Outlook Autocomplete not working

outlook hints and tipsAfter moving your Outlook onto a different computer it won't 'guess' email addresses

Outlook uses something called Autocomplete that 'memorises' email address you regularly type suggesting them for you.  However if you move your Outlook Account onto a different computer you will notice it doesn't work (at first).

This is because the hidden file Outlook uses to 'remember' and suggest is not on the new computer.  It will eventually begin to learn all over again as you use it but wouldn't it be helpful if you could carry over the hidden file?

If you have Outlook 2007 or earlier you can do this by looking for the NK2 file on the old computer.  Here are the typical locations:

  • Windows XP
    C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
  • Windows Vista and later versions
    C:\Users\Username\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

You may find more than one - you need the one that is the same name as your Outlook Profile (usually something like outlook.nk2) - it will be the most recent and probably the biggest file.

  • Copy this and paste it into the same folder where your new Outlook NK2 file is stored on the new PC
  • Make a note of the exact name of your new NK2 file (e.g. Outlook2.NK2 - including upper and lowercase)
  • Rename this file to something else (like Outlook2-bak.NK2)
  • Now rename the file you copied off the old PC to exactly the same as the previous file was changed from (e.g. if is was Outlook2.NK2 - call it that)

Now test it in Outlook - Open up a new email begin typing a couple of letters - does it work?

Note if you do not have access to your old PC to get the NK2 file - there is no way of retrieving the Outlook Autocomplete.  You will just have to accept that Outlook will learn from scratch all over again.

If you have Outlook 2010 - importing and NK2 file is a little more tricky - Here are instructions or just call us