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Outlook 2011 for Mac Tips and Reports

Updated July 18, 2013
On This Page:

- Intro
- Version History
- Reader Tips and Reports:

Have you tried Outlook 2011 for Mac?

If you’re using Outlook for Mac about any problems or tips.



Microsoft's Office 2011 for Mac replaced Entourage as Microsoft Exchange Server groupware client for Mac OS X. It includes greater feature parity with the Outlook for Windows client than Entourage has, and may prevent some problems that Entourage users face. Like Entourage Web Services Edition, Outlook for Mac communicates with Exchange Server 2007 SP1 with Update Rollup 4 and later using Exchange Web Services. Outlook 2011 is available only as part of Microsoft's Office 2011 for Mac Home & Business edition.

Version History

New Office 14.1.2 update fixes Outlook Mac issues

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Microsoft has released Office 2011 for Mac 14.1.2, an update to the Office suite for Mac that affects all of the applications. The improvements for Outlook includes a fix to a problem caused by the 14.1 update (Service Pack 1) that prevented some users from logging in. It also fixes a problem that caused delegate information to be lost under certain conditions. It also fixes a problem with Exchange servers located in the Perth time zone, where Outlook 2011 would show incorrect free/busy information. There are also fixes for Word and Excel, and security enhancements for all of the Office apps.

For previous Office Mac versions, Microsoft also issued update 12.3.0 for Office 2008, and update 11.6.4 for Office 2004, which include the security improvements of the 14.1.2 update.

If the Office 14.1.2 update fixes (or breaks) anything in Outlook for Mac

Office 2011 update addresses Outlook for Mac crashes

Friday, December 17, 2010

Microsoft released Office for Mac 2011 14.0.2, a maintenance update that fixes an Outlook for Mac problem that caused it to close unexpectedly when importing a .pst file that contains categories that don't have category names assigned to them.

Outlook 2011 restores lost Windows-compatibility features, but drops some Entourage features

Friday, November 8, 2010

With the release of Office 2011 for Mac, Microsoft has restored Windows-compatibility features that it had previously stripped from Mac versions, and added some new ones. Outlook 2011 is the most significant restored feature. But Entourage fans may not feel as comfortable with the new Exchange client, which dumps some of Entourage's features, including iCal (and thus iPhone) syncing.......Read entire review here

Reader TIPS and Reports

First reader reports: Outlook 2011 lacks AD groups view, GAL browsing, batch sending

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Our first reader reports about Outlook 2011 for Mac point to more Entourage features that did make it into the new Exchange client. These are addition to some of things we mentioned in our First Look article. Mark Allen says Outlook lacks Active Directory and Global Address List viewing features:

Another thing that is missing in Outlook 2011 is the ability to see members of Active Directory groups in Contacts. In Entourage if you double clicked an AD group it would show you the members of that group. Not so in Outlook 2011. Also there is no way to browse the Global Address List in Outlook 2011. The best you can do is search for a contact.

Tony in Australia can no longer send batches of email, as he could with Entourage:

Saving a number of emails puts them in the drafts folder, in order to send them as a batch one has to select them all and hit Command return, unfortunately this causes them all to pop up individually, in order to them send them the Command return key press must be performed for each individually to transfer them to the outbox unlike Entourage which transfers them straight to the outbox.

David Tetsuo Beer said calendar syncing is a deal breaker for him:

I won't use it until the calendar syncing issue is resolved. It shouldn't have been left out in the first place.

Have you tried Outlook 2011 for Mac?

More Entourage features missing from Outlook Mac: Week numbering, travel time, drag-drop mail accounts

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thomas Andersen in Oslo points out three more Entourage features that didn't make it into Entourage.

Thanks for your great articles about Outlook 2011. I'm one of really few using Macs in our Microsoft-loving company, and most of the compability stuff is very welcome to me and my little team of designers. But I find it very annoying that some lovely features are lost (like the simple "resend"). Here's two others, one in fact a BIG issue being lost: Week numbers in the calendar (!) and travel time on calendar events. Grr, Microsoft!

Another minor one is that before, if having two mailaccounts, you could drag and drop emails between them (moving), but now it gets copied.

Ken Swanson wants to upgrade to Outlook but can't:

I was very disappointed to discover my company Exchange Server is 2003, as a result I'll have to continue using Entourage until they upgrade to Server 2010 sometime next year.

Do these features matter to you?

MS could distribute Outlook Mac with Exchange Server

Friday, November 12, 2010

Long-time MacWindows contributor Luis Antezana points out another way Microsoft could distribute Outlook for Mac, outside of the Office suite:

Your Outlook 2011 article mentioned that it is not available apart from Office 2011. Previous versions of Outlook for Windows and Entourage for Mac are included as separately installable applications on disks included with Exchange Server Client Access License purchases, so it's possible Outlook 2011 may be available that way, too, if not immediately, then when the next version of those install discs is created.

If you know something about Microsoft's plans along these lines

Exchange-as-a-service includes Outlook Mac download

Monday, April 25, 2011

Luis Antezana updated his previous note "MS could distribute Outlook Mac with Exchange Server" to report on Rackspace, a cloud provider that offers Exchange as a service:

Rackspace now includes Outlook 2011 as a separately downloadable application as part of their Exchange hosting program. I have downloaded it and am using it now.

Recently, another company, Hostway Corporation, announced that it was also offering Exchange 2010 as a cloud service. Pricing begins at $7.50 per mailbox, with 25GB in free storage.

