Importing NK2 file auto-suggest contacts into Outlook 2013

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Last updated on September 25th, 2021 at 09:10 pm

Read Time:1 Minute, 36 Second

With older versions of Outlook (up to 2007) a NK2 file was used to store recently used email addresses so that you could then use them when you started to type an email like an auto-suggest system. This was great for users but a nightmare for IT techs as most users assume that these are “contacts” – when we know they are not and are basically stored in a temp file! so in the past IT techs have had to copy over these NK2 files and then tell users to make sure they add these to their actual Outlook contacts (which of course they never do!).

Outlook 2013 does not use this method of storing auto-suggestions in a NK2 file but stores them in the “Suggested Contacts” instead – so simply copying over the NK2 file will no longer work – you have to import it.

So, I have the NK2 file – how do I import it into Outlook 2013?

If you upgrade to Outlook 2013 from an older version, then the NK2 file is automatically imported upon starting Outlook 2013 for the first time so you do not have to worry.

However, if you create a new Outlook mail profile or when using Outlook on a new computer, you should import an existing NK2 file using the following method:

Copy the NK2 file to the following location;


Rename the NK2 file to the same name of your mail profile.

You then need to start Outlook using a command line to import on load. To do this, run the following command:

 outlook.exe /importnk2  

Outlook will then import the NK2 file into the Suggested Contacts folder and you should find that all the old “contacts” are now available when your end user tries to compose an email.


If you have any questions or comments on this guide, please feel free to use our comments system below.

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Andrew Armstrong

Founder of TechyGeeksHome and Head Editor for over 15 years! IT expert in multiple areas for over 23 years. Sharing experience and knowledge whenever possible! Making IT Happen.
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