Rebuild the Office database

You can rebuild the Office database by using the Microsoft Database Utility. If Office detects a problem with the database, it automatically starts the Database Utility. For a list of problems that may indicate that your database is damaged, see About the Office database.

Before you rebuild the Office database, make sure that the problem isn't the result of a damaged or fragmented hard disk. To do so, run a disk diagnostics and repair application, such as Apple Disk Utility. For more information about how to identify and repair hard disk problems, see the documentation for your disk utility application.

Caution   If you have a Microsoft Exchange account, rebuilding the database deletes any information that is not synchronized with the Exchange Server, including your contacts' certificate. Before you rebuild the database, you might want to back up Outlook data that is stored only on your local computer. For more information, see Export or manually archive Outlook items.

  1. On the Outlook menu, click Turn Off Office Reminders.

  2. Quit Messenger for Mac and all Microsoft Office applications, including Outlook.

  3. 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.

  4. Click the identity of the database that you want to rebuild, and then click Rebuild.


    • You must have read and write permissions for the identity folder to rebuild your database. To check for permissions, select the identity in the /Users/ username/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/ folder and then in the File menu, click Get Info. Check the permissions under Sharing and Permissions.

    • Before the Database Utility rebuilds a database, it creates a backup copy of your database and moves it into a folder in the /Users/ username/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/ folder. The backup copy displays the date and time the backup was created.

    • If your computer has insufficient free disk space to store both your current database and a copy of it, an out-of-memory error occurs. For example, if the current size of the database is 10 megabytes (MB), you will need at least 20 MB of free disk space to rebuild or compact the database.

See also

I'm not receiving e-mail or other items in my Exchange account

Manage identities

Applies To: Database Utility for Mac 2011, Outlook for Mac 2011

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