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  1. #1
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders

    Member Since
    Oct 15, 2009
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    Taylorsville, Utah
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    31
    Specs:
    15" MacBook Pro, Mavericks, 10.9.3, iPad 3, iPhone 4S, IOS 7.1.1
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders
    Need some help! I have a fairly new 15" MacBook Pro, upgraded to Lion 10.7.1 about a month ago. I've been running Outlook 2011 with pretty good success until tonight! About three weeks ago I exported my .pst files from my Windows 7, Outlook 2007 and was pleased to see five years of mail folders, distribution lists and contacts come across mostly correct. There were problems with the distribution lists, but could use them.

    Tonight I let the Lion OS install three updates. After the reboot, all of my Outlook 2011 data was gone. There was nothing in the in-box, no folders, no contacts. There wasn't even an account for msn.com. I used to also have gmail and me.com accounts active. Not there is nothing!

    Need some help to recover these files. I do have Time Machine backups, but tried to restore the files there and couldn't see where they were stored as I went back in time to backups earlier today and yesterday. I haven't ever done a restore from Time Machine. Can someone help me? Can I get the data back from Time Machine??

    I see lots of posts here and on other forums with many, many Outlook 2011 problems. I bought Office 2011 Home and Business so that I could uses Outlook 2011. Looks like it was a mistake and waste of money!

    Help please!

  2. #2
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders
    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
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    London
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    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    Firstly, check how many user accounts you have on that mac using the Accounts preference pane.


    It may be that you have somehow duplicated a User folder and your files and settings are just in another User account
    Member of the Month September 2008 & August 2012 | Found advice useful? use the rep system

  3. #3
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders

    Member Since
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location
    Taylorsville, Utah
    Posts
    31
    Specs:
    15" MacBook Pro, Mavericks, 10.9.3, iPad 3, iPhone 4S, IOS 7.1.1
    Thanks for the suggestion. But I'm the only user on this laptop. I do know that being signed on as the wrong user can prevent you from seeing your data.

    I believe that the Outlook 2011 folder somehow got corrupted last night. I'm off to see if I can find where this folder is located and restore it from Time Machine. That just might work. It's not easy to find files and folders on Mac machines. Hope I can find this one.

  4. #4
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    45,202
    Specs:
    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    Look in here:

    Macintosh HD/Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Microsoft Outlook.app/Contents/

    You may have dig a bit deeper from the contents folder but it should be there if it still exists.

  5. #5
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders

    Member Since
    Oct 15, 2009
    Location
    Taylorsville, Utah
    Posts
    31
    Specs:
    15" MacBook Pro, Mavericks, 10.9.3, iPad 3, iPhone 4S, IOS 7.1.1
    I found the outlook identity file at ...documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/your identity.

    I was able to go into Time Machine and replace the identity datafile with one from a few days earlier. After letting the system rebuild the database, my Outlook was back working again and my files and folders were intact.

    I had imported a large .pst file from a Windows 7 PC running Outlook 2007. I moved some folders from the imported folders into the folders created under Outlook 2011. I think that is what caused my identity file to disappear. Not sure where it went, but when replaced everything returned to normal.

    Hope this helps someone with a similar problem.

  6. #6
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders

    Member Since
    Mar 06, 2012
    Posts
    3
    my way to recover data
    when I lost my documents and photos, I really have no patience to study the software for more than ten minutes, I want my data back as soon as possible.
    I've tried one free data recovery software once,it;s easy to use and it's small software, it supports all types of files recovery, last time, I format one partition on my Mac, I use it to restore one folder with contains my family photos very successfully. Besides that, it seems that it can recovery data under many other occasions.
    And, after that, i found it has one free photo recovery software, it can only recover limited photo types, it's a great deal but I didn't know it at that moment, so here i want to mention you that if you only want to recover photos, you don;t have to cost your dollars to purchase the full version, just download the free version.

  7. #7
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders

    Member Since
    Mar 27, 2012
    Posts
    1
    Check the Identity
    Occasionally my Outlook 2011 will create a new Identity, your old identity is what contains all your email, contacts, and so forth. To see which one it is one make sure you quit Outlook and then while holding the Option button (for 2 seconds at least) click on the Outlook "O" to open it. This will bring up the Microsoft Database Utility and it will tell you how many identitys you have. You will probably have more than 1 if you have a lot of data stored in them, there will be one with a date from before or the day of the update. Click on that one, then click the little gear at the bottom to set it as the Default.

    After you have done that you can open Outlook like normal and see all of your information come back.