Reader: Outlook 2011 not likely to come with Exchange CALs

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Todd Stout responded to our report "MS could distribute Outlook Mac with Exchange Server", which said " Previous versions of Outlook for Windows and Entourage for Mac are included as separately installable applications on disks included with Exchange Server Client Access License purchases." Stout said:

Unfortunately, this hasn't been the case since Exchange 2003. Exchange 2007 and 2010 do NOT include Outlook licenses with the Exchange CALs anymore. (See the first question on the Exchange Licensing FAQ. ) Outlook must now be licensed separately as part of a Microsoft Office suite.

Another missing Entourage feature in Outlook: travel time

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Andrew Hahn added to our list of reader's favorite Entourage features that are missing from Outlook Mac:

I really do miss the travel time. While I can always make the appointment with the travel time included, I liked knowing when I absolutely needed to be there without having to re-guesstimate the travel buffer that I think I might have used to help make me more likely to be there on time.

Reader comment on Outlook 2011 lack of calendar synchronization

Friday, November 12, 2010

Michael Cook in Austraila commented on our report about Office 2011, and the lack of support of iCal/iPhone syncing:

Thanks for the review and the information about Mac Office 2011. Having purchased Microsoft Office for Mac (Home and Business 2011) for $AUS 379.95 and committed to the process of installation on my iMac and MacBook two days ago, I would have preferred that Microsoft had placed a large ORANGE sticker on the rather empty box say "Warning: This product will cripple your calendar synchronisation process with your iPhone." To have a WTF experience now after having invested the time and effort into getting calendar synchronisation going with Entourage is unacceptable to Mac users who continue to pay premium prices for substandard products.

Sure Outlook is more stable than Entourage, I don't miss the Project Center, I've never had OneNote so I don't miss that either, the new Excel (now manages more than 8000 rows!) and Word and Powerpoint seems to perform as good as my Office 2003 products that I run on Windows XP.

However, the prospect of printing out my Outlook Calendar to enter the appointments into my iPhone will madden me on a daily basis and I will curse the name "Microsoft" everyday that I have to do it and every time I miss an important appointment. I wish it was not so.

Want to sound off about Outlook 2011? Post a note in our Outlook discussion forum.

TIP: Reader suggestion for Outlook 2011 sync with Google Calendar

Monday, December 6, 2010

Outlook 2011 doesn't yet have the ability to sync with iCal, but George Watson found a way to get it to sync with Google Calendar:

I found a way to sync Outlook 2011 with my Mac and Google Calendar. No problem! I love this program! I used Sync'Em along with's Exchange Hosting service. It's only $4/month. For the cost of a coffee I thought it was worth it! Sync'Em is $50 one-time fee.

If you've seen used this approach

Another Outlook Mac wish list, and syncing with Google Calendar

Monday, May 9, 2011

Ernesto Kerkhof added his own wish list to previous readers' reports about missing features in Outlook 2011. He also offered a workaround for syncing with Google Calendar:

Probably nothing new but just like to mention the lack of:

  1. Week numbers in calendar
  2. Being able to select a standard calendar. I'd also like to be able to select the calendar at the right (as in iCal) and then make an appointment with the corresponding category. NO, it makes the appointment without any category. So you need to add the right category in each appointment.
  3. Not being able to sync with gCal. I could make iCal sync with Outlook and iCal with Google/gCal but not on the standard "no category" folder. Hence the issue of point 2 came on. Fixed this with BusySync. Works like charm.

If you've used BusySync with Outlook 2011

Previously, another reader recommended using the Sync'Em utility for syncing Outlook Mac with Google Calendar.

Reader problems creating groups in Outlook 2011

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

John Kahn reports problems with created groups in Outlook 2011 for Mac:

Creating a Group cannot be done effectively. A created Group does not "appear" or is displayed in the Contacts List. The Label (or Name) of the specific Group and it contents are "hidden" or unseen, that is, Name of the Group. A Created Group tends to be placed at the Beginning of the Contact List.

The process to create a group seems as usual, is simple. It's that the Group Label cannot be seen in the Contact List. However, there could be a "display selection", I have not "checked-off".

If you've seen this issue

TIP: displaying created groups in Outlook 2011 for Mac

Monday, December 20, 2010

Rudi Bekkers in the Netherlands responded to a previous report about created groups in Outlook 2011 not appearing in the Contacts list:

I also noticed this problem about not seeing Outlook 2011 for Mac contact groups in the regular window. However, if you do "contact search" and type a few letters of your group, it appears and it indeed can be edited.

These groups are only stored in the 'On My Computer' folder, not in the contact lists of any of the synchronized accounts. In the regular contacts view, you might need to activate the view of 'on my computer' before you see these groups.

If you've tried this

More on problems with groups and Outlook 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bobby Stewart reports having problems that two other readers reported regarding creating groups with Outlook 2011 and Exchange Server:

I am having the problem as stated by John Kahn. Distribution lists (Groups) created in Outlook for PC or on the Exchange Server through Outlook Web Access do not appear in the contacts list in Outlook 2011. Groups created in Outlook 2011 appear in the 'On My Computer' contacts as stated by Rudi Bekkers and may not be moved to the Exchange hosted folder.

This presents the user with the necessity of creating a new distribution in Outlook 2011 that is only accessible on that machine. A separate list will be required that will be available for Exchange compatible devices like Outlook on a PC, through OWA or through may Exchange enabled mobile devices, e.g. iPhone, iPad, Droid, Windows 7 Mobile, etc.

It looks like many, if not all, ActiveSync partnerships have this same problem. I've not been able to see contact groups/distribution lists in any tool that relies on Exchange ActiveSync.

