Friday 3 December 2010

Outlook 2010 – “My Address Book Is Gone” Importing The NK2 File

How many of us have heard, “My address book has disappeared!” after migrating the user to a new workstation.

We learned the hard way in the past to migrate the NK2 file, or what is called the Nickname Cache, to the new workstation _after_ creating a new one in Outlook 2007 or earlier.

With Outlook 2010, we need to go through an import process in order to get those nicknames into the user’s new Outlook mailbox setup.

To import .nk2 files into Outlook 2010, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that the .nk2 file is in the following folder:


    Note The .nk2 file must have the same name as your current Outlook 2010 profile. By default, the profile name is "Outlook." To check the profile name, follow these steps:

    1. Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
    2. Double-click Mail.
    3. In the Mail Setup dialog box, click Show Profiles.
    4. image
    5. The original Outlook 2007 file is shown above.
  2. Click Start, and then click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type outlook.exe /importnk2, and then click OK. This should import the .nk2 file into the Outlook 2010 profile.
  4. image 
  5. Note After you import the .nk2 file, the contents of the file are merged into the existing nickname cache that is currently stored in your mailbox.
Note The .nk2 file is renamed with a .old file name extension on the first start of Outlook 2010. Therefore, if you try to re-import the .nk2 file, remove the .old file name extension.

Make sure to follow the profile name verification as the import does not work if that step is not followed. The Outlook 2007 file was named Default.NK2.



Our Outlook.NK2 file did not get the .OLD extension tied onto it after the file was imported into Outlook. We could tell that the file was indeed in there because typing a letter in the TO field of a new e-mail brought up _lots_ of e-mail addresses.

Obviously our client would not have been too happy if their address book was deleted.

Now, what happens when we want to move them from this system to another system whether with Outlook 2010 or newer version of Office has yet to be seen. Given that the above KB is a “Fast Publish” article, we can only hope that an avenue to move that nickname cache between Outlook 2010 profiles or to newer Office versions will happen.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

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