Making addresses auto-complete in Outlook 2010

Many users rely heavily on the autocomplete feature when they are composing emails in Outlook. This feature allows you to type just the first one or two characters of an email address or recipient name in the To, CC or BCC field and then choose the correct recipient from a drop-down list.

If you have been using this feature for some time, it can appear that this list is a representation of the contacts in your address book, as over time the lists naturally become similar. However, this autocomplete list is made up of addresses that you have previously used in emails, and is not linked to the address book at all.

When you buy a new computer and move your Outlook mail and Contacts across from the old one, it’s often a surprise to find that although all your contacts are there in your address book, the autocomplete feature doesn’t seem to work any more. To solve this, you could type in each email address in turn or wait until you’ve sent many emails to populate the list, but it would be much simpler if you could just get all of your address book contacts to appear straight away.

Here’s how to do that…

  • Click New Email to bring up the compose window.
  • Click the To… button next to the To recipient field, and the address book will open.
  • Click the top contact in the list, scroll to the bottom, hold down shift and click the bottom entry. This will select all of the contacts in the list.
  • Click the To… button to add all of these entries to the email, then click OK.
  • You will be returned to the compose window with all of your contacts’ addresses in the To field.
  • Close the mail and click Don’t Save when asked if you’d like to save the message.

When you next go to compose a new email, all of your address book contacts will appear in the autocomplete drop-down list.