Manage profiles or identities in Outlook for Mac

If you use Outlook 2016 for Mac in more than one capacity, such as for your personal life and for work, you can set up Outlook to handle these different capacities by using profiles. A profile is associated with and stores a set of email messages, contacts, tasks, calendars, account settings, Scrapbook clips, and more.

Note: In Outlook 2011 for Mac, profiles were called identities.

The Outlook Profile Manager (previously called the Microsoft Database Utility) is installed as part of your Office installation, and it allows you to create new profiles, edit or delete profiles, and set your default profile. When you open Outlook, it always uses the default profile.

Important: If more than one person uses the same computer, Outlook profiles don't offer as much privacy as separate user accounts in the Mac OS. Outlook profiles don't offer password protection, and Spotlight searches from the Finder will locate Outlook items from all the profiles in the current user account. To learn more about how to create user accounts, see Mac Help.

Add, change, or delete a profile

  1. From Finder, open the Applications folder.

  2. Ctrl+click or right-click Microsoft Outlook, and then click Show Package Contents.

  3. Open Contents > SharedSupport, and then double-click Outlook Profile Manager.

  4. Do one of the following:

    To

    Do this

    Create a new profile

    Click the Create a new profile button Add , and then type a name for the new profile.

    Rename a profile

    Double-click the profile, and then type a new name for the profile.

    Delete a profile

    Click the profile that you want to remove, and then click the Delete the selected profile  button Delete .

    Change the default profile

    Click the profile that you want, click Set the default profile  Action pop-up menu , and then click Set as Default. Restart Outlook for this change to take effect.

Note: After importing identities from Outlook for Mac 2011 to Outlook 2016 for Mac for Office 365, if you receive the error message, "Your identity cannot be imported as you do not have sufficient permissions on your 2011 identity.", see the KB article, Outlook for Mac for Office 365 – Permission error while Importing an Outlook 2011 Identity.

If you use Outlook in more than one capacity, such as for your personal life and for work, Outlook can be set up to handle these different capacities by using identities. An identity is associated with and stores a set of e-mail messages, contacts, tasks, calendars, account settings, Scrapbook clips, and more.

To manage identities, you must use the Microsoft Database Utility, which is installed as part of your Office installation. With this utility, you perform tasks such as creating a new identity, setting the default identity, and rebuilding an identity. When you open an Office application, it always uses the default identity.

Important: If more than one person uses the same computer, Outlook identities don't offer as much privacy as separate user accounts in the Mac OS. Outlook identities don't offer password protection, and Spotlight searches from the Finder will locate Outlook items from all the identities in the current user account. To learn more about how to create user accounts, see Mac OS Help.

Create, rename, or delete an identity

  1. Open the Microsoft Database Utility.

    The default location is in /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office/.

    Tip: You can also open the Database Utility if you close Outlook, hold down the OPTION key, and then click the Outlook icon in the Dock.

  2. Do one of the following:

To

Do this

Create a new identity

Click Add  Add , and then type a name for the new identity.

Rename an identity

Double-click the identity, and then type a new name for the identity.

Delete an identity

Click the identity that you want to remove, and then click Delete  Delete .

Notes: 

  • The data for each identity is stored in a separate folder in /Users/ username/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/.

  • schedules only run for the default identity.

  • For a list of problems that may indicate that the database of an identity database is damaged, see About the Office database

Switch the identity used by Outlook

In Entourage (available in previous versions of Office for Mac), it is possible to switch identities while Entourage is open. However, with Outlook, you must close Outlook and switch identities by using the Database Utility.

  1. Close Outlook.

  2. Open the Microsoft Database Utility.

    The default location is in /Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office/.

    Tip: You can also open the Database Utility if you close Outlook, hold down the OPTION key, and then click the Outlook icon in the Dock.

  3. Click the identity that you want, click Action  Action pop-up menu , and then click Set as Default.

  4. Open Outlook.

    Notes: 

    • If you want to switch identities frequently, you can leave the Database Utility open while Outlook is open. However, you must always close Outlook to switch identities.

    • schedules only run for the default identity.

See also

Help protect your privacy

About the Office database

Rebuild the Office database

Connect with an expert
Contact us
Expand your skills
Explore training

Was this information helpful?

Thank you for your feedback!

Thank you for your feedback! It sounds like it might be helpful to connect you to one of our Office support agents.

×