3 min read

How to Clear Your Outlook Cache

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Note: This blog was last reviewed 2/2022. We do our best to keep all of our blogs up to date to offer you the best, most accurate guidance possible. If you notice otherwise, please drop a comment so we can update the blog. Thank you!

Everyone loves a speedy email experience, right? Of course. There's nothing worse than watching your email update or waiting for messages to load. Cache files to the rescue! Sort of...Outlook creates and saves cache files to your computer in order to create a speedy service. However, these saved files aren't always speed demons, in fact, sometimes they step on the brakes. How? Read along to find out why you might want to clear your Outlook cache and most importantly, how to do it!

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What is a Cache?

Cache files help Outlook to retrieve files and complete actions quickly. Microsoft Outlook stores files you use so they are easily accessible. Sounds great, right? Mostly. However, just like anything in life, there can be too much of a good thing. If you've noticed a slowdown in your Outlook performance or if old data comes up in autocomplete, it might mean your cache stash is getting a little too large. Time to do some cleanup!

Lucky for you, our BEMO team has the steps to clear it, right here.

FYI: The instructions in this article apply to Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007; and Outlook for Office 365.

Delete the Outlook Cache

Removing the cache in Outlook doesn't delete emails, contacts, or other useful information.

  1. Save any work and close Outlook.

  2. Press Windows key+R.

  3. In the Run dialog box, enter %localappdata%\Microsoft\Outlook and press Enter.

  4. Double-click the RoamCache folder to view the cache files.

    Screenshot of Outlook cache files

    Back up the cache files so that you can restore the files if something goes wrong.

  5. To delete the cache files, press and hold the Shift key while selecting all of the files. Then press the Delete key, or right-click the highlighted files and select Delete.

    Screenshot of deleting cache files in Outlook

Outlook automatically makes new cache files when you open Outlook.

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Clear Auto-Complete Cache

If you only want to clear the auto-complete cache, either turn off auto-complete so the cached data doesn't display or delete the auto-complete cache completely.

  1. Go to the File tab and choose Options.

    Screenshot of selecting Options in Outlook
  2. In the Outlook Options dialog box, select the Mail tab.

  3. In the Send messages section, clear the Use Auto-Complete List to suggest names when typing in the To, Cc, and Bcc lines.

    Screenshot of deselecting autocomplete in Outlook options
  4. If you want to clear the auto-complete cache, select Empty Auto-Complete List. In the confirmation dialog box, select Yes.

    Clear the cache to remove the auto-complete history without disabling the auto-complete feature in Outlook.

    Screenshot of clearing the Auto-Complete cache in Outlook

In the Outlook Options dialog box, select OK.


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Outlook Web App: Deleting an Auto-Complete Address

You've probably noticed the Auto-Complete List while using your Outlook without even giving it much thought. If you want to send an email to Dave (Hey, Dave! 🙋‍♀️), you simply start typing his name. D...A...V...and then ugh! That OTHER Dave keeps popping up. You know, that Dave that you deleted from your Contacts months ago but keeps popping up. So annoying (kind of like THAT Dave), right?!

What's happening? The first time you enter a person’s name when addressing an email, Outlook searches for that person’s address from the contacts list. After the first email is sent to that person, their name will be saved so it can be found quickly the next time you email them. Super helpful! Until the Dave situation. So, sometimes you will have an old email address in the Auto-Complete that you will want to delete. Here's how to do it:

  1. Open a new email, and start to type the email address or contact name you would like to delete.

  2. When the email address you want to delete appears in the list, mouse over the address you would like to delete. Click the X button to delete the address. 

    x clear outlook cache

And...that's it! Your Outlook should be squeaky clean by now. Enjoy starting the New Year with super speedy email!

Tired of email altogether? We get it. There's a solution: Microsoft Teams. Read more about it here.

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