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Yesterday I installed Office 2010 beta on my laptop and started using Outlook right away. Some new features caught my attention:

- the way to install it through Click-to-Run streaming technology, that is you just download 2 MB and start using it right away, the programs will get downloaded in background but you’re able to use most of the interface functionality
- the “quick steps” section in Outlook where various multi-step actions can be added and customized (like moving the email to a specified folder)
- a better way to organize conversations (Seamonkey has it for years now)

But when I tried to make a phone call on my iPhone, I noticed a lot of strange contacts (like hundreds of them) that I didn’t had before in my address book (I sync my phone Contacts list with the office Exchange server). All of them organized in a folder Suggested Contacts. I linked this event with the Office installation and there it was: a nice folder with various contacts Outlook extracted from all my emails. But since I don’t receive one or two emails per day, but thousands, I just needed to disable the collection or at least the syncronization of this folder with the iPhone. I don’t know a way not to sync a certain address book folder, but I found out how to disable collecting such data:

Access the File tab and then the Options on the left …

… then the Contacts group and uncheck the “Automatically create Outlook contacts for recipients that do not belong to an Outlook Address Book”. After that, just delete all the harvested contacts in the Suggested Contacts folder and your iPhone will automatically update with just the contacts you’ve added.

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56 Responses to “How to disable Suggested Contacts in Outlook 2010”

  1. on 29 Jan 2010 at 1:03 amAndy

    Great stuff! Though this automatic contact feature can be very useful to some users obviously the shear volume of emails you get make it a hindrance. Thanks for sharing this tip!

    Cheers,
    Andy
    MSFT Office Outreach

  2. on 17 Feb 2010 at 4:10 pmPaul

    Thanks for the post — been busting my head over this!

  3. on 25 Mar 2010 at 4:00 pmMatt

    Well, here’s my issue. I want to keep using the ‘suggested contacts’ feature in outlook, but I don’t want to sync them to my iPhone. If you delete all of the ‘suggested contacts’, then you remove the ability to have these email addresses popup when you are typing a new email for instance. Although I don’t want them as ‘full contacts’, I do want them to popup. But NOT on my iPhone. Any ideas on how to Not Sync Suggested Contacts?

  4. on 07 May 2010 at 11:00 amChris Cane

    Did you ever figure out how to delete the “Suggested Contacts “folders once they were created?

  5. on 18 May 2010 at 4:57 pmElizabeth

    Thanks so much–it was quite a shock to see 1000 contacts on my iPhone. Chris–I changed my suggested contacts to a List view, and then just Shift clicked to select all of them, right clicked and deleted.

  6. on 01 Jun 2010 at 2:02 amMarshall

    Thanks for the fix.

    This has been causing all sorts of trouble around here since we upgraded.

  7. on 22 Jun 2010 at 6:42 amMartin

    THANKS a bunch! Now my iPhone is no longer bloated with contacts.

  8. [...] I just installed Outlook 2010 and saw my contact list double in size on my IPhone soon after.  Took me a while to see that it added a “Suggested List” to the iphone where all these extra contacts were coming from.  I found a blog post that shows how to remove the suggested list completely from outlook 2010, thus fixing the problem on the Iphone here:  http://www.blackonstuff.com/2010-01-28/how-to-disable-suggested-contacts-in-outlook-2010/ [...]

  9. [...] Outlook 2010 and getting contacts you don't think you should be getting, this could be the problem: Black On Stuff Blog Archive How to disable Suggested Contacts in Outlook 2010 There's a "suggested contacts" thing. O2k10 makes a new contact list and this does get [...]

  10. on 19 Aug 2010 at 9:48 amilucato

    Hi folks,

    Does anybody got to find out how to delete the “Suggested Contacts” folder/branch?

    I have deleted all contend within it, but I want to delete the folder. How to achieve that? Any idea?

    Thanks in advance.

  11. on 03 Sep 2010 at 3:55 pmimfletcher

    one awful side effect with this Suggested Contacts list is that you can fully edit the information in this contact, but it won’t show up in typical Contact search.

