Beware Of Outlook Autofill

When I upgrade some one’s computer, I always have them try it out for a while while I’m still there. Occasionally, someone will say that their Outlook Contacts are gone. Well, if you’re using Outlook all of your data is stored in a single PST file, or in an Exchange mailbox. As long as I’ve imported the PST file from the old computer, the “Contacts” folder is there. But that’s not what they’re really talking about.

What they’re referring to is the “Auto-fill” addresses. When you start to type an email address, and a list of previously-used addresses pops up… that’s Auto-fill! It is independent of your address book.

Usually, I’ll explain that Auto-fill is a lousy place to keep your email addresses. Then, I copy the NK2 file from their old computer and all is well.

You should NOT store addresses in your Auto-fill list! Auto-fill is just a convenience. Until recently, these addresses would NOT be backed up if you have an Exchange server. Why? Because they are stored on your computer, not on the server. If your laptop goes for a swim in the pool, that file is gone. Plus, Auto-fill is JUST the email address and a display name. You can put far more information in an actual “Contact”. That’s handy, especially if you synch with a smart phone or iPad. Auto-fill doesn’t synch, Contacts do.

You may have noticed that a mistyped email address keeps popping up as an Auto-fill suggestion. Here’s a tip: When you start to type the email address, you’ll get a drop-down list of suggestions. You can click one of these to select it. Well, when the list comes up, use the down arrow key to highlight the “bad” entry and press the delete key. GONE!

If you need any assistance with Outlook or Exchange, please give us a call or contact us.

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