How to Back up or Copy an Outlook Autocomplete List

Back up the list of recent emails in MS Outlook

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Microsoft Outlook keeps a list of recently used email addresses that you've typed in the To:, Cc:, and Bcc: fields. You can back up or copy that file elsewhere if you want to keep the list or use it on a different computer.

Outlook keeps most of your essential data in a PST file, like all your emails. The autocomplete list that holds the information that pops up when you start typing a name or email address, is stored in a hidden message in newer versions of MS Outlook, and in an NK2 file in 2007 and 2003.

How to Back up Your Outlook Auto-Complete List

Follow these steps to export the Outlook auto-complete list from Outlook 2016, 2013, or 2010:

  1. Download MFCMAPI.

    There are two versions of MFCMAPI; a 32-bit and 64-bit version. You need to make sure you download the right one for your version of MS Office, not for your Windows version.

    To check this, open Outlook and then go to File > Office Account (or Account in some versions) > About Outlook. You'll see either 64-bit or 32-bit listed at the top.
  2. Extract the MFCMAPI.exe file from the ZIP archive.
  3. Make sure Outlook is not running, and then open the EXE file you just extracted.
  4. Navigate to Session > Logon... in MFCMAPI.
  5. Choose the desired profile from the Profile Name drop-down menu. There might just be one, and it's probably called Outlook.
  6. Click OK.
  7. Double-click your Outlook email profile in the Display Name column.
  8. Expand Root in the viewer that appears, by clicking the small arrow to the left of its name.
  1. Expand IPM_SUBTREE (if you don't see that, choose Top of Information Store or Top of Outlook data file).
  2. Right-click Inbox in the list to the left.
  3. Select Open associated contents table.
  4. Find the line that has IPM.Configuration.Autocomplete in the Subject section to the right.
  5. Right-click the item and choose Export message... from the menu that appears.
  1. In the Save Message To File window that opens, click the drop-down menu under Format to save message, and choose MSG file (UNICODE).
  2. Click OK at the bottom.
  3. Save the MSG file somewhere safe.
  4. You can now exit MFCMAPI and use Outlook normally.

If you're using Outlook 2007 or 2003, backing up the autocomplete list is done manually:

  1. Close Outlook if it's open.
  2. Hit the Windows Key + R keyboard combination to show the Run dialog box.
  3. Enter the following into that box: %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook.
  4. Right-click the NK2 file in that folder. It might be called Outlook.nk2 but it could also be named after your profile, like Ina Cognita.nk2.
  5. Copy the file anywhere you like.

    If you're replacing the NK2 file at another computer, make sure you replace the original by either matching the file name or deleting the one you no longer want, and then placing this one there.