How to import contacts from an .NK2 file into Outlook 2010

Unlike Outlook 2002/2003/2007, Outlook 2010 no longer uses .NK2 files to cache email addresses for its AutoSuggest/AutoComplete feature. Instead, it now stores these addresses in a Suggested Contacts folder.

When you upgrade to Outlook 2010, the .NK2 file is automatically imported when you start Outlook 2010 for the first time.

However, when you will use a new computer, or create a new mail profile, you can import the .NK2 file this way:

  1. Copy your current .NK2 file from the following folder:
    • Windows Vista and Windows 7
    • Windows XP
      C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Settings\Microsoft\Outlook
  2. Re-copy this same file into same folder in your new computer or new mail profile.
  3. Rename the .NK2 file to the name of your mail profile. Your default mail profile name is “outlook”, so if this is the case, you will rename this file to “outlook.nk2”.
    To check the name of your mail profile, go to Control Panel -> Mail -> Show Profiles.
  4. Start Outlook 2010 with the /importnk2 switch by doing the following:
    • Windows Vista and Windows 7
      On the Start menu search box, type outlook.exe /importnk2
    • Windows XP
      On the Start menu, click Run, then type outlook.exe /importnk2
  5. Outlook will now import the .NK2 contents into Outlook 2012.