Outlook for Mac 2011 could not change to that identity

After installing the latest Office 2011 for Mac update you may get one of the following errors when you launch Outlook:

"Could not change to that identity. An unknown error has occurred in Outlook."

"Outlook can't open some of the files it needs to start. Please check your file and folder permissions."


It is possible that during the installation of an update or during an upgrade, permissions to the following folder (and its subfolders) could be lost:

Documents\Microsoft User Data\Office 2011 Identities


In order to fix this issue, it is necessary to grant access to the files in the path for the current user. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. On the Go menu, click Documents.
  2. In the search bar type Documents\Microsoft User Data folder, and then choose File > Get Info.
  3. Use the Sharing & Permissions pane to assign permissions to the current user.
  4. Restart Outlook.


Article ID: 2793968 - Last Review: Feb 6, 2013 - Revision: 1