Outlook: Correcting the AutoComplete Address List

Outlook 2002 has a feature that suggests addresses based on what I type in the To box, but the feature seems to have some names wrong. How can I edit the list of names to get rid of the bad entries?

This AutoComplete feature will seem familiar to users of Outlook Express and other mail programs that remember whom you sent messages to in the past. One problem is that if you type in an incorrect address, Outlook is just as good at remembering the wrong address as the correct one.

For an individual bad address that keeps popping up in the AutoComplete list, the solution is simple: Use the up and down arrow keys to select that address in the list, then press Delete to delete it from the AutoComplete data file.

If you have more than one name that's bad or the whole list seems to be corrupted, you can delete the .nk2 file in which Outlook stores the data. (You can't edit the .nk2 file directly; Microsoft hasn't documented its format.) One .nk2 file exists in your Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder for each Outlook 2002 profile. The exact site of this folder varies depending on your OS and whether you have a network logon. Also, make sure you have Windows Explorer set up to let you view system files; otherwise, the .nk2 files will be hidden. After you delete the .nk2 file, Outlook will automatically create a new one.

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