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The terms Database, Identity and User are frequently used interchangeably. However "User" is a term used by the Mac OS. An "Identity" is used by Entourage and Outlook.

  • An Identity contains your database and other files that include your data.
  • Your Identity folder is located in the Microsoft User Data folder (also known as the MUD folder) in your Documents folder. All of your mail, contacts, etc are stored here.
  • If you move the Microsoft User Data folder or the Identities folder in your Documents folder, Entourage/Outlook will create a new blank Identity (named Main by default).

Signs of Database Corruption

  • Problems viewing and opening items
  • Big grey blank of about 3-4 lines in Inbox which if I click on it, freezes the screen and or makes app close down
  • Blank E-mails with no text
  • Messages that won't delete
  • Crash and freeze when opening

Outlook does not store all your data in the database as Entourage did. To understand the new database in Outlook see these links:

Outlook, Outlook, how does your Database grow?

Database Basics

Entourage Database FAQs

Outlook Database FAQs

  1. Where is my database located?
  2. How do I find my lost identity?
    1. Outlook uses a brand new identity when it starts up.
    2. I tried all the tips for finding my database, but I still can't find it.
  3. How do I switch Identities in Outlook?
    1. Can I rename my database?

Database How to...

  1. Archive
  2. Backup
  3. Import/Export
  4. Move to a new computer
  5. Rebuild Database
  6. Size Limits
  7. Sync

1) Where is my data stored?


Outlook stores your data in the Data Records folder. This shows the default folders before importing.

You'll see additonal folders after importing your data.

Even though your data seems to be more accessible, you cannot edit these folders. Your items are stored by size not by folder. An .olk14 extension indicates it's a Spotlight index message for Outlook 2011. If you can only view these messages if the Identity that contains the message is set as default.

2) I lost my identity (Outlook uses a brand new identity when it starts up). What happened?

Most likely you have accidentally moved your data. Hopefully, you have not deleted the file. If you have deleted the trash, it's gone. Sorry!

Outlook: Check the Office 2011 Identities folder in this location to see if you have more than one Identity listed.

~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/your identity

Outlook expect the folder to be in your Documents folder. For OS X users, that's the Documents folder in your User's folder.

To find your old database, search for "Microsoft User Data" or "Office 2011 Identities" or "Main Identity" (without the quotes).

If you have not used a new identity, then copy the entire folder to the correct location.

Fix if you have more than one Microsoft User Data Folder...

Move the entire identity folder you want to use to the Office Identities folder that Entourage/Outlook is recognizing. Your identity is named "Main" by default. Be sure to rename one so you do not overwrite. Your identity folder can contain more than one identity. Switch Identities to view your old mail. If you have not used the new identity, delete it. If you have used it and want to combine the new mail with your original database, export your data as .olm file. Switch identities. Import the .olm file and then move the imported messages to the default folders.

You can delete the old Identity after you are satisfied with the transfer.

2 b) I tried all the tips for finding my database, but I still can't find it. Is there anything else I can do?

If an anti-virus program has detected a virus stored in the database (probably in an infected email) it can quarantine the database, hiding it from the system. Check any AV products you are running and, if necessary, exclude the Microsoft User Data folder from their scans.

Also see this solution in User Experiences.

3) How do I switch Identities in Outlook?

Outlook creates a new Identity in the Database Utility

  • Hold down the Option key when launching Outlook
    This brings up the Database Utility
    Select + “Create a new identity”
    Select “Set as Default”

3b Can I rename my Identity?

Yes. Select your Identity. This will allow you to rename. You can also rename in the Finder. Be sure to quit Outlook first.