Recovering Outlook Autocomplete, just in the NK2 of time

I manged to head off a reverse upgrade today by renaming a file.  A couple of days ago, Microsoft Outlook 2007 ate my wife’s email configuration.  The error message was a “Unable to open the Outlook Window” and Microsoft’s support article led me to remove the registry key that linked her email configuration to her email data!

I bet you still can hear echos of her molars grinding.

I had to start from a blank configuration.  Luckily, I was able to find and put back her email and archive PST files.  Birds were singing and dust motes scintillated in the morning sun.

Unfortunately, my work was not done.  The file (user.nk2) that Outlook uses to cache email addresses for its autocomplete feature had been set to an empty file!  Major travesty, like most Outlook users, this file was my wife’s primary contact list.   She would rather abandon her frilly “artist” laptop for her ancient desktop just to recover use of that file!

Luckily, Outook did not stomp on the earlier version of the NK2 file.  I closed Outlook, found the two NK2 files in C:\Users\Wife\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook, and swapped the old file for the new file.  Of course, I also made a BACKUP of the beloved NK2 file.  When I re-opened Outlook, the cache recovered.

Moral: go backup your NK2 file right away.  Apparently, Outlook 2007 is known to corrupt its configuration regularly!

Useful link about autocomplete on TimeAtlas.