If you've seen this issue, or tried this tip

Outlook 2011 groups can't sync with Exchange

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Tom Francais found the reason why readers are reporting problems moving Outlook 2011 groups to the Exchange hosted folder:

The problem of Outlook 2011 address groups not appearing on an Exchange Server is a limitation in Outlook 2011. Page 47 in the Office for Mac 2011 administrator guide states: "Personal and Microsoft Exchange distribution lists are not supported in Outlook for Mac. All Outlook for Mac groups are local and are not synchronized."

If you've seen this issue

TIP: Workaround for Outlook 2011 groups not in contacts

Monday, October 17, 2011

David Ripley sent a way to get around the problem of groups created in Outlook 2011 not appearing in the Contacts list:

A solution for Groups in Outlook 2011 until they have a real fix. I labeled each of my groups created with the first word "Group" Then they are all in one place, searchable. Also to see them easily I can deselect all boxes in "My Contacts" except the "On My Computer" box. This gives a very short list that contains all my groups easy to find together.

If you've tried this .

Outlook 2011 not compatible with Blackberry Server; calendar permissions don't play with Windows

Monday, December 6, 2010

John Cotton reports adds to our list of missing features in Outlook 2011 with three more:

Just thought I would add a few quirks to your list.

  1. Outlook 2011 is not compatible with the Blackberry Enterprise Server for syncing calendar to your Blackberry phone. Once you install Outlook 2011, your Blackberry calendar goes blank. Blackberry tech support does not know how to fix the problem and claims they cannot get Microsoft to do anything about it. Microsoft says they never knew it did not work and has promised to look into it.
  2. Calendar permissions do not seem to work in a mixed Windows Outlook environment. I have given several people permission to "edit all" events in my calendar. Unfortunately they cannot open an event to edit it. They can see my calendar, but cannot do anything to manipulate it.
  3. This one may or may not be an Outlook 2011 issue but it appears to be. People inside my network cannot send me an email. It is returned as being an invalid address. Outside people can send me emails and inside people can reply to my emails, but no new emails. I would suspect Exchange permissions except that they are identical for all people in our domain and no one else has the problem.

If you've seen any of these issues

Related: Outlook 2010 First Look; Outlook for Mac Discussion forum

Reader's upgrade to Windows Outlook 2010 helps them edit Mac calendars

Monday, March 21, 2011

Rick Sterner reports that he got over problems with Windows PC users being unable to edit Outlook Mac calendars. He upgraded the Windows PCs from Outlook 2007 to 2010 on Windows:

In response to the comments on Calendar Sharing problems between Office 2011 and Windows users, I found that the problem went away when I upgraded my PC from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2010. Below are my notes from the case file:

I had user give me Editor Permissions to his Calendar from Outlook 2011. I opened his calendar from my Mac and created a Test Meeting, which he received. When I opened the shared calendar on my PC with Outlook2007: I can see the calendar, but when I try to open Test Meeting, I get the error message: "Cannot Open this item. Cannot open the free/busy information. You do not have sufficient permission to perform this operation on this object".

I upgraded my Windows PC to Office 2010 (from 2007) and found that I can now Create and Edit entries in user's shared calendar. So it appears that one possible solution is to upgrade Windows users to Office 2010.

If you've seen this

TIP: Enabling Win Outlook users to edit Mac calendars

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Aaron Timmerman sent a tip about enabling Windows Outlook 2010 users edit Mac users' calendars:

Please allow me to give an answer to the issue "Windows PC users being unable to edit Outlook Mac calendars." The solution is that in ADSI Edit under the Exchange account for the Mac users' settings there is a setting after drilling down to the nitty gritty. Look at a PC user's entry and then change their entry to the same value. It will be s setting for vintage server type.

If you've tried this approach

Reader problems importing messages, rules into Outlook 2011

Monday, December 6, 2010

Vincent Battesti reports some problems with mail imported into Outlook 2011 for Mac:

I'm sending this message with Entourage as I gave up Outlook 2011. Yes, no Project Center, it is a shame as I manage all my Research projects (publications, works with colleagues). But also, the feature when displaying a message to show the answer I wrote or the original message does not work for the 10 years of messages I imported in Outlook. All the rules I made to redirect ingoing or outgoing messages to different folders and other rules are badly not imported at all in Outlook 2011.

If you've seen these issues

Related: Outlook 2010 First Look; Outlook for Mac Discussion forum

Reader reports possible Outlook 2011 Mac security issue

Friday, December 17, 2010

Robert Liebsch found a security loophole in Outlook 2011 for Mac:

I found a security problem with Outlook today. Initially I thought it was because my role as an Exchange Administrator. After testing other users accounts on their computers, I have verified the bug.

In calendar view, under File, select Open then choose Other Users Folder. Pick someone's calendar to view. Wait for the Autoconfigure to complete and begin downloading their calendar.

Next, create a new email message. In the From: field change the username to that of that shared calendar. Send the email. The message is sent by the alternate user for whom you don't have Send-As rights assigned. The only permissions everyone has assigned is Reviewer on the Calendar, not the Top of Mail Store, nor the Inbox. This is verified using PFDAVadmin and also permissions check in Outlook on Mac and PC.

Luckily, this probably won't hit too many folks, as the side-by-side calendar does not work on the Mac, and the fact that you must download the entire calendar won't help.