    So if you have a Contact here, and you add a ton of information to it, it appears as though this is a real contact in your list of normal Contacts (if i right click on the email address and Look Up Contact, it loads).

    however, if you search your contacts folder, its not there. Seems like a bug to me.

  12. on 01 Oct 2010 at 4:37 pmClaude

    If you want to keep the “Suggested Contacts” in Outlook because it’s nice to have the popup when you are typing an address. And you want to hidden all these contacts on your synchronized iPhone, just select the group Contacts instead af Contacts (all) inside the iPhone Contact application.
    Keep in mind that other iPhone applications which use your contacts will perhaps not be able to select specific groups and you will see all contacts by default.

  13. on 05 Oct 2010 at 1:05 pmSteinar

    You can remove Suggested Contacts in OWA.

  14. on 11 Oct 2010 at 8:48 amMads

    Thanks a lot

    Saved me a lot of time and annoyance :-)

    Mads

  15. on 16 Oct 2010 at 9:05 pmNigel

    Thanks so much. Instructions very clear and easy. I switched it off, deleted a huge number in Sugggested Contacts with no name and then picked through the remaining 300ish for contacts missing from my main folder! Probably a complete waste of time but I caught a few emails I thought I had in contacts but who werent there.
    Generally it would be nice if these upgrades and synchronisations of contacts didnt cause so much aggro and disruption!
    Thanks again

  16. on 01 Nov 2010 at 2:50 amWilliam

    Well I have found a new and endearing use for Suggested Contacts. Actually two! The first happens when I want to forward an email to someone in my contacts list. Outlook 2010, the smartest ever, immediately defaults to my Suggested Contacts list where it instantly finds virtually no one! This is a fast and efficient way to not send an email quickly since none of my contacts are in there!

    What a useful suggestion!

    But it gets better! Suggested Contacts are actually so good they appear to not only be indispensable but indestructible! I have only had the install for less than 2 days now, and already I have 5 Suggested Contacts teflon-encased “folders! And only one of them has a contact in them.

    This is absolutely brilliant! I mean why didn’t I think of this? When I want to send something to someone, all I have to do is try and it will automatically default to either no one or a list of folks I don’t even want to send it to.

    Sorry for the sarcasm, but this really torques me off. Is there anyway to get rid of the darned things? At this point, I don’t care what the benefit, I JUST WANT THE DAMMED THINGS GONE FOREVER!!!!

  17. on 06 Nov 2010 at 1:21 pmCBCC

    I agree, this Suggested Contacts is quite annoying. When I first installed the beta I noticed that my iPhone had many duplicate contacts. After finding this and other postings I deleted the entries and then turned it off the Automatically Add to Suggested Contacts. Problem solved! NOT!!! Wondering why a couple of Contacts that I created on my iPhone afterwards weren’t in my Outlook’s Contacts. Most odd as I have an Exchange 2007 server and it used to work. Ah, my iPhone decided to create new contacts … you guessed it, in it’s Suggested Contacts folder. Followed Steinar’s post and deletd in OWA. Now the problem’s solved. What a joke Microsoft!

  18. on 28 Nov 2010 at 3:46 amDGB

    Re: Post 13 above . . . what is OWA?

  19. on 28 Nov 2010 at 8:53 amBlack

    @DGB: OWA – Outlook Web App – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outlook_Web_App

  20. on 08 Dec 2010 at 9:57 amRam

    This is not related to iPhone. If you are looking to get rid of some wrong contacts in the suggested list, have a look at the following post.

    http://email.about.com/od/outlooktips/qt/et_del_autocomp.htm

  21. on 11 Jan 2011 at 4:15 pmJD

    I need help- related to this topic! I have the opposite problem: I purchased and installed 2010 Home and Business and would like to use the Suggested Contacts facility…..BUT it doesnt appear in the Navigation screen at all (should be alongside ‘my contacts’).

