This article describes the process of importing Outlook nickname cache for the same mailbox when you switch computers or upgrade your Outlook. Importing a nickname list created in an Outlook profile for another mailbox, or for a mailbox on a remote Exchange server (not Intermedia server) is not supported.

Outlook maintains a nickname list that is used by both the automatic name checking and the AutoComplete features. The nickname list is automatically compiled as you address email messages. This article will help you to associate your existing AutoComplete list with a new Outlook Exchange profile. Follow the instructions for the target Outlook version.

AutoComplete list in Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019

With Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019 running with an Exchange 2010/2013/2016/2019 profile, the nickname list is associated with an Exchange mailbox and stored as a hidden file in your Outlook Data File. It synchronizes with the Exchange server, so cached contacts follow a user no matter where the Outlook profile is configured.

Outlook version upgrade:

If you upgrade from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019 on the same machine, the existing nickname list will be autopopulated as long as you use the same Outlook profile.

New profile in Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019:

  • Move AutoComplete cache from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019: If you want to associate an Outlook 2007 AutoComplete list with an Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019 profile, follow the steps below. Important: Do not use a nickname list created in an Outlook profile for another mailbox, or for a mailbox on a remote Exchange server (not Intermedia server).
    1. On the computer running Outlook 2007, navigate to the Outlook folder. To do this, click Start, then click Run or type in the Search field: %appdata%/microsoft/outlook Press Enter.
      outlook_folder
    2. Locate, select and copy 2 files called Outlook, Default or whatever your Outlook profile is named and classified as the XML Document and Outlook Nickname File (or Office Data File) in the Type column. 
      • Tip: You can attach the file to an e-mail message and send the message to yourself. On the new computer, open the attachment in Outlook, and then save it to the correct location.
    3. On the computer running Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019, create a new Outlook profile, name it the same way as the files exported from the computer running Outlook 2007 on the previous step.
    4. Navigate to the Outlook folder: click Start, then click Run or type in the Search field: %appdata%/microsoft/outlook Press Enter. Paste the previously exported files into the folder. 
    5. Make sure that Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019 is closed.
    6. Go to Start > Run and type the following: 
      outlook /importnk2
      import_nk2
    7. Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019 will open. Choose your newly created Exchange profile if prompted.
    8. To test whether the AutoComplete got populated into the new profile, in Outlook, click New Email and start typing in an address from your old AutoComplete list.
      test_autocomplete
  • Move AutoComplete cache from Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019 to Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019:
    Important note: 
    Do not use a nickname list created in an Outlook profile for another mailbox, or for a mailbox on a remote Exchange server (not Intermedia server). .
    1. Go to Start and type in: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\RoamCache stream_autocomplete
    2. The AutoComplete file starts with Stream_Autocomplete and ends in .dat.
    3. Arrange the items by name and by date. The AutoComplete file of a new profile has the most recent date. Copy the full file name from the new autocomplete file and replace the name of the old .dat file with the new name. When prompted, overwrite and start Outlook with all of your autocomplete data.

AutoComplete list in Outlook 2007

With Outlook 2007, cached entries are stored in a local, profile-specific file with the .NK2 extension. Sometimes you may want to use the existing .NK2 file in the new Outlook 2007 profile. You may need this in the following situations:

  • You re-create the existing profile. You delete the old profile and create a new one with another profile name on the same computer for the same mailbox.
  • You are configuring Outlook for the same mailbox on another computer and you would like to use the nickname list created on the first computer.
  • You are upgrading your Intermedia Exchange account. Usually, this is a migration to a newer Exchange server version.

In general, you need to do the following: find both old and new .NK2 files and rename the new file with the name of the old one.

Important note: Do not use a nickname list created in an Outlook profile for another mailbox, or for a mailbox on a remote Exchange server (not Intermedia server).

  • Move AutoComplete cache to a new profile for the same mailbox on the same computer:
    1. Exit Outlook before starting the following procedure. The names will be included in AutoComplete when you restart Outlook.
    2. Find the AutoComplete file (.NK2 file). This file may be hidden, so please make sure you are searching among hidden files and folders as well. Read the Knowlege Base article on How to reset the Outlook nickname autocompletion cache for instructions.
    3. You will see two .NK2 files, for your old and for new profiles.
    4. Rename the .NK2 file for the new account to something different. 
    5. Rename the .NK2 file for the old profile with the name of the new Outlook profile.
    6. Start Outlook. .
  • Move AutoComplete cache for the same mailbox to a new profile on a new computer:
    1. Find and copy the .NK2 file of your old Exchange profile to removable media or another location available from the new computer. This file may be hidden, so please make sure you are searching among hidden files and folders as well. Read the Knowlege Base article on How to reset the Outlook nickname autocompletion cache for instructions.
    2. Exit Outlook on a new computer.
    3. Find the correct location for the file on the new computer. To do so, search for the .NK2 file on the new computer, then open the folder containing the .NK2 file for the new Outlook profile.
    4. If the Outlook user profile name is different on the computer where you are moving the .NK2 file, you must rename the file with the same Outlook user profile name after you copy it to the correct folder.
    5. When prompted about replacing the existing file, click Yes.
    6. Start Outlook.