How to import .nk2 files into Outlook 2010

KB article:


When you start Microsoft Outlook 2010 for the first time, your nickname cache (stored in the profilename.nk2 file) is imported into a hidden message in your default message store.

Note profilename is the name of your Outlook profile.

For example, if you are using a Microsoft Exchange account, the nickname cache is imported into a hidden message in the Exchange mailbox.

Note Earlier versions of Outlook store the nickname cache .nk2 file in the following folder.

  • Windows XP
    Drive:Documents and SettingsUsernameApplication DataMicrosoftOutlook
  • Windows Vista and later versions

After the nickname cache is imported, the profilename.nk2 file is renamed to profilename.nk2.old. On the next start of Outlook, your nickname cache is not imported. Outlook 2010 does not use the .nk2 file for maintaining your nickname cache. All updates to your nickname cache in Outlook 2010 are made to the hidden message in your default message store.

Note If you have multiple Outlook profiles, the nickname cache from each profile is merged into your new Outlook 2010 nickname cache on the first start of Outlook 2010 by using that profile. Therefore, you may find more than one .nk2 file renamed to .nk2.old.

However, there may be situations where you have to import a nickname cache file after this first-run nickname cache import process has finished. For example, a colleague wants to share their nickname cache with you and you want to update your existing nickname cache with your colleague’s data.

This article discusses how to import .nk2 files into Outlook 2010.

Comments (5)

  1. hms.wlms says:

    روووووعه شكـــــــــــرا لكــــــــــم جزيــــــــــل الشكــــــــــــر

  2. Syed says:

    This fails for me both with Micrsoft Fix it and the conventional was but the only difference is that when you import it using MFT the import comes up with an error which is 'Parent folder name' is not a valid short file name.

  3. Ann says:

    It was very interesting reading, but for I still don't understand how to im,prot.  I don't know how to get to nk2.  Can you tell this.  The above left out too many steps.  I need step by step "go to… directions.  

  4. nick says:

    Hi Ann

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

    1. Log on to your Windows 7 workstation.

    2. Copy the users Outlook 2002 .nk2 file from your XP profile to the following folder C:Users[username]AppDataRoamingMicrosoftOutlook

    Note The .nk2 file must have the same name as your current Outlook 2010 profile

    3. Click Start

    4. In the Search programs and files box, type outlook.exe /importnk2, and then click OK. This should import the .nk2 file into the Outlook 2010 profile.

    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.

  5. Doesn't work for me. i get a dialog box with "outlook.exe" and asked to try again.

Skip to main content