Getting Rid of Unwanted Names in Outlook

Written By: Bill Holder

A while ago we changed ISPs and, consequently, e-mail addresses. Now, every time I try to send my wife an e-mail, AutoComplete pops up both the old and new addresses. I have tried to get rid of the old ones. I’ve searched the entire computer for references to them and deleted them. Every time they pop up in the address field using AutoComplete, I highlight the old one and press delete . . . but it still comes back. Where do I have to go to delete the old address once and for all?

If these were indeed AutoComplete entries, you would be able to get rid of them the same way you get rid of unwanted items that appear when you’re entering data in a Web form. That is, you would press the down arrow to highlight the item and then press the Del key. But since you’ve already tried that solution without success, we must assume those names are coming from Outlook’s nickname cache.

The official solution for this problem is to delete the nickname cache. First, make sure Windows Explorer is configured to show hidden files and folders. Specifically, select Folder Options from the Tools menu, click the View tab, and check the Show hidden files and folders option. Now use the Search option on the Start menu to search for files matching *.NK2. It should turn up one such file for each Outlook profile defined on the system. Simply delete the one corresponding to the profile that’s having the problemyou can do it right in the Search Results window. That will solve the problem for now. If it recurs, delete the nickname cache again. When you do this, you’ll lose all the names in the nickname cache, but Outlook will regenerate them.

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