If you've seen this

TIP: Outlook 2011 "security" issue and a precautionary measure

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Austin McCollum responded to our post about a possible security issue with Outlook 2011 Mac. He has seen the symptoms, but doesn't believe it's a real security issues and tells us why, describing the issue in detail. McCollum also describes how to verify that it is a security problem using Active Directory, and offers a precautionary change to make on Exchange Server. Here's his report......Read entire story here

Slow downloads: Reader finds Safari quicker email access than Outlook 2011

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ruaraidh Petre is having problems with slow performance with Outlook 2011, both with Exchange and without it:

I have a slow connection (I live in Botswana). First I tried migrating everything to Outlook from Entourage. That worked, but then the application started trying to download my whole Gmail account anyway. I deleted that account and started again, this time just starting with Gmail as a new IMAP account. It has managed to retrieve all the headers, but now forever says that it is receiving 9 / 10998 mail messages. The 9 never changes.

I also set up an Exchange account for work. That seems to function but is also desperately slow. To give a measure of how slow, I find it quicker to access both Gmail and Exchange through Safari! This is quite disappointing given that I had actually got used to Entourage 2004 and had it working pretty smoothly.

If you've seen these kinds of issues

Outlook 2011 slows with slower net connections

Friday, December 17, 2010

Two readers report that the Outlook 2011 for Mac user interface appears to become less response with slower Internet connection. We've previously reported that network syncing (or email downloads) has been proven to be slower in Outlook than in Entourage. Arnold Shapiro says that this is a problem on slower networks:

Yes, slow sync with Outlook 2011 is definitely a problem. It isn't very noticeable when syncing via Gigabit Ethernet (I guess "slow" is relative so you don't really notice it unless you are syncing a lot of data). However when you are at a remote location (in my case at my home via fast DSL) it is definitely a problem. I don't buy Microsoft's explanation because the syncing process takes a lot of system resources and renders the program unusable every time Outlook syncs with the Exchange server. For example, I was trying to send this email via Outlook but it froze with the rotating lollipop while the sync took place so I used gmail instead.

Dirk Roorda in the Netherlands reports that the Outlook 2011 interface becomes unresponsive with very slow network connections

The Outlook 2011 interface waits for network operations. I work a lot in the train, where network connections are very slow on certain stretches, falling to less than 1 KB/s When I am composing mail, Outlook stops responding, because, I think, it is waiting for a network command to finish. Once I have put Outlook on Offline, the problem is over, but before I can do so, I have to wait for that same network operation, because the whole interface is frozen, sometimes for minutes. This in a time of multithreading!

Another report of slow Outlook 2011 performance

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Colin Jack in the UK is another reader reporting slow email access with Outlook 2011 for Mac:

This is one of my main gripes with Outlook 2011 for Mac. I have Exchange 2010 (also tried it with 2007) and even over the LAN it is VERY slow compared to Snow Leopard Mac Mail or Entourage 2008 or pretty much anything really!

I also hate the fact that unlike Outlook 2010 for PC I cannot 'resend mail' or 'save as.' I like the 'look & feel' but cannot believe that the developers (being MS employees so assume running Exchange Server) allowed this out of the door like this. No matter what I do, I cannot get it to run any faster.

On Monday, we had a report of slow syncing with Exchange. If you're seeing slow email or slow Exchange syncing with Outlook 2011

Outlook 2011 slow download on hosted Exchange

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Biff Stephens adds to our reports of slow downloads with Outlook 2011. The difference is he is using Exchange as a cloud-hosted service:

I have Office 2011 on a few installations and have slowness issues. This with downloading email using RCP or http. We are using Exchange Server with Sherweb as a host.

If you know of a workaround

Outlook Mac slow Gmail downloads, big emails won't download

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Andreas is have the problem of slow email downloads with Outlook 2011 for Mac. He also finds that Outlook won't download larger mail messages. Andreas is not using Exchange Server:

I have tremendous issues when using the Outlook to download emails from the Google account to an iMac. It is very slow and any emails over 2MB do not download at all. I have to use Safari to download the info or delete to get any another email with a smaller size. Anyone any idea on how I can fix it?

We don't. But if you have a fix

Outlook 2011 sync with Exchange slower than Outlook Win in VM

Monday, September 19, 2011

Brian Davey in Australia says Outlook 2011 for Mac is slower to sync with Exchange than Outlook running in a Parallels Dekstop virtual machine. Although another reader previously reported that Outlook 2011 slows with slower net connections, Davey says the slow sync occurs regardless of connection speed:

At home over ADSL2 it takes forever for Outlook to be usable; presumably because it takes forever to sync with Exchange Server. Even at work with a super fast network it takes a long time. It's faster for me to run parallels, open Windows XP, open Windows Outlook 2007 and read my mail; while I've done this, Outlook 2011 on the Mac is still thinking.

I also hate the fact that there is no favourites bar and categories don't synchronise with the server and so are a waste of time. I'm so unimpressed with Outlook 2011 that I'm either going to stick with Entourage or use Outlook for windows via Parallels.

If you've seen this

Reader can't download Gmail with Outlook 2011

Monday, August 8, 2011

Irv Beiman responded to a report "Outlook Mac slow Gmail downloads, big emails won't download." At first large files were slow downloads. After working with Microsoft tech support, trying some suggestions, and reinstalling Outlook, he can no longer download any Gmail messages with Outlook. Beiman's report:

I have a problem similar to your June 16th report. I somehow found a very specific file on the Internet that described precisely how to set up Outlook to download Gmail. Unfortunately I cannot find it to try that again, after it stopped downloading when I had some very large files greater than 5 MB and 10 MB in size. I managed the files inside Gmail, and then deleted them. After that Outlook would NOT download ANYTHING from Gmail for that account. (I have two Gmail accounts.)

I contacted MS support and got someone who walked me through setting up several new "identities", which didn't help, and then direct me to a knowledgebase file that described how to Uninstall OFC2011. This took several hours and more than 10 separate steps, involving deleting a large number of files in separate steps. I then reinstalled Outlook 2011. The program asked me to register. The registration website didn't have a way to register, but advised to download the update (which I had done earlier on the first installation). I did that (14.1.2).