    Any thoughts…..thx

  22. on 07 Feb 2011 at 5:15 pmRon

    I was going round and round trying to figure out where all the “junk” contacts came from. On Saturday (2.5.2011) I made the mistake of going to the “Apple” store to ask them why they showed up (funny they never showed up on a Windows Mobile Phone :) )…They wiped my phone (hmm..bad thing to do if you have a few apps installed that aren’t loaded via Itunes…dang)… Needless to say…Apple employees don’t have a clue… I too stumbled onto the “Suggested Contacts” – deleted all of them and watched my iPhone contacts go on an instant diet! Now I can import the contacts to the Hand Free Link in my CR-V and find the ones I want — YEAH!!!.
    Thanks for the tip on how to disable the “Suggested Contacts” feature (another one MS forgot to really test before putting it out in the wild :) ).
    R.

  23. on 01 Mar 2011 at 7:17 amBev

    I have a problem with not being linked to my default contact list or any other. I have tried to tick the box in contact properties but the box is greyed out and I can’t can anyone help me?? Very annoying to have to enter email address’s that I know are in my address book every time.

  24. on 11 Mar 2011 at 1:53 amAlex

    Once you’ve unticked the suggested contacts box in outlook. On your iPhone go to Settings > Mail, Contacts, Calendars > select the email account, turn the contacts syncing off, and back on again.

    If this doesn’t work, delete and re-add the mail account and it will sync without Suggested contacts.

  25. on 11 Mar 2011 at 1:56 amAlex

    You’ll need to select “Delete from my iPhone” when turning the contacts off and back on again also.

  26. on 25 May 2011 at 9:34 amultrarys

    hi

    how can i delete the suggested contacts folders without the use of OWA?

    im not using microsoft exchange.

  27. on 27 May 2011 at 1:22 pmLee

    This isn’t clear to me… is there a way to get the 2007 behavior? We want nicknames to appear when you type an email (beginning) in Outlook 2010, but not to have these addresses appear in the Contacts directory or be sync’d to your mobile phone.

    We also don’t want all inbound emails to create new ‘suggestions’. Only ones that you use for outbound, as was the case in 2007. And, I can’t even find a policy (GPO) entry to turn this checkbox off if you actually do want to go that route.

    Good grief.

  28. on 03 Jun 2011 at 9:30 pmHenk - Netherlands

    THIS just saved my life
    My iPhone was working great in my new car for about a week and then it started to disconnect after 1 minute, reconnect and disconnect again after 1 minute and a week later a normal connection was not possible anymore. I read your story about the Outlook 2010 suggested contacts and realized THAT is what changed in the past two weeks: we got Outlook 2010 in the office and I am synchronizing my phone with it. The suggested contacts were on and once I turned it off and my phone was no longer trying to push that to the car, the BT connection stays intact.
    GREAT stuff :-) Thanks a lot.

  29. on 12 Jun 2011 at 1:59 amFederico

    I´ve just started to use iphone, after many years of using a blackberry. This is a problem i´ve encountered ONLY in iphone. It could be 100 times easier if it just worked as on a blackberry, where i could choose wether to shync or not to shync this folder. I´m working too hard to tune my iphone into a friendly device to work… hope to make it

  30. on 23 Jun 2011 at 3:09 amCourtney

    Thanks so much,
    This has helped my boss

  31. on 01 Aug 2011 at 12:38 pmGwynne

    Like “ultrarys” (in post 26) I want to delete the suggested contacts folders without the use of OWA as I am not using Microsoft Exchange either.

    Can anyone help or tell me how I can point Outlook at just one contacts folder?

    (I have no contacts in my suggested contacts folders, but I have several of them and all kinds of issues when trying to find contacts to insert in a mail – even an issue where Outlook secretly changes the email address in its send process!).

  32. on 04 Aug 2011 at 5:07 pmJeff

    In order to stop an iPhone from syncing the Suggested Contacts folder, you have to configure Outlook not to show the Suggested Contacts folder as an actual address book. Then the sync software won’t see it as a syncable address book and shouldn’t sync it. In Outlook 2010:

    1. Right-click Suggested Contacts and choose Properties
    2. Click the Outlook Address Book tab
    3. Clear the checkbox for “Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book”.

