Import Auto-Complete List from another computer

The Auto-Complete List is a feature which displays suggestions for names and e-mail addresses as you begin to type them. These suggestions are possible matches from a list of names and e-mail addresses from the e-mail messages that you have sent.

 Tip    To watch a video of this procedure, see Video: Import Auto-Complete List entries.

Auto-Complete list

In Microsoft Outlook 2010, the Auto-Complete List is no longer saved in a file with an extension of .nk2. The Auto-Complete List entries are now saved in your Microsoft Exchange Server mailbox or in the Outlook Data File (.pst) for your account. However, if you want to copy the Auto-Complete List (.nk2) from another computer that was using a POP3 (POP3: A common protocol that is used to retrieve e-mail messages from an Internet e-mail server.) email account or an older version of Outlook, you must import the file.

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Step 1: Copy the Auto-Complete file from the old computer

  1. Because the default folder is hidden folder, the easiest way to open the folder is to use the command %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook on the Start menu.
  • Windows 7    Click Start. Next to the Shut down button, in the Search programs and files box, type %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook and then press Enter.

Windows 7 Start menu with Search box

  • Windows Vista    Click Start. Next to the Shut Down button, in the Search box, type %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook and then press Enter.

Windows Vista Start button and Search box

  • Windows XP    Click Start, click Run, type %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook and then press Enter.

Windows XP Start button and Run command

  1. After you press Enter, the folder where your Auto-Complete List file is saved opens.

 Note    By default, file extensions are hidden in Windows. To change whether file extensions are shown, in Window Explorer on the Tools menu (in Windows 7 or Windows Vista, press the ALT key to see the Tools menu), click Folder Options. On the View tab select or clear the Hide extensions for known file types check box.

  1. Copy the file to the new computer. The file is small and can be placed on a removable media such as a USB memory stick.

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Step 2: Copy the Auto-Complete file to the new computer

  1. On the new computer, in Control Panel, click or double-click Mail.

Where is Mail in Control Panel?

Mail appears in different Control Panel locations depending upon the version of the Microsoft Windows operating system, Control Panel view selected, and whether a 32- or 64-bit operating system or version of Outlook 2010 is installed.

The easiest way to locate Mail is to open Control Panel in Windows, and then in the Search box at the top of window, type Mail. In Control Panel for Windows XP, type Mail in the Address box.

 Note    The Mail icon appears after Outlook starts for the first time.

  1. Click Show Profiles.
  2. Make a note of the name of the profile. You will need to change the .nk2 file name to match the name later.
  3. Copy the .nk2 file to the new computer in the folder where Outlook configurations are saved. Because this folder is hidden folder, the easiest way to open the folder is to use the command %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook on the Start menu.
  • Windows 7    Click Start. Next to the Shut down button, in the Search programs and files box, type %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook and then press Enter.
  • Windows Vista    Click Start. Next to the Shut Down button, in the Search box, type %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook and then press Enter.
  • Windows XP    Click Start, click Run, type %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook and then press Enter.
  1. After the file is coped to the folder, right-click the file, click Rename, and change the name to match the profile name that appeared in step 3.

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Step 3: Import the Auto-Complete List

You are now ready to start Outlook and import the file, but you must start Outlook with a special one-time command.

  • Do one of the following:
  • Windows 7    Click Start {picture}. Next to the Shut down button, in the Search programs and files box, type outlook /importnk2 and then press Enter.
  • Windows Vista    Click Start {picture}. Next to the Shut Down button, in the Search box, type outlook /importnk2 and then press Enter.
  • Windows XP    Click Start {picture}, click Run, type outlook /importnk2 and then press Enter.

The Auto-Complete List should now have the entries from your other computer when you compose a message and begin typing in the To, Cc, or Bcc boxes.

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Applies to:
Outlook 2010