I recently completed a reinstall of Windows 7 on my Dell laptop and have been having to reconfigure everything for a couple days to get back up and running the same way I was before the reinstall. One thing I decided to actually upgrade in the process was Microsoft Office from MS Office 2007 to MS Office 2010. So far it appears that Office 2010 is much less bulky than 2007 so I am really happy with the upgrade choice even though typically during a reinstall I try not to upgrade many things so if there are any problems it is easier to isolate the issues. One thing that changed in Office 2010 was the nickname cache or the use of NK2 files so you have to actually import your NK2 file into Outlook 2010 for nicknames to start working. Follow the directions below to import your NK2 file into Outlook 2010.
Outlook 2007 & Before Nickname Cache or NK2 File Description & Function:
The nickname cache, also known as the NK2 or .NK2, file has been used for awhile by Microsoft Outlook and its function is to store email addresses and names that have been typed into the TO, CC, and BCC fields when you are composing email. So to make your life easier once you have typed an email address into one of the compose email fields then the next time you start typing that address in the TO, CC, or BCC field a drop down should display with the email address so you can select it without having to type the entire email address. The file where all of the email addresses from the TO field were stored was called the nickname cache and had a .NK2 file ending.
Difference In The Nickname Cache Between Outlook 2007 & Outlook 2010:
The nickname cache file is no longer used in Outlook 2010 but instead the nickname cache is now stored in the primary Outlook Data File or .PST. So if you backup all of your Outlook 2007 data, complete a fresh installation of Outlook 2010, and then attempt to import the Outlook 2007 data you will be missing your nickname cache. Luckily you can run one simple command to import the nickname cache into Outlook 2010. Use the directions below to ensure that you import the nickname cache without issue.
Import Outlook 2007 Nickname Cache Into Outlook 2010:
- Verify Mail Profile Name: First verify your current mail profile name as the NK2 file you will be importing must have the same name as your current mail profile. Open the Windows 7 Control Panel and click on “Mail” which will open the below window.
Now click the Show Profiles button underneath the Profiles section of the above Window which will list all of your mail profiles as shown in the below example image.
Typically you will only have one mail profile and it will be named Outlook as shown above. If the mail profile has a different name than Outlook simply make note and continue to step 2.
- Verify NK2 Name & Location: Now visit the below folder location to either copy the NK2 file backed up from your previous installation or at least to verify the NK2 file is named the same as your mail profile which will be MAILPROFILENAME.NK2 or in most cases Outlook.NK2.
The NK2 file should look similar to the below example file listing and again will typically be named Outlook.NK2. Remember if you have not restored the Outlook 2007 NK2 file you need to do so by placing it in the above directory.
- Import Outlook Nickname File: Now shutdown Outlook if it is running, click the Windows Start Menu icon and type “outlook.exe /importnk2” into the run box as shown in the below example image and click enter.
Once you click enter after typing the above into the run box Outlook 2010 will start and the Outlook nickname cache will be imported.
- Test Outlook Nickname Cache: Within Outlook click the New E-Mail button and begin typing a familiar email address into the To field. A drop down should display below the To field as shown in the below example which means the Outlook nickname cache has been imported into Outlook 2010.
Your Outlook nickname cache is now functioning properly in Microsoft Outlook 2010 which should save you a little time when you write emails.