I’m seeing quite a bit of confusion over the Suggested Contacts folder in Outlook 2010.
- It’s a contacts folder containing addresses you’ve sent mail to that are not already in your “good” contacts folder.
- It’s not a copy of the autocomplete cache, although addresses in the folder should also be in the autocomplete cache (unless you cleared the cache).
- Importing an old NK2 will not add addresses to the Suggested Contacts folder – it adds them to the autocomplete cache. (Use the importnk2 startup switch.)
Suggested Contacts was created as a response to the requests for the ability to automatically add addresses you send mail to, to the contacts folder. It also answers a problem with the autocomplete cache: many users were using it as an address book and not saving contacts to their Contacts folder. If the autocomplete cache was corrupt, the user lost all of their addresses.
Rather than pollute the contacts folder with contacts users may not want to save, Outlook saves them in a new folder. If you receive a message from someone (and replied) but forgot to create a contact for them, you can go into Suggested Contacts folder and drag or move the contact to your Contacts folder.
If you open the mailbox on, or move the pst to, another computer, you’ll have the addresses available to you.
In my experience, Outlook isn’t real good at figuring out if a contact exists, so it errs on the side of creating contacts – as a result, you might find duplicates in the folder. More than a few people opened the Suggested Contacts copy of an contact thought Outlook was deleting mailing addresses and phone numbers from contacts, only to discover they were looking at the contact saved to Suggested Contacts.
If you don’t want to use Suggested Contacts you can disable the feature. Go to File, Options, Contacts and uncheck the option to “Automatically create Outlook contacts for recipients that do not belong to an Outlook Address Book”. You’ll need to delete the contacts already in Suggested Contacts. (Clear the autocomplete cache or disable it from the Mail section –autocomplete options are near the bottom of the dialog.)
Published February 3, 2011. Last updated on June 17, 2011.