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Manage Your Outlook Email Address Auto-Complete List

Do you ever find it frustrating that you can’t make changes to the auto-complete entries in Microsoft Outlook? Even more annoying is the fact that items in your address book aren’t immediately added to the autocomplete list.

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.

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View/Delete AutoComplete Items

The utility should automatically detect the location of your *.nk2 folder, but if it doesn’t you’ll find it in the following location:

%APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook

You can select items in the list and use the Delete key to get rid of them. You’ll be warned that you should probably close Outlook first.

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Unfortunately, you can’t directly edit the items in the list, you can just view them with a double-click.

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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.

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

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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)

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

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Import Auto-Complete Entries into Outlook as Contacts

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

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

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

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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.

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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.

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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

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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 nirsoft.net

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 02/10/08

Comments (34)

  1. Mulder

    Some of the other utilities they develop are worth a try as well.

  2. John

    This is great! I had looked for something like this before.

  3. rob

    I use Outlook pretty much as my sole organising system and would like a feature that was an ability to add, modify & view comments attached to email headings.

    Like the Excel comments that when you pass over a cell or maybe just another right click item, but that allows me to click onto an email in the inbox view to read a comment I may have left tomyself about this email.

    The flags are one system but very limited.

    Do you know of such a utility please ?

  4. Lee

    Please help me download the file?

  5. Manu

    Lee go to nirsoft.net and click Utilities from the panel on the left. Search for NK2View v1.20 and click the hyper link. scroll to the bottom for the next page and click Download.

  6. Matt

    Hello – I’ve gone to their site, and downloaded the latest version. It shows the autocompleted names, but I can’t seem to import any off my contact list. I click on the contacts drop-down, I see the names, I pick one or two, hit the TO button (as your instructions state) and then hit OK, and NOTHING happens.
    What am I doing wrong?
    Thanks.

  7. Jen

    This is AWESOME!! Very easy to follow instructions…got it to work on the first try and was able to help out a friend of mine with his work e-mails!! Thanks so much for this tutorial!!

  8. ray

    After importing Outlook 2003 to thunderbird 2.0.0.16 I was very stressed when i figured out that all autocompleted emailadresses were not imported as emailadresses but as names, leaving me with a rather unpleasent situation of not being able to track certain messages. i used NK2View to obtain a list of addresses but i dont think that i got them all. it is very disturbing to experience how microsoft locked the emailadresses into outlook, almost making it impossible for me to access and export them. and i dont believe i got all addresses that where in three pst files that accumulated 3 gigs of email and attachments over the last few years. i have a very bad feeling about this.

  9. Netizenn

    This was Brilliant!!!!

    I had been looking for something like this, I have been sending Work Mails and have lost track of a few important contacts of which I had no written or soft copy record.

    NK2View did the Job.

    Much appreciate the thoughfulness of the developer.

    A clean download and simpple interface makes it even better.

    Thanks!

  10. ROSH

    I HAVE BEEN USING MS OUTLOOK FOR ABOUT 10 YEARS AND I GUESS ALL THE EMAIL ID’S TO WHOM I SENT ARE STORED AND AVAILABLE FOR AUTOCOMPLETE OPTION. ID’S REQUIRED ARE SAVED IN ADDRESS BOOK BUT MOST OF THE OTHER ID’S ARE CLOSED ONES OR UNWANTED. COULD YOU PLEASE ADVICE HOW TO DELETE ALL THE UNWANTED FROM THE AUTOCOMPLETE OPTION

  11. heartyasir

    dear i didnot find nk2v in my outlook folder data.please suggest me what to do.
    thanks.

  12. dell gx620

    I am helping the same issue please help me out. thnx

  13. Hutcheroo

    OUTSTANDING!!!

    I’ve had a few people ask me to recover autocomplete email addresses in the past – usually after they’ve formated the hard drive tho! Whats even better is that I can add it to my USB tool kit

  14. justinliberto

    Awesome app only one that i know that does this…thanks again

  15. Jed

    All I can say is WOW!

    OUTSTANDING TOOL!

  16. johnetta

    I am not computer lire so see why a older person could have done something as this , this is my doctors e-mail address that I cleared off to not be able to recieve information from.Now how can I redo what I did not intened to do.