    If the Suggested Contacts group doesn’t disappear from your iPhone, go into Settings and turn off contact syncing, then turn it back on again.

  33. on 17 Aug 2011 at 4:32 pmDave Mac

    Thanks for the tip, I knew where these were coming from but couldn’t figure how to switch it off !

  34. on 14 Sep 2011 at 3:56 amMichael

    Thanks, I recently setup corporate sync on my android phone and I was having the same problem and since at my job I live by both the phone and my email, the suggested contacts was creating more entries in my contact list then I could really deal with, with all kinds of odd names, my contact list is already bloated enouph since it used the motoblur stuff and it pulls in contact not only that I make but from corporate sync, fact book, twitter, I have enough trouble trying to find the “dups” and linking them so they only appear once in the contact list, did not want to deal with the suggested contacts.

  35. on 21 Oct 2011 at 1:06 pmJoakim

    Don´t disable Suggested Contacts – its a great tool!

    Instead disable Contacts sync in your Exchange Account on your iPhone and sync your contacts locally via iTunes. How often do you need to live(push) sync your contacts anyway.

  36. on 07 Nov 2011 at 6:51 pmRedman55

    THANK YOU!! I spent a while trying to figure this out

  37. on 11 Nov 2011 at 9:16 pmBora

    Alex (25) you are a life saver!! Do not waste time to delete suggested contacts from Outlook itself.

  38. on 14 Nov 2011 at 6:20 pmRobin

    Thank you for sharing! Microsoft help linked me to your post.

  39. on 12 Dec 2011 at 12:56 amron

    I need anyone’s help.
    I just bought the iphone 4s and when I installed everything (itunes…etc.) it PULLED thousands of contacts from OUTLOOK 2007 into my iPHone.

    Now I have thousands of contacts in my new iphone 4s. I do NOT want all of these contacts in my new iPhone.

    Any suggestions?

    BTW, I am NOT using Outlook 2010……it pulled it from Outlook 2007.

    richker@gmail.com

  40. on 28 Dec 2011 at 6:51 pmThomas

    Removing it from OWA saved the day. I love Office 2010 but, that was really annoying.

    Thanks all!!

  41. on 11 Jan 2012 at 10:05 amJoachim

    Unfortunately after Restarting Outlook 2010 the Folder “Suggested Contacts” is reenabled after deleted it through Outlook-WebApp (Exchange 2010 SP2 Mailbox).

  42. on 17 Feb 2012 at 7:48 pmSteveB

    Looking at the same problem myself, but a couple items I noticed: After unchecking the “Show this folder as an email address book” and restarting Outlook 2010, the checkbox is re-enabled. Second, we shut off the Contacts sync on the iPhone, it deleted all contacts, and then re-enabled the sync, the Suggested Contacts were synced back to the iPhone again. So no go in my environment (Win7 desktop running Outlook 2010 connecting to Exchange 2010 back-end, user with iPhone 4s latest).

    SteveB

  43. on 25 Apr 2012 at 1:08 pmLes Gilbert

    My Outlook 2010 has only recently started to add these ‘suggested contacts’ and it is extremely annoying. It adds email addresses for every single email that I send including multiple entries for the same email address. I have tried un-checking the suggested contacts checkbox and this doesn’t work. I’ve checked it and unchecked it and nothing seems to make any difference. I just have to keep going into my contacts list and deleting the unwanted entries.
    At the same time the drop-down box that helps to fill in email adresses when writing an email has gone haywire and no longer properly remembers the names that I have used for sending emails.
    Has anybody else encountered this version of the problem and are there any suggestions for help???

  44. on 04 May 2012 at 2:41 pmKellie

    I’m having an issue with Outlook 2010 and iPad/iPhone as well but this one is kind of different. . . what is happening is the File As is screwing up my contacts in my Outlook. Instead of it being Smith, Joe its Joe Smith and I keep changing it back to Smith, Joe but it will not keep that setting b/c the iphone has it the other way.

