Outlook Mac 2011 - lost all folders and email

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Mirandashawyer, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Mirandashawyer macrumors newbie

    Aug 24, 2011
    Hi I hope you can help

    I have a 2011 MacBook Pro with Outlook.

    The mac run out of battery.

    When re-charged and re-started all outlook folders and email have gone.

    I can't go back on the time machine as its in Australia and I am now in the UK for the next month.

    And the servers that I have the email on aren't organized into folders its just 200,000 random historical emails as well as a older historical email from an old work email that I no longer have access to their serve to reinstall.

    If you have any ideas please let me - I'd be very grateful.

    All the best

  2. veehb macrumors newbie


    Oct 5, 2009
    Taylorsville, Utah
    I'm surprised that after more than a month, no one has responded to this!

    I have a new 15" MacBook Pro running Lion 10.7.1. I'm also running Outlook 2011. It has been working pretty well for me. But, tonight I updated my Lion software (3 new updates were loaded). When it rebooted all of my Outlook files, folders, mail, distribution lists, contact lists, etc. were gone!

    So looks like there is a serious bug in Outlook 2011. Surely others have had this problem. It is really serious. I don't know how to restore the files using Time Machine. I have current backups of my system on Time Machine.

    I'm afraid that my only hope is to get them from Time Machine. I recently imported all my files from my Windows 7 PC (several years of email files, folders, distribution lists, etc.) and the import was successful. I didn't like the way it imported the distribution lists, but they were there.

    Now, I've lost it all. It doesn't even have my msn.com account information.

    Can someone tell me how to recover these files. Please, someone respond to my request as well as the one I'm replying to!
  3. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2011
    When you have a hard crash, the system might put files into a hidden folder called "lost+found".

    • Under the 'go' menu, select 'go to folder'. In that dialog, enter "/lost+found" (without the quotes).
    • If there is a lost+found folder it will open, if not, you will get a 'folder not found' error.

    We don't normally see reports of lost data after a battery lost power so not sure what is happening on your system.

    Normally, when data goes missing it's user error. 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 stores your data in this location:

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

    If you move the Main Identity, Office 2011 Identities folder or Microsoft User Data folder to a different location, Outlook will create a new blank Identity.​

    Another possible culprit is your anti-virus application. Some versions identify a virus within the database and puts your database into quarantine. You will need to read the directions on how to release.

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

    The best place to get help with Microsoft Office is on Answers.

    Answers -Office for Mac

    Getting Started: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/mac/forum/macstart
    Word: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/mac/forum/macword
    Excel: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/mac/forum/macexcel
    PPT: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/mac/forum/macpowerpoint
    Outlook: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/mac/forum/macoutlook
    Entourage: http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/mac/forum/macother
  4. veehb macrumors newbie


    Oct 5, 2009
    Taylorsville, Utah
    Thanks Dianeoforegon!

    The information you posted lead me to the location of the Outlook 2011 identity file. I was able to go into Time Machine and replace the data folder with one a few days before I had the problem. It worked!

    I did have to let the system rebuild the database, which was automatic and when it had rebuilt the database, my Outlook was back on line.

    I think I caused the problem. I had imported a .pst file from my windows 7 based computer running Outlook 2007. It worked fine. I moved some folders from the "Outlook PST" folder organization to the mail folders I'd set up under Outlook 2011 on the MacBookPro. I've read that you can't do that and that moving things around can cause system problems.

    Thanks again for your valuable information.

  5. dianeoforegon macrumors 6502a


    Apr 26, 2011
    It's customary that Outlook will rebuild an Identity that was recovered from Time Machine.

    Regarding .pst file import.

    If you import any PST files, create a new Identity to import the file. Some users have lost all data after importing a PST file. Once you verify the imported file is OK, under File > Export select to export as .olm file. Import this file into your Main Identity.

    You will need to move the imported data into the correct local folders.
  6. freedom178 macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2011

    First to make sure if the pst file is still in your computer, if the pst file is lost, I'm afraid that you will never find the folders back. If the pst file is still there, you can try some outlook data recovery tools to recover the folders. http://www.datanumen.com/aor/compare.htm here are some of this kind of tools, you can have a try.
    good luck

  7. macwee macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2012
    Emails lost after export

    Lost all my emails after export procedure.

    Here's the steps i used for exporting my emails from Outlook Mac :

    1. File-> Export
    2. Selected "Outlook for Mac Data file (.olm)", "Items of the following types". (all types of files were selected)
    3. Selected "No, do not delete items"
    4. Save exported file As "filename.olm"

    After the export was completed, my emails in the outlook was ALL deleted, even though i specifically selected not to.

    Greatly appreciate if someone can advise how to retrieve my deleted emails?
  8. PJeOe macrumors newbie

    Apr 1, 2012
    I found a solution!


    I opened Outlook for Mac & EVERYTHING was gone! I had NOT done any file/folder moves/deletions... No power-losses or crashes... Nothing! Just gone!

    But I found the above link & was up & running in seconds!

    Best wishes!
  9. dgrantham macrumors newbie

    Aug 1, 2012
    folders gone in outlook

    I just had similar problem - folders gone. In fact the folder pane itself was gone and none of the pane manipulation menu options helped get it back. But I stumbled onto a trivial solution for what turned out to be the original trivial problem. Unnoticed by me, an inadvertent swipe on the trackpad must have selected and dragged the right-hand edge of the folder pane to the left edge of the Outlook window and it was completely gone - I couldn't get it back until I carefully placed the cursor on the left edge of the Outlook window, clicked and dragged to the right - the folder pane appeared again. Happily I didn't have to start mucking around with Identities...
  10. juarezfialho macrumors newbie

    Mar 6, 2013
    This happened to me and I found out that all my folders were considered "IMAP" folders (i guess they are saved on the IMAP server).

    For some reason outlook had "unsubscribed" to all my IMAP folders, so I had to go to TOOLS>IMAP FOLDERS and then subscribe to all my folders manually. The folders automatically appear on the folder tree! Yayyyy!
  11. TT00 macrumors newbie

    Jun 21, 2013
    This same thing happened to me. I lost my emails moving from Outlook 2004 to 2011, and after days of re-importing a subset of them from a POP folder, I went to back them up using EXPORT. However, after the Export, all my emails were gone. I think I found them in my Main Identity but cannot get them back into Outlook. I tried using Time Machine to go back to before I did the Export, but all this did was create another Identity. I tried Importing them back from the .olm file, but this just created an Archived folder of a subset of my email folders and only one email in each folder. HELP!

  12. Mamaliz macrumors newbie

    Feb 8, 2014
    Lost Folder 2011 Outlook for Mac

    Extremely easy. Go to "View" Click on "Navigation Pane" and all the Folders etc appear again.

  13. Edie Brickell macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2010
  14. mderijke macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2014
    Same problem over here

    Over here the same problem.

    Didn't use the Macbook for a few days and when i opened Outlook i dis see all the personal folders (Calles Personal PST) but everything was empty.

    I did found the database, i did found the folders that belong to it, all in the right place. But they weren't accessible.

    I tried the Database rebuilder but i got error -18000.

    Is there any solution???

    The files seem allright, the folder size (approx 7 Gb) seems correct etc.

    It's my archive and i desperately need access to it.

    Hope to read a solution over here.

    (excuses for my language errors, english is not my native language)

    Kind regards,

  15. mderijke macrumors newbie

    Oct 22, 2014
    Problem solved

    I solved the problem by a Windows trick, just reinstall the software.

    So i took my installation file from Microssoft and without uninstalling the old office files i reinstalled office and all the missing folders were visible again.

    Hope this solution helps other people

    Kind regards,


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