacts" (I cannot find them in any of my Outlook Address Books).

I am used to another e-mail platform that is much more straight forward, there one had "frequent contacts" and those very some "frequent contacts" was used for name completion when one typed in the "to:" field of a new e-mail, seems like Outlook does not work like that...

Reinhard RensburgInfrastructure ManagerAsked:
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Vasil Michev (MVP)Commented:
The autocomplete (name) cache is not linked to any Contacts folder, it's a separate list maintained by Outlook/OWA and stored inside your mailbox. Everything you need to know about the name cache is explained here: https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2199226

If you want Outlook to automatically add any new addresses you email, look for solutions detailed here: https://www.slipstick.com/outlook/contacts/automatically-add-addresses-to-contacts/
KoenChange and Transition ManagerCommented:
it used to be a file stored in the user environment (the famous .nk2), but that has changed and as pointed out above, it is a list within your mailbox. the good thing is it travels with you no matter where you logon. the downside is you cannot approach this list as you were able to when it was a file residing on your machine.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I need to understand where Outlook keeps those e-mail addresses or contacts that it picks them up with auto-complete in the "to:" field

It does not do this. You must enter your contacts either manually or from a CSV file import.

But living off Auto Complete is dangerous if your hard drive crashes. All that would be gone.
KoenChange and Transition ManagerCommented:
@John, you are so outdated... the .nk2 file residing on your harddrive was abandoned with office 2010. it is safely in your mailbox on the server. and you cannot csv it anymore...
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I am not outdated.  I have not used an NK2 for many years.

But email addresses in a file CAN be imported by CSV to Outlook Contacts.

Any system so old it uses NK2 locally CAN be lost through failure.
JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
I should add that local stream Autocomplete dat files can be lost in computer failure as well
Reinhard RensburgInfrastructure ManagerAuthor Commented:
Thank you Vasil, I found all the info. and more at the link https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/2199226 that you provided, I understand the name completion fine now.
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