What is Autocomplete? How does Autocomplete work?
Autocomplete / auto-fill is a feature which displays suggestions for names and email addresses as you start to type them. These suggestions are possible matches from a list of names and email addresses from the email messages that you have sent.
As you start typing a name in the To box, based on the characters you enter, Outlook's Autocomplete feature displays a list of possible choices. As you enter more characters, Outlook narrows the list.
How common are Autocomplete Mistakes?
Autocomplete updates its suggested list as quickly as you type each character so it's very easy to select the wrong email address. Outlook / other mail providers maintain a history of all the email addresses you enter, not just the ones you store in the Address book. Due to this, these names make their way onto the Autocomplete list.
Autocomplete mistakes can happen when you're in a hurry or distracted. For example you may type a name into the 'To' box, choose the first option and send — without realizing that Outlook's Autocomplete feature chose the wrong recipient.
Autocomplete is a highly useful and productive feature in a workplace, helping to save time, however it is prone to making mistakes and can cause you to accidentally send emails to the wrong person.
Should I switch Autocomplete off?
As the risk of misdirected emails is becoming a key issue for leadership, informations security, risk and operating teams, organisations are often taking an impulsive approach to solving this problem.
Upon identifying that one of the main culprits for this growing challenge is the auto-complete function over email, the knee-jerk solution by management is to switch the function off, which ends up causing far more problems than it solves.
The truth is, Autocomplete is helpful and you shouldn't disable it.