The first time that you use Office, a folder named Microsoft User Data is created in the Documents folder provided by the Mac OS. The Microsoft User Data folder contains an Office 2011 Identities folder that stores the Office database for each identity in its own folder.

You can move the folder for an identity, or the whole Microsoft User Data folder, to a different location, such as another hard disk attached to your computer or to a network. However, if you do this, you must put an alias to the folder in the folder's original location. Otherwise, Office will be unable to find your user data. For instructions about how to create an alias, see Mac OS Help.

An installation of Office includes the Microsoft Database Utility, which is located in the /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office folder. You can use the Microsoft Database Utility to rebuild the Office database, create a new identity, or set the default identity.

In all versions of Office — and stand-alone versions of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint — the database stores contacts and Scrapbook clips. If you installed a version of Office that includes Outlook, the database also stores all Outlook data, including messages, events, tasks, preferences, and contacts.

If you have any of the following problems, the database might be damaged and you might have to rebuild it by using the Microsoft Database Utility:

  • Outlook doesn't open, stops responding, or quits unexpectedly.

  • Outlook items don't open, or the item that opens is not the item that you chose.

  • Blank lines appear in the Outlook message list or in Outlook contacts.

  • Outlook contact entries don't display correctly.

  • In Outlook, you can't find information that you added, such as a calendar event or a contact.

  • In Outlook, when you perform a search, the search results don't match the criteria that you set.

  • A blank Office Reminders window appears.

  • The clippings in the Scrapbook disappear.

See also

Rebuild the Office database

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