Email addresses not transfered to new computer – Outlook 2003, 2007

I’ve spent many years telling my clients to not trust the temporary email storage in their Microsoft Outlook and to instead add the contacts to their address book.  No one ever listens and then complains when time comes for an upgrade and wonders why temporary contacts are not transfered over automatically without doing some work around.  I was very pleased to learn that in Outlook 2010 this issue will be no more.

In the previous versions of Outlook, 2003 and 2007 especially users would store emails you typed in in a temporary file so next time you start to type their email address, it remembers and fills out the rest.  If you don’t save it to your address book, it was still retrievable via your temporary file.

Now that you get a new computer, install Outlook and copy over your PST file, all your mail, calendar and address book is there, but the temporary email addresses are not coming up when you type.  That’s because it is stored in a temporary folder which is not transferred over to the new computer.

If you are on version 2010 of Outlook you will notice in your contacts folder there is your “contacts” and there is “Suggested contacts”.  Now when you type email addresses that are not in your address book and you don’t save it to your address book, it automatically saves it for you to your “Suggested contacts” folder.  This makes it easy to transfer everything over to new computers going forward by simply copying over your PST file.

To get your emails back from the old computer to the new one, there are several methods available on the Internet, depending what version you had on the old computer, and what version you have on the new computer.  Here’s a nice article that shows a few methods of recovering lost email addresses.

A solution I find transfering 2003 to 2007 is to copy your outlook.nk2 file from your C:Documents and SettingsUserNameApplication DataMicrosoftOutlook (If Windows XP with Outlook 2003) on the old computer to C:UsersUserNameAppDataRoamingMicrosoftOutlook (If Windows 7 with Outlook 2007) on the new computer.  This is just one of many ways.

Problem solved.  Alternatively instead of upgrading to Outlook 2010, you can save your money and just tell Outlook to add every person you email to your address book automatically or get in the habit of updating your address book and keeping it clean and don’t forget to backup.  An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Works with everything.