  17. johnetta

    Hello I am still waiting on the answer to my question.

  18. BrianRogers

    Thanks for your help. NK2View did the trick for me!

  19. Federico

    thank youuuuu
    it was like magic
    i was looking the way to get the email adressees. something that supposed to be easy. of course not and this tool made in seconds. i did not expect that. great mr NK2view

  20. James

    I love this program, however when I go to import my auto complete emails in to my contacts, it does not have the name and email as seperate values to drag and drop like the tutorial says. It says “email address name and then FIELD 2″. What am I doing wrong?

  21. Wayne

    James,

    I’m having the same problem as you.

    Looks like MS Outlook doesn’t handle commas in a Tab separated import file. It must think that it’s reading a CSV file?

    Example a line of:

    john.doe@aol.com ‘Doe, John T ‘

    Screws the import.

    Haven’t figured out how to fix it yet…

  22. Wayne

    Got it!

    1) Export as per the instructions above in the original blog to Tab Delimetered.

    2) Open that exported .txt file in Excel – it should auto recognise the Tab separation. (Click Finish) – No need to customise.

    3) Save as CSV (Comma delimited) (*.csv)

    4) Choose Yes – “To keep this format, which leaves out any incompatible features”

    5) In Outlook after choosing “Import from another program or file” choose “Comma Separated Values (Windows)

    6) Drag and Drop “E-Mail Address” –> “E-Mail”
    7) Drag and Drop “E-Mail Display Name” –> “Name”

  23. Bernard Nyembo

    I am having serious troubles in synchronizing my Windows Live Office email addresses with Outlook 2010. Can I have the email address of the Outlook Customer Service?

    Regards,

    Bernard Nyembo
    (Currently in Geneva, Switzerland)

  24. Tony

    This article rocks, but Wayne – your CSV trick was just as good!

    I had to deal with that field 2 issue on my system.

  25. endmax

    it works like a fairy tale

  26. used desktops

    I really liked your blog quite informative and interesting facts and figures you have

    discussed on your blog even the comments are very fruitful and helpful in enhancing the

    knowledge regarding the topic.

  27. Ankit Chaudhary

    It awesome.

  28. don

    Thats a great link -infected file/site

  29. don

    My AV shows file infected with W32/NirSoft.BQ and blocks it.

  30. SteverB

    Maybe you should replace your AV — no infection found anywhere in this.

  31. Daniel Godbout

    This tool is so awesome, It save many hours from user recreating n2k files and also made it easy when we had exchange issues (db crash) and took me minutes to go around to computers and run it from my flash drive and edit/delete the defaulty email address. This tool gets a 11 out of 10. I am recommending it to all my IT freinds.

  32. KATHLEEN HERRING

    ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS OPEN A NEW MAIL MESSAGE, BEGIN TYPING THE ADDRESS YOU WANT TO DELETE, USE THE ARROWS TO HIGHLIGHT THE ONE YOU NEED TO GET RID OF AND PRESS THE DELETE KEY! Works like a charm and is gone in seconds.

  33. wdbacker

    This application works correctly, however the problem is that the Outlook 2010 inmport/export wizard is full of bugs. The import methods I tried without success are:
    - save as tab separated file results in a single field in Outlook, it simply doesn’t see the tabs
    - as csv file, same problem
    - importing the tab separated file in excel format (97-2003) doesn’t work, Outlook requires you to mark named ranges, which I didn’t take the time to figure out
    - Importing the text file in Access 2003 didn’t work either (when you change the destination folder in the import wizard and select another one, the fields from the wrong folder are displayed in the field map dialog)

    Finally, I tried to import the tab-separated file using an old Outlook 2003 using the import/export wizard. This worked and I imported the contacts then to Outlook 2010 from this old pst file.

    For me, this was the only working combination I found, it’s a real shame that Outlook 2010 is that buggy!

  34. rosie

    I had the same issue after installing Windows 7. We use exchange 2003. We didn’t all update to Window 7 at the same time. I had update mine 1 year prior. So I emailed my co-worker the file I had which was simply called Outlook.nk2 and the location listed above %APPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook. I renamed her file just to test first then pasted mine into her location. She now has all my autofill which are mostly the same. I am so happy to have tried this. It worked!!!

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