How to Copy Outlook Auto Complete List to Another Computer

Outlook has a feature of auto-complete by which it displays suggestions for names and e-mail addresses as you begin to type them in the address field. These suggestions are possible matches from a list of names and e-mail addresses that you have typed before. When you move from one PC to another this will be lost as the Auto complete list is saved locally in your Computer.

When you are upgrading your computer or re-installing Outlook, you can restore Auto-complete list using the following steps.

1. Windows XP

Go to drive:\Documents and Settings\user\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook.

2. Windows Vista

Go to drive:\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook.

In the folder Outlook, you can find a file named profilename.nk2, you can copy this file to a selected location. This folder might be hidden, so you need to make sure that hidden folders are visible. Once you are done with new installation or new computer, copy this file back to the location in the new computer. Make sure that the profilename remains the same on new computer.

If you are creating new profile name, you can still get the auto-complete by renaming the .nk2 file to the new profile name.


Import Outlook Contacts to Your Auto-Complete List

You can import contacts from the Address Book, or even the Global Address List if you are on an Exchange network. Just go to the File \ Add Items From Address Book item on the menu.

There’s a small utility named NK2View by the excellent Nirsoft that can help with this problem. You can delete items in the list, import from your address book, and even export auto-completed addresses for later import into Outlook as full contacts.


Select the address book you want, and then add the selected items by using the To button.


After you hit the OK button, the items will be added to the list.

Export Your AutoComplete List

You can export the items in the list into a format that could be imported into Outlook, where you can make any edits you’d like. Choose “Save Selected Items” from the menu (make sure to select contacts first)


Then choose “Tab delimited file – for Outlook import” from the list, and name the file something useful.


Import Auto-Complete Entries into Outlook as Contacts

Open Outlook and go to File \ Import and Export on the menu.


Choose to “Import from another program or file” and hit Next.


Choose to import “Tab Separated Values (Windows)” from the file type list.


Choose the file to import from, and then choose to “Do not import duplicate items”. You don’t want the items in the auto-complete to overwrite existing entries in your list, the idea is to populate only the items missing from your contacts folder.


You’ll be prompted for the folder you want to import to, then on the next screen check the box next to “Import filename into folder: Contacts”, and the mapping dialog will immediately pop up.


Here’s where it’s slightly tricky… you need to map between the left and right hand panes by dragging and dropping the values where you want them. Here’s what I’d suggest as the mappings:

  • Email Address -> E-mail
  • Email Display Name -> Name


Hit OK and then Finish on the other screen, and your contacts will be immediately imported.

Editing Auto-Complete Entries

Since you can’t use the utility to edit items, what I’d suggest you do is export the items and import them into your Outlook contacts folder, then use the utility to import from your address book after you’ve made your edits in Outlook.

Download NK2View from


This entry was posted in How To, MS Office, Outlook, Tips & Trick and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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