Now Outlook will not download anything from either the problem account or the other account, which was working ok before the uninstall, reinstall and update. Now I cannot bring ANY messages from Gmail into Outlook. I am in deep need of HELP.

If you've seen this problem

TIP: MS's fix for Outlook 2011: POP is more stable than IMAP

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Irv Beiman followed up his previous report about problems accessing Gmail with Outlook. Microsoft advised him not to use IMAP. Here's a quote from a Microsoft tech support message that Beiman sent us: far as we know, IMAP accounts in Outlook 2011 will still have some unexpected issues, and these problems still cannot be solved in a short time...

Here's is Beiman's report:

Microsoft support advised me NOT to use an IMAP server, but instead to use POP acct for Gmail. I am using OS X 10.6, with the latest version of Outlook 14.1.2. It WAS working OK with v.14.1 UNTIL I got a 10MB file in my inbox using the IMAP server. Then everything fell apart and could not download anything reliably until I uninstalled OFC, reinstalled OFC and ended up inadvertently [without advice] downloading the 14.1.2 service pkg update from MS site.

Finally the MS support guy, got me on the right track, but it was after a long slog and involved a LOT of work. It's possible I did NOT need to uninstall and reinstall OFC. This was truly painful and took days and days of lost time. But finally shifting to a POP account with a different server number for the outgoing server seemed to work.

If you've seen this .

Reader confirms Outlook 2011 works not well with IMAP

Monday, August 15, 2011

Doug McIntyre agrees with last week's report that Outlook for Mac doesn't work well with IMAP mail accounts. McIntyre says this applies to all versions of Outlook:

I work at a long going ISP, and all versions of Outlook has always been much more stable retrieving email via POP than trying to use IMAP. Its been our long term suggestion to our customers to always use POP when doing Outlook, because the IMAP integration always has some issues. If our customers wanted to use IMAP and depend on its features, we'd strongly suggest to them not to use Outlook, but some other email client.

Outlook really wants to download email into its .PST files and manage email itself through manipulation through the filesystem PST archive rather than dealing with online access through IMAP.

TIP: Workaround for Outlook 2011 IMAP Problems in Lion 10.7.1

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Renante Albelda sent in a workaround for problems with IMAP email in Outlook 2011 for Mac.

Using IMAP in Outlook 2011 indeed has issues with Mac. Contrary to the previously reported, Outlook 2011 does indeed download mail attachments with more than 10mb. However, at some point in time in the middle of its syncing process, receiving just stops for no reason. Some emails were also dropped. My workaround was to manually stop the syncing from the "Progress" window and then rerun "Send & Receive". Very annoying but somehow it works although I had to click "Send & Receive" a number of times until all my mails were successfully downloaded. I also recommend to turn off "Send multiple commands to server simultaneously" and enter the "[Gmail]" to the "IMAP Root Folder" text field.

If you've tried the workaround

Reader sees slow Outlook for Mac syncing with Exchange

Monday, February 21, 2011

Thomas Moy reports a problem with slow-to-no Outlook Mac syncing with Exchange Server:

Regarding Outlook 2011, I consult for a client who is having slow sync issues with his Sherweb hosted Exchange. His home 3.0/.768Mbps DSL runs just fine. Syncs in a reasonable amount of time. At his office with bonded T1 at 3.0/3.0, his syncing folders spin forever, never really finishing, though always showing slow signs of progress. I suspect a SonicWALL issue, but am not interested in pushing on their IT guy. There's definitely an issue of some sort here.

If you've seen this issue

App, not network, seen as cause for slow Outlook 2011 syncing

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Jeff Owens responded to the report "Reader sees slow Outlook for Mac syncing with Exchange." Unlike the previous reader, Owens believes it's Outlook, and not a VPN issue:

I found a post made recently from Thomas Moy regarding an exact scenario I've been experiencing with a client experiencing varying degrees of slowness using Mac Outlook 2011 while connected to hosted Exchange over a T1. Unlike his situation we also managed the client's IT infrastructure and managed to eliminate any problem sources there. It seems to be an application-centric issue.

If you've seen this issue

No Save As and other missing Outlook 2011 features

Monday, February 21, 2011

Maggie Fitzpatrick wrote about some more features found in Entourage and Outlook for Windows, but not Outlook for Mac. She's also having problems with it crashing:

  1. When I receive an email and want to save it, both Entourage and Windows Outlook allowed me to go to File/Save As. Outlook 2011 for Mac does not. I cannot believe this program was released without this feature! I have to copy the whole email, paste it into a blank document and save that document.
  2. When composing an email and I want to move a word to another part of The email, after I highlight the word, I have to cut and paste it. There is no arrow when I move my cursor on the highlighted word, allowing me to move it to where I want.
  3. There is no Format Painter in Outlook.
  4. Outlook 2011 crashes. I have to "rebuild Outlook." I have never had Outlook crash before on my PC.

If there's something that bugs or delights you about Outlook for Mac

TIP: Workaround for no Save As in Outlook 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Two readers responded to Monday's report with a method of saving an email message to a file in Outlook 2011. Bryan Dulock describes it:

Regarding the "No Save As and other missing Outlook 2011 features" from Feb. 21, 2011, to save an email just drag it from Outlook to the desktop. This creates a file of type EML, which is just a plain text file in MIME format.

Geordie Korper had the same suggestions, as well as some observations:

In response to Maggie's findings below there are some workarounds for her issues. Outlook does not have a Save As but you can drag an email message to a Finder window (or the Desktop) to save it. Text can be moved in the way she describes and I am not sure why it does not work for her. Perhaps it is missing some feedback that she is used to.

