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How to save the autocomplete email addresses from Outlook cache


You are moving computers or creating a new profile and you just found out that the cache of email addresses which used to Dropdown for you when you went to type in an address in Microsoft Outlook…those emails aren’t dropping down anymore!

The reason for this is that Outlook keeps a local file which contains all the autocomplete email addresses.  That file must be copied over manually in order to take your email addresses to the new profile.

Here are the instructions:

  1. On your old profile, goto C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    *This folder is usually hidden.  If you don’t see it then you’ll have to show hidden files.  To do that, open up My Computer, click on Tools–>Folder Options–>View tab, then tick off “Show hidden files and folders” and press OK
  2. Go back to the path listed above and you should be able to navigate it fully. COPY the .nk2 file.  I put it on a USB drive.  You can also email it to yourself for download to the new profile.
  3. Copy this file to the same folder on your new profile, overwriting the one already present.  Please note that the name of the .nk2 file must match the mailbox name.  For instance, if it’s a generic Outlook.NK2 file, and the destination profile is John Smith then you need to change the name of the .NK2 to John Smith.NK2
  4. Test it out



Of course, you can always go through typing A thru Z and saving the emails to Outlook Contacts (which would move over with an exported PST or a mailbox on Exchange).  I’d consider this action a best practice.

Update:7/19/2012 – I tried this trick and it worked. Sweet.


  1. Want to import cached email addresses into contact list. Have a Mac 10.7.5 using outlook mail, have thousands of cached addresses but when click contacts shows Iphone phone contacts – no emails.

    Want a saved email list form cached addresses but no merge of phone contacts and emails.

    Seems if they are cached it would be possible to import them somehow even if it’s a list i then manually enter to a contact group?



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