How to fix : Outlook 2011 for Mac won't open


Outlook has suddenly stopped working. Outlook  2011 for Mac application won’t launch or start. Splash screen comes up and then disappears again.Then the program quit.

Solution 1:- (Rebuild Outlook database)

Method 1: Press and hold Option key when launching Outlook to rebuild the identity.

Method 2: Press and hold Alt key (windows) and click the Outlook icon on on the Dock (If the icon not appears on dock,  Go to /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011 folder and drag the outlook file to Dock).

microsoft database utility

Microsoft database utility will appear. Now click the Rebuild button.

It will reboot Outlook database. After it finished the process, click the Done button and close the Microsoft Database utility.

Method 3: Open Applications and choose Microsoft Office 2011 folder. Then select the office folder and find Microsoft Database Utility.app. Here you can find rebuild option.

Solution 2:- (Remove Outlook preference file)

Go to ~/Library/Preferences and delete Outlook preference file (file name starts with “com.microsoft”).

Solution 3: (Nano suggested)

Open Terminal app and type the following command to delete old preferences.

defaults delete com.microsoft.Outlook

Next type or paste the following command to kill the cached preferences.

killall cfprefsd

Then launch Microsoft Outlook.

If the above methods doesn’t work, re-install office 2011 software.

3:36 pm

35 responses to How to fix : Outlook 2011 for Mac won't open

Me too, just rebuilt the database and while Outlook shows up on the toolbar up top, there is nothing else visible

Please do the following:
1. Open Terminal
2. Type defaults delete com.microsoft.Outlook (to delete the old preferences).
3. killall cfprefsd (to kill the cached prefs)
4. Launch Outlook
Note this will ask you to import again, but if you imported before no need to do it again, the data is already imported correctly. So hit "Not Now" and it should launch Outlook successfully.

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!! First time I tried the rebuild it worked. Thanks for describing the issue so exactly.

1. Open Terminal
2. Type defaults delete com.microsoft.Outlook (to delete the old preferences).
3. killall cfprefsd (to kill the cached prefs)
4. Launch Outlook

Nano you saved my life! I followed your instructions and it worked. I have no clue what I was doing, but it is back up!

Nano – Great fix…Thank you! Went to Terminal and typed the two commands you provided. Back in working order now!

Nano's solution works for the latest upgrade version of Outlook version 11 (14.5.0) for Mac as of 5/26/2015. Thanks, Nano!

HELP !!! I am trying Solution 2:- (Remove Outlook preference file)
Go to ~/Library/Preferences and delete Outlook preference file (file name starts with “com.microsoft”).
2 files starting "com.microsoft"
com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist
com.microsoft.office.licensing.plist.lockfile

Which one should I remove?

Thanks, but this is the thrid time I have done this in the last 45 days. Therefore, something must no be ok within outlook or OSX. any suggestions??

I fixed today by updating OSX to the latest mac 10.11.1 El Capitan Update by going to App Store > Updates > Install and letting my computer reboot. Previously Outlook wouldn't really open. It would bounce on the task bar and then have to be force closed. Now it opens perfectly. I also made sure all of Microsoft Office was updated by going to Microsoft Word > Help > Check for Updates, but it was the Apple firmware update that fixed my Outlook issue.

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