Re-index emails based on contact names

Posted on 2006-10-24
Last Modified: 2012-06-27
Over time, people have changed email addresses and I may have changed the display names of contacts.  This makes it extremely difficult to find an email from someone when the 'To' field in the Sent Items or the 'From' field in the Inbox has different names.  For example, emails from Bob Johnson may be displayed in several different ways:

Bob Johnson
Johnson, Bob
Robert Johnson
Johnson, Robert

Sent Items:
Bob Johnson
Johnson, Bob
Robert Johnson
Johnson, Robert

Is there a way in Outlook 2002, or even an add on product, to reindex all emails by their email address and have them display as a common name.  Thanks!
Question by:barthalamu
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LVL 97

Expert Comment

ID: 17797237
Greetings, barthalamu !

If you only have a few old names, you can highlight the names in the To box and hit the Delete key.

You can start a new cache file and delete the old. The names are kept in a NK2 file.  With Outlook close, search for *.NK2 and rename the file.  When Outlook opens, a new one should be created.

.NK2 file is located in
C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook folder. It is a hidden file. Go to any folder and select Tools > Folders Options > View. Check "Show hidden files and folders".  Click OK.

Best wishes!

Author Comment

ID: 17797290
Hi war1, thank you for your help.

I did actually get rid of the cache file last week.  This is one of the reasons that I am asking this question because although emails from now going forward are displaying correctly, all previous emails are "mis-indexed" and I would like them to match.  Trying to locate old emails can be a real pain.

Thanks again!
LVL 97

Assisted Solution

war1 earned 100 total points
ID: 17797426
You may need to re-enable Contacts as Address book. First disable it. Restart Outlook. Then re-enable it. Restart Outlook. That should clear up the mis-indexed.

# Right-click the folder, choose Properties  from the pop-up menu, and switch to the Outlook Address Book tab.
# Check the box for Show this folder as an e-mail Address Book.
# You can enter a new Name of the address book to make it easier to distinguish from other Contacts folders. The name change affects only the address book display, not the actual name of the folder.
# Click OK.
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LVL 76

Accepted Solution

David Lee earned 400 total points
ID: 17799514
Hi barthalamu,

This is possible via some scripting, but the process gets a little involved and might be a bit unwieldy.  These are the steps in general terms.

1.  Add a user-defined field to each folder you want this to work for.
2.  Create a new view or modify an existing view to display this new field.
3.  Run a script that would go through the items in a folder and add the same user-defined field to each item.  That field would contain the sender's address.  Yes, the sender's address is already there, but it isn't available for displaying in a view.  That's why we have to do this.  
4.  Add an event procedure that would automaticaly add the user-defined field to items as they are added to the folder.  
5.  Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each folder you want this to work on.

The script also requires a third-party control called Outlook Redemption ( to avoid Outlook security issues.  If you're interested, then I'll be glad to post instructions and the code required.


Author Comment

ID: 17829236
Thanks all.

BlueDevilFan, although it seems like a real pain, I will probably try this.  Thanks very much for your help.
LVL 76

Expert Comment

by:David Lee
ID: 17829789
You're welcome.  Let me know if you run into any problems.

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