How to restore your auto complete address in Outlook 2007

When you get a new computer you may discover your auto-complete addresses are missing when you compose an email. These address are stored in an nk2 file separate from your address book.

Assuming you still have your sent mail messages, you can try a few different methods of restore those.

Here’s a 3rd party software option:

Manual Option

You can also do this by hand by copying all your sent mail addresses into the To: field of a new mail message, and ‘Check Names’ (ctrl+K).

Here’s a step by step for speeding up this processes. (also assuming you have excel 2007)

  1. Open your sent mail
  2. Select all
  3. Copy
  4. Paste into Notepad
  5. Select all and copy out of Notepad (removing any formatting)
  6. Paste into Excel 2007
    • If you’re lucky, your Text to columns (Data > Text to Columns) setting is set to accommodate tabs. That is to say, all this data is displayed in columns. If not, then go to Data in your tool bar (hit the ‘alt’ key if it’s hidden) > ‘Text to columns’, choose delimited and then select tab
  7. Next Copy the contents of column B below A, consolidating address into one column.
  8. Delete columns C, D, E, etc…
  9. Sort Col A
  10. Highlight Col A and run Text to Columns, this time including Semicolon.
  11. Consolidate addresses into one column again
  12. Now Choose Remove Duplicates
  13. Take a look at how many you have. If you’re less than 1000 proceed; If more, than you’ll need to whittle them down to less than 1000.
  14. Copy all the address in your email column and paste them into the To: field of a new mail message
  15. DON’T SEND! instead hit the Check Names button (ctrl+k). This should try to validate all the names, adding them to your auto complete list.

Things to keep in mind. The nk2 file only accepts up to 1000 entries and by then it starts to get painfully slow. After 1000, it has been suggested that you may start losing address and possibly end up with a corrupted file.

If you’re about to get a new computer you can find and copy your nk2 file for use on your new computer.

And if you want all your auto complete address to be a part of your contacts then here’s a program that takes your current nk2 file and coverts it to a .csv file for importing into your contacts.

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