Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Week 30 Article 01 - Moving/Editing Autocomplete Entries in Microsoft Outlook

As technology advances I have noticed that we get more and more lazy. Where once people used to walk for hours to get to their destination, they now just sit down in their car and drive. Where once lots and lots of paper was used to do calculations, now a computer churns out the figures. Dont get me wrong. I love technology but there are times when I wonder .. is it making us more dumb?

With the release of Outlook XP (I might be wrong with the version, so do point out if I am), came the famous autocomplete feature. This used to be one of the popular feature of Outlook Express because people found it too hard to add email addresses to their contact lists. Note that though autocomplete is now available in Outlook, it doesnt populate your contact list as the similar feature in Outlook Express did. So if you were to move pcs for whatever reason, unless you copy over the autocomplete file (which microsoft has neatly hidden), you will have to remember all those email addresses all over again! (serves you right for being lazy I say!!)

Well I hate playing devils advocate so I will now give you the solution to your autocomplete woes.

Migrating to a New PC
When you are moving to a new pc, configure Outlook and make sure that you can send/receive emails using it. Send a test email out and check to see that the address you sent the email to is autocompleted when you send another email to the same address.
On the new pc go to c:\Documents and Settings\{Username}\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook and rename the files with the extension nk2 (eg rename it to outlook.nk2.old). These might be hidden so make sure you enable show hidden files.

On the old pc go to C:\Documents and Settings\{Username}\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook and copy the nk2 files to the new pc. When copying them over to the new pc, make sure they have the same name as the files that you just renamed in the step above.

Open your outlook and test to see if your old email addresses are autocompleted.

Editing NK2 File
Sometimes there are errors in the autocomplete list. For instance if a person changes email address, when you type in the first few characters of his name, autocomplete put in his old address and this can result in email issues. To circumvent this, you can use this free software called NK2View from NirSoft. It allows you to view/delete/edit your autocomplete entries. Now isnt that smart?

With this I wish you a happy week.

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