Outlook 2016 – Auto-Complete list has gone

One of the most useful features I have found in Outlook since way back when, is the auto-complete list. It was actually 2003, how the years fly by!

The problem is that Microsoft decided that it was a great idea to replace it with something called recent people. They did this in an Outlook 2016 update. This is fine and dandy, the problem is that there is no simple “tick box” way of turning this off.

Why would you turn it off? Simply because the Recent People list is not as extensive as the auto-complete list, not that we would ever suggest that you rely on it, as it has it’s own pitfalls. Most notably the 1000 entry limit.

Microsoft Outlook Recent People
Microsoft Outlook Auto-Complete List

As you can see from the screenshots above, the auto-complete list provides more results. Apologies for the blur, for confidentiality reasons the addresses needed to be hidden.

To revert the Recent People to the Auto-Complete list without the need to revert the entire application, create the following registry entry:


One of the other noted side-effects of the Recent People list is that it prioritises the display name of a local copy of a contact over the GAL in domain environments. On the face of it, this may not be an issue. However, if your organisation has a CRM such as Interaction, you will see salutations appear in the Recent People list.