Weekly Computer Tip # 361
17 February 2012

Turn the Auto-Complete List name suggestions off (Outlook 2003-2010)

In Outlook, when you type the first letter of a name in the To, Cc or Bcc boxes, a list of names and e-mail addresses you have typed before is displayed. As time goes by, names that you use less frequently will move down the list and eventually will disappear. Back in 2008 I told you how to remove a name from the automatic name fill-in list (see tip_222.php ; note that in Outlook 2010 Microsoft introduced a "delete cross" next to the name to make it more intuitive). But perhaps you are not a fan of the name suggestions - having sent the odd message to the wrong person - and want to turn it off?

Here's how (in Outlook 2002-2007):

  1. Choose the Tools, Options command.
  2. In the Options dialog box, under E-mail, click on the E-mail Options button.
  3. In the E-mail Options dialog box, click on the Advanced E-mail Options button.
  4. Clear the Suggest names while completing the To, Cc and Bcc fields box.
  5. Click on the OK button to return to the E-mail Options dialog box.

Here's how (in Outlook 2010)

  1. Click the File tab.
  2. Click Options.
  3. Click Mail.
  4. In the Outlook Options dialog box, under Send messages (half way down the list), clear the Use Auto-Complete List to suggest names when typing in the To, Cc and Bcc lines check box.
  5. If you want, remove all current names from the list by clicking the Empty Auto-Complete List button in the Outlook Options dialog box.
  6. Click on the OK button.