AutoComplete addresses lost in Outlook after restart

Every time when I restart Outlook 2010, the AutoComplete cache is completely empty again.

How can I make Outlook retain the addresses?

AutoSuggest buttonThe cause is the same with the AutoComplete/AutoSuggest getting empty in previous versions of Outlook; an add-in preventing Outlook from shutting down properly or even crashing it.

An example of an add-in which has caused a lot of issues is the “Outlook Change Notifier”. So I’ll use it as an example in this guide. Note that this is just an example; other add-ins can cause the same issues as well.

Outlook Change Notifier add-in

When installing iTunes, it also installs an Outlook add-in called Outlook Change Notifier. Version had several issues which caused Outlook 2000 to crash on startup and  the AutoComplete function no longer functioning as it should. Both these issues have been corrected with iTunes version

The original issue was caused by the Outlook Change Notifier add-in not letting Outlook to shut down gracefully anymore. As a result, Outlook writes a corrupted AutoComplete list when shutting down and cannot be loaded anymore when you start Outlook the next time.


While this solution discusses the Outlook Change Notifier add-in, other add-ins could cause the same issues and therefor the solution discussed here can be applied to other add-ins as well. The Microsoft Outlook team is also working towards a fix to handle these types of crashes and to prevent the AutoSuggest list from becoming corrupted because of this.

You can disable the Outlook Change Notifier add-in in the following way;

  1. File-> Options-> section: Add-Ins
  2. At the bottom of the dialog press the button “Go…”
  3. Scroll down the list until you find “Outlook Change Notifier” and disable it.
  4. Press OK to confirm and close the dialog.

After disabling the add-in, close Outlook and run scanpst.exe against your pst-file to fix any issues that might have gotten into your pst-file because of the forced Outlook shutdown process.

Disbling the Outlook Change Notifier add-in (click on image to enlarge)
Disabling the Outlook Change Notifier add-in in will make Outlook remember names again. (click on image to enlarge)

Things to note

  • Synchronization with iPod/iPhone/iPad
    Disabling the Outlook Change Notifier add-in could prevent you to sync Contacts, Calendars, email account information, or Notes stored in Outlook via iTunes to your iPod, iPhone or iPad.
    An alternative would be to use the iCloud add-in from Apple instead or use an Exchange or account which offer support for syncing mail, contacts and calendar data without the use of an add-in.
  • iTunes Outlook Addin
    There is also an add-in called “iTunes Outlook Addin”. There is no need to disable this add-in.
  • Outlook 2007
    The issue can also occur in Outlook 2007. Add-in removal instructions for that version can be found here; Enable/Disable add-ins
  • Outlook not closing
    If, after closing, Outlook continues to run in the background (outlook.exe process is visible in the Processes tab of the Windows Task Manager), then see; Outlook doesn’t close.
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