Outlook for Mac 2011 error: "Identity could not be open with this version of Outlook for Mac"

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Article ID: 2470204 - View products that this article applies to.
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SYMPTOMS

When you try to open Outlook for Mac, you receive the following error message:

Error "Identity could not be open with this version of Outlook for Mac"

RESOLUTION

To resolve this issue, follow these steps:

IMPORTANT: The location of certain files are different if you have Service Pack 2 (SP2) installed. To check if it is installed, open Word, and then click About Word from the Word menu. If the version number is 14.2.0 or above, you have Service Pack 2 and you should follow the Service Pack 2 steps when provided in this article.

Step 1: Download and install the latest update for Office for Mac


To obtain the latest update for Office for Mac, read this Microsoft knowledge base article:  

323601 How to obtain Office for Mac software updates
   
If the issue continues to occur, go to the next step. 

Step 2:  Quit Outlook and all other applications

To quit active applications, follow these steps:
  1. Choose Force Quit from the Apple menu (or press Command - Option - Esc).
  2. Select an application in the "Force Quit Applications" window.
    Note: You cannot quit Finder.
  3. Click Force Quit.
  4. Repeat this process until you quit all active applications.
Note: When an applications is force quit, any unsaved changes to open documents are not saved.

Go to the next step to remove Outlook preferences.

Step 3: Remove Outlook preferences

This step will determine whether the problem is caused by damaged Outlook preferences. To move preferences to the desktop, follow these steps:
  1. Quit all applications.
  2. On the Go menu, click Home.
  3. Open Library.
    Note The Library folder is hidden in Mac OS X Lion. To display this folder, hold down the OPTION key while you click the Go menu.

  4. Open Preferences, and then drag the following files to the desktop: 
    • com.microsoft.Outlook.plist
    • com.microsoft.outlook.database_daemon.plist
    • com.microsoft.outlook.database_utility.plist
    • com.microsoft.outlook.office_reminders.plist
    • com.microsoft.Outlook.SyncServicesPreferences.plist
    Note: If you cannot find one of these files, continue to the next. Some of these files may not have been created if an Outlook feature was not used.
  5. Open Outlook. Does the problem occur?

    No, the error no longer occurs.
    One of the files that you moved is causing the problem. To isolate the file, follow these steps:
    1. Quit Outlook.
    2. Move one of the files back to its original location.
    3. Open Outlook.

      If the error reoccurs, the file that you just moved is causing the problem. Drag this file to the Trash.

      If the error does not occur, continue repeating steps A to C until you isolate the file.

    Yes, the error still occurs.
    Quit Outlook, and move the files back to their original location. Go to the next step.

  6. Quit all applications.
  7. On the Go menu, click Home.
  8. Open Library.
    Note The Library folder is hidden in Mac OS X Lion. To display this folder, hold down the OPTION key while you click the Go menu.

  9. Open Preferences.
    Note If you have Service Pack 2 installed, open Application Support instead of Preferences
  10. Open Microsoft, and then open Office 2011. Drag the following files to the desktop: 
    • Outlook Preferences
    • OfficeSync Prefs
    Note: If you cannot find one of these files, continue to the next. Some of these files may not have been created if an Outlook feature was not used.
  11. Open Outlook. Does the problem occur?

    No, the error no longer occurs.
    One of the files that you moved is causing the problem. To isolate the file, follow these steps:
    1. Quit Outlook.
    2. Move one of the files back to its original location.
    3. Open Outlook.

      If the error reoccurs, the file that you just moved is causing the problem. Drag this file to the Trash.

      If the error does not occur, continue repeating steps A to C until you isolate the file.

    Yes, the error still occurs.
    Quit Outlook, and move the files back to their original location. Go to "Step 4: Move Office 2011 Identities to the desktop."


Step 4: Move Office 2011 Identities to the desktop

To move the Office 2011 Identities folder to the desktop, follow these steps:
  1. Quit all applications.
  2. On the Go menu, click Home.
  3. Open Documents, and then open Microsoft User Data.
  4. Drag Office 2011 Identities to the desktop.
  5. Open Outlook.
If Outlook opens without an error, you may have a problem with your Outlook identity database. Move Office 2011 Identities back to the Microsoft User Data folder and try to rebuild the identity database. To do this, follow the instructions that are included in step 4 in the following Microsoft knowledge base article:

2360509 How to troubleshoot or rebuild the Outlook for Mac 2011 identity database

Properties

Article ID: 2470204 - Last Review: April 16, 2012 - Revision: 6.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal KB2470204

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