Outlook 2016 Cache / AutoComplete

Outlook 2016 cache, what is it? When to write a new email and selecting who to send it to, you type in the first letter and list of users appears, that is Outlook 2016 cache. it is a list of users email address compiled locally on your machine throughout the time you are using a profile. When life happens and you need to recreate a new Outlook profile, that cache does NOT carry across. You have to move it. We will be going through the process on how to move the cache from one profile to another.

  • First you have to create a new Outlook profile. Open the profile and let the system update.
  • While Outlook is updating, you can send a new email. This will create the file. When you type in a letter the first time on a new profile, it will be blank with no users cached.

  • Send the email to any email address. Internally or externally. Once the email is sent, it will create a new “AutoComplete” File. The location of the “AutoComplete” file can be found at the following location: C:\Users\%User%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\RoamCache

Before moving the file, always BACKUP. To backup, it is simple, create a new folder and call it backup. Then copy all the contents and paste it in the folder you created (Backup).

Then the newly created AutoComplete file will be dated probably a few minutes from the time you setup the new profile. The other AutoComplete file which is larger, has the cached list.


Please ensure Outlook is closed after the email is sent and before renaming the file. This process is to rename the old AutoComplete which is larger in size to the new file. You must first get the file name of the new AutoComplete, rename the new AutoComplete to another type and then rename the old AutoComplete with the new file name so when Outlook opens, it will use the old file / new name.

  • Rename the new file to _ol. Ensure that you are able to see the file type on your machine before doing this. Else you will be renaming the file, but the type will remain the same.

  • Copy the name of the new file, not the type or amended format and rename the larger file.

  • Once this is done. you may open Outlook > New Email > then type a letter to display a list of users

And there you go. I have experienced also whereby Outlook sometime does not accept the file and a new file overrides the existing large file after being renamed. This will clear everything, hence we do a backup first. If this happens, repeat the process.


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