  45. on 16 May 2012 at 2:39 pmBill

    Try going to on the Outlook menu, click then click the tab and delete the address book Suggested Contacts. The autocomplete fucnction for emails you have sent/received will still work, but the Suggested Contacts Book will remain empty (because it does not exist.) The same is true for the iPhone. The addres book will not grow when it syncs with Exchange, and autocomplete of addresses will likely only work for emails you open on or send from you iPhone.

  46. on 03 Jun 2012 at 2:48 pmAdam

    Thank you!

    I don’t know why Microsoft decided its upgrading Outlook users wanted such a new contacts setting – clearly, bombarding my contacts list with 100s of new contacts shouldn’t be a decision Microsoft just assumes I would want. They’ve never been good at understanding user preferences.

    What other new preference setting is lurking within Outlook 2010 that I don’t know about yet?

  47. [...] I just installed Outlook 2010 and saw my contact list double in size on my IPhone soon after.  Took me a while to see that it added a “Suggested List” to the iphone where all these extra contacts were coming from.  I found a blog post that shows how to remove the suggested list completely from outlook 2010, thus fixing the problem on the Iphone here: http://www.blackonstuff.com/2010-01-28/how-to-disable-suggested-contacts-in-outlook-2010/ [...]

  48. on 17 Aug 2012 at 7:38 pmMickey

    thanks to those who suggested using OWA to delete the unwanted “suggested contacts” subfolder. However, that folder does not show up for me on 0WA (along with two other new unwanted Outlook 2010 subfolders, “sync issues” and “tasks.” So I have not been able to delete them. Any suggestions?

  49. on 15 Nov 2012 at 3:29 amAuto adding contacts

    [...] [...]

  50. on 28 Jan 2013 at 4:23 pmOutlook Suggested Contacts

    [...] a great story on how to disable this, I found this article. How to disable Suggested Contacts in Outlook 2010 by [...]

  51. on 08 Mar 2013 at 5:50 pmGloria

    I disabled the “Suggested Contacts”. Thanks for the assist.

    My problem is that some of the contacts in “Suggestsed Contacts” for 2 of my email accounts are new and I would like to move them to my main “contacts” folder. I cant seem to do that!

    I also need to know if I can delete the “suggested Contacts” from the calendar navigation bar.

  52. on 01 May 2013 at 1:32 pmWill

    ***The simplest way to “hide” but keep the “Suggested Contacts” on your Phone is to open up Contacts App on the iPhone, navigate to the GROUPS tab in the top left corner and un-select the “Suggested Contacts” from your phone and hit the refresh arrow then DONE.

    If you find some “Suggested Contacts” still exist then you may need to go to “Settings” and turn off contacts under the outlook account settings and DELETE all contacts then turn contacts back on and it will import the list again including the “Suggested Contacts” but they will all be hidden now.

  53. on 05 Jun 2013 at 9:03 pmpitsbrgher

    Thanks! Going to the iphone settings, and in the settings area only choosing contacts, rather than all contacts, did the trick! now I only have to see actual contacts that I have full information for in my iphone contacts list.

  54. on 14 Jun 2013 at 5:04 pmRob

    Thank you! Now I can start cleaning up my iphone contacts.

  55. on 10 Oct 2013 at 6:09 pmRobert

    This feature was probably added make outlook as useless and annoying as an iphone. You know add mail, double all the contacts by having a combined view, or even better have the feature to delete all outlook contacts turned on by default. Absolutely demonstrates the competency of Apple developers. These steps don’t remove the suggested folder they simply stop it from adding more. If you are a real computer user you may actually have 8 or 10 mailboxes in your outlook client. Whith contacts for each you may have 16 contact lists in outlook now. The windows user can see this is not so good for most. I want the folder gone. That would be disabled. This simple leaves it idling in the background.

  56. on 21 Nov 2013 at 3:44 pmKathy Hunt

    Will outlook only use the suggested pop-up email addresses? I have been trying to understand why some pop-up and others do not.

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