Recovering MS Outlook address autocomplete data

   Posted by: Dante   in General

When migrating users between different computers, most people end up just copying their files on the desktop, my documents folder, etc, and forget the little things like the database that stores the previously emailed addresses in Microsoft Outlook. I’ve seen in a lot of cases, folks that rely almost exclusively on this database to know other people’s email addresses. Here’s how to copy it from one computer to the other:

In Windows Explorer, navigate to

C:\Documents and Settings\%USERNAME%\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

if it’s Windows XP, or


if it’s Vista or 7, and copy the file with the .NK2 extension. It’s usually called Outlook.NK2 but it depends on the name of the Outlook profile used. Copy this file to the same location on the new computer.

One gotcha: if the old profile is on a domain computer, the file caches some domain information, and when sending emails internally, there will be errors. To solve this problem, manually delete the internal address entries using the “delete” key and resend an email to cache the new entry.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, April 13th, 2010 at 2:04 pm and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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