Error message when you try to import a .pst file into Outlook for Mac 2011: "Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close"

When you try to import a .pst file into Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011, you may experience one of the following issues: 

  • Outlook may crash. 
  • You may able to import the file, but Outlook may crash on startup. And, the imported folders do not contain email messages.
  • You may receive an error message that resembles the following:

    Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close. Encountered an error and needs to close.

    When you click to see more information about this error, you may see the following: 

    Error Signature: EXC_BAD_Access

    Crashed Module offset: 0x00008ec0

    Blame Module Name: CoreFoundation

    Blame Module Offset: 0x0008ec0

To resolve this issue, download and then install the latest Office for Mac update.

Note Any PST file that was created in Outlook 2003 or in an earlier version will be in ANSI format. This format cannot be imported into Outlook for Mac 2011.

The latest Office for Mac update has some fixes that address an issue with importing .pst files. For more information about how to obtain the latest Office for Mac update, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base: 

323601 How to obtain the latest version of a Microsoft product for a Macintosh computer

If the issue continues to occur after you install the latest update, follow these steps: 

After you import the .pst file, make sure that you click the triangle arrow to expand the Microsoft PST folder as shown here: 

Expand the Microsoft PST folder

When you use Outlook on a computer, the application creates .pst files and archives them automatically. Do not import an archived .pst file. Instead, re-create the .pst file, and then try importing the file again. 

When you create a .pst file on a computer, all items (email messages) that are located in the root folder will not import. You should create subfolders, then move all email messages located in the root folder into the subfolder, and then import into Outlook for Mac. 

If you were able to import the .pst file but Outlook does not start, press the SHIFT key and then click the Outlook icon. Click Outlook, and then select Turn off Office reminders.

If you received the error message that is mentioned in the "Symptoms" section, try to create a .pst file without contacts, and then import the file. 

If the problem persists, follow these steps: 
  • Separate the .pst files. Create separate .pst files for contacts, calendar, and email. (That is, create three separate .pst files.)
  • Try to create separate .pst files from the folders in Outlook for Windows. Try breaking up the problem folder into smaller folders.
  • Import directly from the hard disk that Outlook for Mac is using (for example, copy the PST to your hard disk before importing it). Same .pst file from your external drive to your hard disk and then try importing again. A performance issue that might be perceived as a crash when importing from a network drive or from media can be mistaken for a problem with the .pst file.

If these methods do not resolve the problem, contact Microsoft Customer Support Services at

Make sure that you have the following information available:
A Technical support agent may ask you for the copy of .pst to be able to replicate the problem on their computer.

1. What version of Outlook for Windows .pst was created? 
3. What is the size of the PST file being imported?
4. What are the email account types (POP, IMAP, Exchange)?
5. What does the PST file contain (Contacts, Personal folders, reminders, and so on)
6. What is the transfer means used to obtain the file from the computer to the Mac (thumb drive, DVD, external drive, and so on)?
7. What MAC OS are you running?

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Article ID: 2454260 - Last Review: 09/03/2013 08:29:00 - Revision: 35.0

Microsoft Outlook for Mac 2011

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