Much of the style niceties that were in Entourage did not make the transition. The loss of the Format Painter is one of those annoyances although I don't find it nearly as annoying as that Paste as Quoted text is no longer available or that one can no longer remove all formatting from a text selection to make it revert to your default style. Let's hope those come back soon.

Reader has authentication problem with Outlook for Mac accounts

Monday, March 14, 2011

Mike Taylor can't connect to his ISP-based email account accounts using Outlook for Mac, even though the same account information works in Outlook for Windows:

I installed Office 2011 with Outlook on my new MacBook Pro and right now I am not happy. I have all the settings from my Windows based unit in Outlook 2010 and all works fine. However, when I enter the settings into Mac Outlook, I cannot send or receive anything except my gmail address. I know the passwords are correct and the incoming and outgoing mail servers are named correctly as well. Mac Outlook keeps asking for a password every 5 minutes or so.

In both cases I am trying to connect to an ISP. The error message I am getting is "invalid user name or password. Your username/password or security settings may be incorrect." I know that is not true as I have verified and reverified that they are correct. With these accounts I have never had a VPN authentication issue, so I do not think that is an issue. I know in Outlook 2010 you can get the program to automatically search and set up the accounts. With the Mac Outlook 2011 I was never asked to let it search after entering the email address and password.

If you've seen this problem or have a suggestion

TIP: Outlook for Mac authentication problem may be Exchange autodiscover settings

Thursday, March 17, 2011

A couple of readers responded to Monday's report about problems with logging into email accounts with Outlook 2011 for Mac. Jim Cooper fixed the problem by changing autodiscover settings in Exchange Server:

I'm going out on a limb and guessing your ISP is using Exchange. We just resolved this problem internally - just upgraded our internal server to Exchange 2010. The problem was in the autodiscover settings of the Exchange Server.

Outlook 2011 uses EWS (not OWA) to connect to Exchange. Unfortunately, there are no 'configuration settings' for Outlook 2011 - it uses autodiscover.xml on the Exchange server to set itself up. This is a case of making something too simple to the point that it will not work.

Ironically, you will not have this problem with Mac Mail - An Apple to Microsoft connection works fine; a Microsoft to Microsoft connection does not work. It can also be a problem if your ISP has Exchange 2007 and Exchange 2010 servers both in the same domain. You will need to get with your ISP to work out the issues.

If you've tried this approach to fix this problem

Steven Bras also saw that problem and somehow got it fixed:

Yes, I've had this problem ("Mike Taylor can't connect to his ISP-based email account", 3/14/11) numerous times while accessing my company's hosted Exchange Server via IMAP in the recent past. Since this company won't give formally supported settings for Outlook 2011, I've fiddled around and currently have working settings. Don't know if this will help or not, but the annoying authentication messages have stopped.

TIP: use extra backslash to resolve authentication problem with Outlook Mac

Monday, March 21, 2011

Alex Parker in Liverpool, UK, sent us a fix for authentication problems with Outlook for Mac accounts.

I have had this experience. Our resolution was, within the autodiscovery wizard in Outlook, enter \domain\username (with a backslash before the name), not just domain\username.

Looks like poor UNIX coding with escaped backslashes.

If you've tried this

Reader confirms backslash helps Outlook 2011 authentication

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Jay Budzik confirmed that the use of a backslash can clear up authentication problems with an Outlook for Mac account:

I resolved my connection issues with Outlook 2011 on my Mac by adding an extra backslash in front of my domain name like: \domain\username, instead of domain\username. Thanks for the tip! This was quite annoying.

If you've tried this .

TIP: Special password characters may cause Outlook Mac authentication problem

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Alie Jallow has a suggestion for authentication problems with Outlook for Mac accounts, which several readers have reported:

I had this problem and it was due to a special character included in the password. Make sure you have at least one Uppercase character and avoid using these £, ?, & in your password.

If you've tried this suggestion

Reader says Outlook Mac update broke server connection

Monday, June 20, 2011

Thomas Andersen from Oslo, Norway, found that upgrading Outlook 2011 to version 14.1.2 prevents it from connect to Exchange:

I work in a large enterprise (Windows based) and my design team uses Macs. The latest update makes Outlook not able to connect to the server. Everything was fine before, but not after the recent update. I'm no tech guy, so I can't offer much insight, but my life is now tough without (new) mail and calendar events.

If you've seen this problem

Outlook 14.1.2 update sync problems, incoming email not visible, email can't be deleted

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Several more readers wrote about problems with Outlook for Mac 2011 since the 14.1.2 update. Two readers found that incoming mail doesn't appear unless Outlook is quit and relaunched. Two readers also report syncing problems. Another said email can't be deleted. Jane Shearer had problems syncing and problems with incoming email not showing up:

The 14.1.2 update seems like a disaster on wheels for Outlook. It created two problems:

  1. Sync services deleted all my contacts from iCal and thus MobileMe. I found a lengthy fix for this on the web and, luckily, had not lost all my contacts because of backups before I fixed it.
  2. Emails stop coming into Outlook after some number of minutes. The sound indicates that I have an email and the number shows emails should be there but they aren't loaded. I have to continually shut down Outlook and reopen _ every time I open it emails come in for a short while, then stop again. Same problem with outgoing emails. There does not seem to be a published fix for this and it is very inconvenient.

Christoph Waibel said that since the upgrade, incoming message doen't always appear, and some mail can't be deleted:

I updated the MS Office 2011 for Mac to Version 14.1.2 (110505). I normally work only with Outlook and here my MacBook Pro behaves in a strange way (or better Outlook does). Outlook indicates that the incoming messages (e.g. Posteingang 6) but doesn't show the mails in the "Readingarea". I have to restart Outlook, then they appear.

