Outlook "autocomplete" now replaced by "Recent People", and "Display As" setting not respected. RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have been using Outlook as part of an Office 365 subscription for about three years.  When I enter new contacts, I always make sure the "Display As" field included the full name followed, in brackets, by the email address.  In the To:, Cc: or Bcc: fields, autocomplete would display it in this way.

    As of the last few weeks, when I start typing a name in the To: field (for example), instead of the usual dropdown list of matching email addresses, I now get a "Recent People" dropdown list.  This would be fine, except that, when I enter the desired recipient, only their name shows up.  If I want it displayed according to my "Display As" setting, I have to click the "To:" button and find the address in the Contacts search window.

    So, is there a way to either configure the "Recent People" function to use my "Display As" setting?  If not, can I get rid of this function and return to the previous and much better autocomplete functionality?

    (Just in case someone decides to mention it, I am not using Exchange.)

    Monday, November 13, 2017 4:15 PM

All replies

  • Agreed. I do not like this change either for exactly the same reasons. When my emails get forwarded, I want everyone to see the full email address of people I emailed. This info gets lost when using the "recent People" function.

    Monday, November 13, 2017 9:41 PM
  • I'm very frustrated with this change. I've got hundreds of clients that will not like this. Hopefully I find a way to change it.
    Tuesday, November 14, 2017 9:48 PM
  • Very annoying - wish there was a way to go back to the old autocomplete format.  Can anyone from Microsoft comment?  The recent people view only shows 5 entries also which is not ideal.

    Thursday, November 16, 2017 3:57 AM
  • This change is driving us crazy.  Microsoft - PLEASE give users the option to turn off "Recent People" and to return to Autofill!
    Thursday, November 16, 2017 7:13 PM
  • Agreed, bring back autofill! It's there for a reason, we didn't ask for most recent people!
    Thursday, November 16, 2017 7:17 PM
  • This is happening on some of our machines, too. Very frustrating for us and for the clients who are calling us looking for answers. Different machines, same Office 365 subscription, same build/version Outlook, yet some have the Recent People and some show autocomplete entries based on the address book. I can't figure out what's difference. Same plugins enabled, same contact list, same email account, different computer and Outlook profile. 
    Thursday, November 16, 2017 8:35 PM
  • I agree! This is a terrible move by Microsoft. Why would they limit selection field to only 5 contacts? Come on Microsoft resolve this issue....  
    Monday, November 20, 2017 9:13 PM
  • @MichaelC64

    What OS build and Office Channel version are you using? I am on Windows 10 1709 with Office 2016 172 CTR and dont have this feature anymore.

    Wednesday, February 7, 2018 9:24 PM
  • Completely agree, Please fix ASAP!
    Wednesday, April 4, 2018 8:01 PM
  • One more vote to give users better options such as reverting to autocomplete.
    Friday, April 6, 2018 4:20 PM
  • Unlike some others who have written in this thread I purposely ensure that the email address address of recipients of my emails Is "Not" Shown in emails I send.  When people don't want everybody seeing their email address, I only want people they want to have it to have it and I respect that.  I sent you want everybody who in email I sent gets forwarded to knowing my email address.

    As far as the "Recent People" issue goes I certainly agree that it's frustrating.  Seeing only 5 possible recipients who match what you are putting in verses the former list that had many more certainly makes sending emails a more time-consuming process.  I wish that somebody at Microsoft would give us a resolution.

    On my installation he physically jumped back and forth a couple of times between the 2 formats so I know there's some way to implement the change.
    Monday, April 9, 2018 11:48 PM
  • We are getting calls everyday about this now and having to spend hours upon hours downgrading users to a previous version. Only showing 5 "recent people" is crazy and this needs fixed ASAP by Microsoft.
    Tuesday, April 24, 2018 2:19 PM
  • Bring back auto complete, Recent People is annoying and useless, I have many more recent people than 5. Does Microsoft not test this type of thing before releasing it!?
    Thursday, May 10, 2018 8:25 AM
  • Same here.  My boss relies on the long list of autocomplete names with a scroll bar.  Recent People would be fine if it showed more than 5 names.  I'd love to have the option to choose!  5 isn't enough if all you remember is the first letter of someone's email and you haven't sent anything to them in a long time. 

    By the way, we saw the Recent People last year, then it looks like it reverted back to the old style autocomplete.  With the latest update, only 5 Recent People show.

    Using Office 365 on Windows 10.

    Is there any registry setting that might affect this perhaps?

    Tuesday, May 15, 2018 3:09 PM
  • So Frustrating.   I deal with 1000 people a year and relied on the autocomplete for my correspondence. 

    The Five Most Recent is sort of joke.   I have no idea why you would change one of the best features 

    of your program.   Please change it back.    This has made using your program so much more difficult 

    and frustrating 

    Tuesday, May 15, 2018 5:47 PM
  • Ditto! Microsoft, PLEASE tell us how to bring back the full auto-complete! People I support rely on it.
    Tuesday, May 22, 2018 7:15 PM
  • You can also vote here:


    Work-around to increase the number of addresses presented by auto-complete.

    1.       Log into Outlook and start a message.
    2.      In the field for “To” start typing a contact, such as “s”. The resulting list will show five recent addresses.
    3.      To get more specific results, type a little more of the address, such as “steph”.
    4.      If it still doesn’t offer the contact you seek, then at the bottom of the results, find the option to “Search People” or “Search Directory” and click there. 
    5. The results box will then show the top 20 matches which you can scroll through.

    Tuesday, May 29, 2018 5:57 PM
  • What a terrible change...it drives me insane.
    Thursday, May 31, 2018 2:55 PM
  • Actually, the work-around of looking for "Search People" or "Search Directory" was not available on the customer's computer in Outlook 2016 client. However, creating following registry key worked. I don't know if it will "stick". 



    Credit: This solution was posted by autotalon at the following address.


    • Proposed as answer by andyoakeley Wednesday, June 20, 2018 2:50 PM
    Friday, June 8, 2018 3:28 PM
  • This solution worked for me also.  The Search People and Search Directory option was not available on my clients computer so I added the registry key and it worked.


    Tuesday, July 24, 2018 11:23 PM
  • Thank you!
    Friday, October 5, 2018 5:40 PM
  • THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!!  Microsoft should have never pushed this change.  All of our distribution lists begin with DL, and it's been a nightmare.
    Monday, February 25, 2019 8:53 PM
  • OOoooooo!!!!!  

    I did this and it brought it ALL back to the way it used to be!!!!!

    Thank you!!!!!

    Wednesday, March 20, 2019 2:19 AM
  • What  bothers me is that it is pulling very old email addresses for people who's addresses have changed and I don't always catch it. Or  it will pull some obscure person, meaning some one I rarely email as opposed to someon I email often.
    Wednesday, November 6, 2019 3:10 PM