Always Remember: With Gusto Comes Data Loss.

Manually Rebuilding Microsoft Outlook for Mac (2011)

From my experience, it is not uncommon for Microsoft Outlook 2011 to develop problems that are essentially unrecoverable using the standard tools (such as the Microsoft Database Utility). When rebuilding, restoring and upgrading fails, you can still recover your data and return to a working state with relative ease. If you restore your Identity from Time Machine or another backup and it fails to rebuild, or you upgraded to Service Pack 2 (SP2) 14.2.1 and you have missing data you can restore your data from your old Identity. Outlook stores your data in the Data Records folder in your Identity folder:

~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/Main Identity/Data Records
  1. Upgrade to Service Pack 2 (SP2) 14.2.1 or later.
  2. Create a new blank SP2 Identity using the Microsoft Database Utility.
  3. Quit Outlook.
    1. Some users have found that deleting the database file in the new Identity helped.
  4. COPY these Data Records folders from the old Identity to the new blank Identity replacing the new folders. Do NOT replace the root Data Records folder. Only the sub-folders listed here:
    • Contacts
    • Events
    • Folders (one user reported replace Categories (not folders) worked better)
    • Mail Accounts
    • Message Attachments
    • Message Sources
    • Messages
    • Note
    • Signatures
    • Signature Attachments
  5. Rebuild the new Identity in Database Utility.
  6. Open Outlook and your data should be back.


One thought on “Manually Rebuilding Microsoft Outlook for Mac (2011)

  1. You saved me! Thank you!

    No more Outlook for me after this latest tumble down the rabbit hole. The only software that has caused me fits on a consistent basis over the years. You think I would’ve learned awhile ago. I am going to look into Google Apps.

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