Another problem is that some mails cannot be deleted, I have to delete them (they do not disappear) and have to restart Outlook again, then they are gone. Hope that there will be another update soon.

Pablo E. Negri also had syncing problems, but with Outlook crashing:

The new released update crashes when it comes to synchronize agenda, calendar and all others with iTunes. Actually it did erase ALL of what I had on my iPhone 4, reason why I had to reset it installing an older backup. Up to now, Microsoft hasn't released any update to its buggy 14.1.2 update, so I have cancelled synchronizations between my Outlook for Mac 2011 and my iPhone through iTunes. I have not tried to reinstall Office for Mac 2011, but as I have read on many forums, it doesn't solve the issue. Neither does repairing the disk permissions on my Mac.

If you've seen any of these issues

TIP: workaround for Outlook Mac email not visible

Friday, July 1, 2011

Geordie Korper shared a workaround for the problem of incoming email not being visible after the Outlook 14.1.2 update:

A number of people have reported that Outlook 14.1.2 is not showing new emails until they restart Outlook. I have seen this occasionally but have found that selecting the filter "Unread" causes the messages to appear without having to restart Outlook.

If you've tried this .

TIP: fix for Outlook Mac email not visible

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Craig Chambers sent way to repair the problem of incoming mail messages not being visible. He also doesn't think the problem started with the Outlook 14.1.2 update. Also, another reports that his problem with it cleared up by itself. But first, here is Chambers' fix:

I can confirm that the selecting the "unread" filter does make the messages reappear. I would also like to add that I have encountered this issue before the Outlook 14.1.2 update. This same thing happened after I had a Mac crash. After rebooting (and running disk check) this same issue of new messages not appearing was present. This occurred around the end of May 2011. Rebuilding the database, repairing permissions and even restoring the Data Files folder from a known good backup did not fix the problem. The only way I was able to resolve the issue was to completely uninstall Office using the instructions found here. After completely uninstalling and reinstalling Office, everything worked correctly again.

It is worth noting that step 10 in the removal procedure has you move the Microsoft User Data folder to the desktop. After reinstalling Office and moving this folder back to my Documents folder, everything still worked correctly so it is probably not a database or data file issue but most likely an application or support file issue. If anyone wants to take the time to restore the individual files of folders listed in the uninstall procedure they might be able to narrow down what exactly is causing the issue. For now I have chosen to remain at 14.1.0 until this issue gets fixed.

If you've tried this fix .

Eric Stevance followed up on his previous report to say that the problem has disappeared:

Strangely I am noticing since yesterday that my Outlook 2011 is behaving normally. I don't have any more of this strange problem. Very strange.

Reader confirms Outlook 14.1.2 issues with email

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Eric Stevance responded to the report "Outlook 14.1.2 update sync problems, incoming email not visible, email can't be deleted":

I have all the problems you mentioned regarding the update Outlook 14.1.2. When you read an email, the unread mark can disappeared but can also stay on. Moreover, unread emails on a same folder can appear later as mark unread where it was not visible few minutes earlier. Usually after a restart, it works. But this update is nightmare!

If you've seen these problems .

Reader can't sync Outlook Mac and Address Book

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Philippe Caquelin has another problem with the recent Outlook 14.1.2 update:

With the new version Outlook 2011 Mac 14.1.2 it is impossible to get the synchronization between contacts and Mac Address Book.

If you've seen this problem .

Outlook 2011 update dropping connections to Exchange

Friday, October 7, 2011

Chris Cumpian responded to the report "Reader says Outlook Mac update broke server connection":

Same issue, since the latest update, Outlook will randomly drop connection from the server and only way to fix is closing Outlook and reopening until it drops again.

If you've seen this problem .

TIP: Preventing Outlook 2011 from dropping connections to Exchange

Friday, November 4, 2011

David Rothschild offered some advice to prevent the problem of Outlook 2011 dropping connections to Exchange Server:

My clients frequently complain that Outlook 2011 for Mac "stalls," or drops the connection to their Exchange server in the middle of syncing. Often the dreaded color pinwheel appears, indicating a hung processor, a corrupt Outlook database, a spotty or slow network connection, or any number of pain points and potentially crash-inducing conditions.

Few would argue that Outlook 2011 for Mac is a reliable--or even a finished--product. After months spent researching the server sync issue (with little meaningful help from Microsoft's typically lightweight Office for Mac support site) I suggest the following solutions:

  1. Keep the overall size of your Outlook database as small as possible. If you have 5 years of email from 4 different servers cached in your Outlook 2011 database, you are just begging for trouble.
  2. If you are mobile and working on a laptop, close Outlook 2011 whenever you change locations or connect to a different network for Internet access. Outlook 2011 expects to see the same network and stalls when it doesn't. The result being, when you get home and open your laptop to try to resume work, Outlook can't connect to the server. Solution: shutdown Outlook and restart.
  3. Decide on a retention policy for your Exchange mailboxes (2 years is a good starting point) and then setup your Exchange server to auto-archive all email older than that. The next time Outlook 2011 syncs to your server, that bloated Outlook 2011 database will be made manageable. The outcome is better performance, less "Re-Build Database" messages, and faster, more reliable, syncing.
  4. Max out the internal RAM on your Mac and install a hybrid or SSD (Solid State Drive).

Any delays you experience, at least, those that aren't caused by network bottlenecks (or the scenario mentioned in item #2, above) should be reduced or completely eliminated by the faster drive access. No more spinning pinwheel! Hope this helps.

