Microsoft Outlook is one of those programs that is really good at what it does, but has some rather annoying quirks… One of them being the intermittent failure of the auto-complete function. Auto-complete is what allows you to start typing in part of an email address and have Outlook fill in the rest for you. It’s pretty handy, and when it fails, it can be rather annoying.
Now there is a software package out there which will fix the NK2 file for a price, but I’ve found it to be rather clumsy and its licensing model is archaic. I don’t want to have to buy a new copy for every NK2 file I need to fix.
So if your Outlook auto-complete has stopped working, this is how you fix it – FOR FREE.
- One note – I did this for OutlookXP and Outlook 2003. It also works for Outlook 2007 (check the comments section).
1. Download and install the handy NK2 Viewer.
2. Once installed, you want to run the program, select all the items, then save them into a tab delimited for Outlook import file (name it nk2.txt for easy reference).
3. Open the nk2.txt file in Notepad, select the tab space and copy it. Press CTRL+H to perform a find and replace, paste the tab into the “Find What” field and type a comma into the “Replace With” field. Replace all, also add double quotes ” around both the Email Address and Email Display Name fields at the top, then save the file. (“Email Address”,”Email Display Name”).
4. Navigate to the NK2 file that is not working (usually located in C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.NK2) and rename it to Outlook.NK2.OLD. We don’t need it anymore, but lets save it just in case.
5. Open up Outlook, and create a new Contacts folder, lets call it NK2.
6. In Outlook, import the nk2.txt file you created in step 2 into the NK2 contact list as a Windows CSV file.
7. Create a new email in Outlook, to anyone, type in the email address and send it. After you do this, close Outlook. This is key, as it will create a brand new Outlook.NK2 file. Make sure the OUTLOOK process is not running!
8. Open up the NK2 Viewer again, this time you want to click on File and “Add Items from Address Book.” Select the NK2 address book we created in step 5, select all the addresses, then click OK. This will re-populate the new NK2 file with the old data. Close the NK2 Viewer when you’re done.
9. Open Outlook, and Auto-Complete should be working AOK. For free. Anyone who pays to have this fixed shouldn’t be paid to fix anything.