DayCom Solutions
    Website & Custom Software Development - Support

Main Menu

Reset the Auto-completion EMAIL ADDRESS NAME LIST used by Outlook to auto-complete addressing in the To, Cc and Bcc Lines


Description and purpose

The following instructions provide a means to remove the entire list. You can remove individual entries by hitting the 'delete' key for email address suggestions that occur while you are typing an email address; that will remove only the highlighted entry.

When you address an email (in the To, Cc or Bcc address line) Microsoft Outlook will suggest and/or auto-complete email address entries as you make them. This is a handy feature and can save a lot of time.

Unfortunately problems can arise from this because the list grows and grows and if some of the recipients to whom you normally send email CHANGE their address, that OLD information will be included in the 'suggestions'. The list can grow and include old and outdated information.

This also can create another serious problem: A person to whom you normally correspond changes their email address. You dutifully UPDATE the changed information in your Outlook Contacts. The next time you address the updated recipient you begin typing their name in the To address line and Outlook 'suggests' that person either by address or nickname -depending upon previous actions and settings. This is because Outlook pulls the suggested information from a separate FILE and NOT from your Contact data.

So you hit 'Enter' to 'accept' the suggested information and click Send - NOT KNOWING that the actual email address is still the OLD outdated address that you used to send to. (The address itself may not be visible in the address line - depending upon previous actions and settings.) This results in the email being sent to the OLD address - the one you THOUGHT was updated.

It would be better if Microsoft provided a method to EDIT this list, but we do not know how to do that at this time - so the following procedure will CLEAR the list and let you start all over "from scratch" with no names in the list. It is a harsh remedy, but soon your NEW list will be populated with the CURRENT and CORRECT recipient email addresses.


Some of the following information was copied from the Microsoft Help web at URL:

NOTE: There is a mistake in the 'search' statement and even after correction, it did not work on several machines tested - See the SECOND block of instructions "....without using SEARCH" below.

Outlook maintains a nickname list that is used by both the automatic name checking and the automatic completion features. The nickname list is automatically generated while you use Outlook. If the nickname cache is corrupted, Outlook may not be able to identify recipients, may offer incorrect recipients when automatically completing the e-mail address, or may send the message to the wrong person.

Use the following steps that are appropriate for your version of Microsoft Windows to reset the Outlook nickname cache. After you restart Outlook, Outlook generates a new nickname cache.

Microsoft Windows XP

  1. Exit Outlook.
  2. Start Microsoft Windows Explorer.
  3. On the Tools menu, click Folder Options, and then click the View tab.
  4. Under Advanced Settings, select the Show hidden files and folders check box.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Click Start, point to Search, and then click All files or folders.
  7. In the Search Companion box, type .NK2 in the All or part of the file name box. (NOTE: The original Microsoft Help instruction for this step states to type *.NK2 - this does NOT work - the Search does not recognize the asterisk as a wildcard character.)
  8. In the Look in box, select your local hard disk drive.
  9. Click Search.
  10. Right-click the .NK2 file with the name of the profile that you want to reset, and then click Rename.
  11. Rename the file to profile name.bak, and then press ENTER.
  12. Exit Windows Explorer.
  13. Restart Outlook.

Microsoft Windows XP - without using SEARCH

NOTE: If the 'Search' does NOT turn up the NK2 file (or it takes too long) - look for the NK2 filet under your Profile -

  1. Exit Outlook.
  2. Open Explorer
  3. Navigate to the PROFILE name for which you want to RESET the 'memorized email address list':
    For example:
    C:\Documents and Settings\$UserName\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\
    WHERE: $UserName is the PROFILE name - substitute a name for this part such as "John Smith" or whatever applies.
  4. Under the Outlook folder, above, you will see a file called Outlook.NK2
  5. RENAME Outlook.NK2 file TO: Outlook.NK2.BAK (or just Outlook.bak)
  6. Close Explorer (if you want)
  7. Restart Outlook - there will be no 'suggestion' email address when you type a To or Cc or Bcc for the first time - it will start re-memorizing all the (new) addresses as you send emails.



| Home | Software Development | Web Development | Web Process | Experience | Web Site Links |
    Support Area
Copyright © 2005-2012
All Rights Reserved