  8. #8
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders

    Member Since
    Feb 27, 2011
    Posts
    88
    Specs:
    15" MacBook Pro Retina, 2.7 GHz quad core i7, 16GB 1600MHz DDR3L SDRAM, 512GB flash...
    Quote Originally Posted by Solera IT View Post
    Occasionally my Outlook 2011 will create a new Identity, your old identity is what contains all your email, contacts, and so forth. To see which one it is one make sure you quit Outlook and then while holding the Option button (for 2 seconds at least) click on the Outlook "O" to open it. This will bring up the Microsoft Database Utility and it will tell you how many identitys you have. You will probably have more than 1 if you have a lot of data stored in them, there will be one with a date from before or the day of the update. Click on that one, then click the little gear at the bottom to set it as the Default.

    After you have done that you can open Outlook like normal and see all of your information come back.
    A big thank you to Solera IT!! Your reply may not have been the exact thing I needed to do but sure helped me in the correct direction.

    For me it was a case of new identity being created after my latest microsoft update. Pretty big update, I think it was aprox 100MB download and 300 MB disk space req. Anyway everything in outlook was gone. When doing the option key + O I could see a new identity was created and in bold text (meaning it was the one being used) while my identity was below it. When I tried to mark my old identiry and click "rebuild" after a while I would get the message that "I needed to use an older version of outlook to use this file" or something of that sort. Don't remember clearly. I even talked to Microsoft on the phone and they didn't know how to help. Then I took a chance on deleting the newly created identity. Deleted that one and after that the old and correct identity went through some sort of upgrade, tok a couple of minutes, and then I was able to rebuild the files by clicking "rebuild". Closed the window and opened Outook and it was all good again

    Thanks again!

  9. #9
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders

    Member Since
    Sep 13, 2012
    Posts
    1
    Red face Same problem due to my stupidity
    I felt I should add to this thread because I have just had the same problem with Outlook for Mac 2011. Having fixed the problem, it was, with hindsight, due to my stupidity. Hopefully this post may help others...

    After restarting the Macbook, I opened Outlook and was horrified to find it 'empty'. Both my personal and business accounts were not showing, and with them all the data contained therein.

    After a few minutes of panic and visiting online forums (like this one), I realised what had happened. In arriving at this conclusion, I was greatly helped by the post from Solera IT above (THANKS!!), whose method for opening the MS Data Utility showed me that the only Outlook Identity which was visible had been created a few minutes earlier (conclusion: something has happened to the one created when I first set up Outlook several months ago).

    Before I restarted, I had been performing some housekeeping on my system - tidying up the Documents folder and that kind of thing. During this process, i had seen a folder within Documents called 'Microsoft User Data'. Thinking that I didn't need this to be in that location (without thinking through the consequences given what I now know it contains!), I moved it elsewhere on Macintosh HD. Obviously this caused the problem I had encountered when logging back in after the restart. Moving this folder in its entirety back to the Documents folder (after deleting the new MS User Data folder that Outlook had created in the meantime) brought all my stuff back into Outlook, which now worked as normal again.

    You will undoubtedly think me stupid to have moved the folder in the first place (and I would agree with you to an extent), but why on earth would the defualt location for the highly-important Outlook data file be in such a commonly-used and (in my view) inappropriate place? I am non-technical, but surely it would be better to put this file somewhere further in the depths of the hard drive, in the sort of place that users like me would never venture?!?!

    Hope this helps other stupid people like me.

  10. #10
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders

    Member Since
    Feb 13, 2013
    Posts
    1
    outlook 2011 lost all data and folder
    I updated OSX and discovered all data and identities gone. Did not have Time Machine or any other back up set up. Found my lost identity in the Trash Folder under Main Identity. Copied it and Pasted it back into the Microsoft User Data folder and presto everything was back.

    I can't believe Apple trashed my identity!

  11. #11
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Fort Worth, Texas
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    27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, iPhone 6+, 3 iPods, Yosemite
    Updating OS X does not trash your Outlook Identity. I suspect that it was something you did without realizing it. Lucky for you that it was found in the Trash. The moral of the story here is: Make Backups!

  12. #12
    Outlook 2011 - Lost all data and folders

    Member Since
    Dec 11, 2014
    Posts
    1
    Sorry to bring up such an old thread
    Hi, sorry to post to an old thread but this page is pretty high up on my search and you guys are actual people actually describing what is happening.

    I, too, was cleaning up my Documents folder and deleted my identity. I found it in the Trash. Moving it back to the Documents folder does not solve it, though. Would someone please walk me through what to do next?

    I found another complicated walkthrough in my travels that I couldn't follow very well. It required Outlook 14.1, but it did talk about the Recovery and Recovery #1 folders also found in my Trash. Could these be part of my problem?

    Thanks you so much for your help!

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