If you've tried any of these suggestions

Reader says fix didn't work for Outlook Mac new email not visible

Friday, November 18, 2011

Ian Willcock reports that a suggestion from this summer did not fix his problem with incoming mail messages not being visible in Outlook 2011 for Mac:

I'm having the same problem mentioned in the forums (OS X 10.6, Mac Outlook 14.1.3) - but it is not fixed by selecting the unread filter. The only way I've found is by clearing the cache. Or, by reinstalling Entourage, which is more reliable!

If you've seen this problem

Reader sees slow Outlook 2011 contacts

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Aaron Timmerman reports that opening shared contacts on Outlook for Mac is slow. We have previous reports of slow behavior in Outlook ("Outlook 2011 slows with slower net connections" and "Reader sees slow Outlook for Mac syncing with Exchange"), but it's not known if these are related to Timmerman's problem. He said:

I have an office I just upgraded to Office 2011 and they are running Server 2003 x64 with Exchange 2007 SP1 Rollup 4 as required by Office 2011. They are also fully patched. When we upgraded from Entourage the CEO's shared contacts, and the contacts when he opens them, take about 5 seconds to be usable and this is a frustration/challenge point for the company. He has over 2000 contacts. I noticed the server was being overtaxed with the memory so I upgraded them from 4 GB 666Mhz RAM to 12GB 1066Mhz RAM and the server improved in speed as did a couple of the clients, but not by much. What could be going on here?

If you've seen this issue

Reader confirms slow Outlook 2011 contacts problem

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ben Williams commented on the report "Reader sees slow Outlook 2011 contacts:"

Just letting you know we have the same issue on Outlook 2011 for Mac. Switching to search our shared contacts, or typing in an address into a new email causes Outlook to fall unresponsive for about 15 seconds. Enraging, and getting worse.

If you've seen this problem

Reader's Outlook 2011 contacts are slower on faster Mac

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Stephen Ouellette has two Macs, but the Mac with the faster processor, faster network, and more RAM loads Outlook 2011 contacts slower than the other Mac:

I have the same problem on my new Quad Core iMac (with 12 GB RAM), but not on my duo-core MacBook Pro (with 4gb RAM). Every time I open contacts, it shows a blank panel and slowly loads my 2000 contacts. The iMac is on Ethernet; the MacBook is on Wi Fi. Not sure why iMac is slower when every factor in iMac's favor.

Several readers have previously reported slow Outlook 2011 contacts speeds. If you've seen this issue

Reader solves his slow Outlook 2011/Exchange problem

Friday, December 23, 2011

Stephen Ouellette followed up on his previous report about slow Outlook 2011 loading of contacts from Exchange Server. He created a new user on the Mac, and all is well:

Yesterday I noticed that on my wife's user account, Outlook 2011 ran superbly. I set up a new user account, tied it to my MS Exchange account and-it ran perfectly. Outlook opened within seconds and loaded 2,500 contacts instantly. I have been moving my other files to the new user account slowly, and think when setting up the original user account I may have prematurely stopped file copying from my PC , and somehow disturbed whatever OS Lion uses to index user files. My iMac is back to its old (really new, since its less than a month old) self, and everything is running fast, once again, possibly faster now than my MacBook Pro. Hope this helps someone else.

If you've experienced this

Slow when switching to contacts in Outlook 2011

Friday, January 6, 2012

John LeMoncheck is another reader seeing slow performance with Outlook 2011 when switching to contacts:

I want to report the same issue that I have seen on your website about slow switching to the Contacts pane in Outlook 2011 for Mac. I have about 3400 contacts and whenever I switch to Contacts it takes about 5 seconds to be usable (spinning wheel if I try to do anything). This is a real issue for me as I am constantly going back and forth from mail or calendar view to contacts.

If you've seen this problem

More on Outlook Mac's slow loading of shared contacts

Friday, April 13, 2012

Cami Winikoff reports a problem that is similar to some previous reports about slow loading of contacts in Outlook 2011:

I saw that you've been updating on the Outlook 2011 issues with Macs. It takes about 5-12 seconds to load shared contacts (I don't have any contacts of my own, as I work as an assistant). I don't have workaround for this issue. I get the spinning wheel and Outlook is unusable any time I try to load contacts. On a PC it's not an issue, apparently because Windows downloads contacts to your computer, so it used to take me about 1-2 seconds for me to load everything via PC. Via this Mac, it's a pain. I have no alternative to switch to another system, so I'm living with it, but it drives me nuts and slows down my entire day.

Previously, only one reader has said he fixed the problem, by using a new user account. If you've seen this problem

Reader says iOS 5.0.1 update blocks Exchange mail

Friday, January 6, 2012

George Vitta can no longer access Exchange with his iPhone:

After upgrading iPhone OS to 5.0.1, Exchange mail no longer being received.

If you've seen this problem

Related: iPhone/iPad and Exchange Server Tips and Reports

Outlook crashing, problems with Mountain Lion

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mike Cox reports that upgrading to Mountain Lion (OS X 10.8) broke Outlook for Mac, causing crashes when trying to create a new folder, and disabling the ability to move messages into folders:

I installed Mountain Lion on my MB Pro with no problems. I had already loaded the most recent updates to MS Office for Mac. The only problems I have seen so far have been with Outlook. Two things: I can no longer move messages from the Inbox to a sub folder. No errors, it just doesn't move. Now everything piles up in my Inbox--kind of annoying. The work around for now is my iPhone. It will let me move messages to sub folders from the inbox. Still annoying.

The othe problem: If I try to use the "New" icon on the toolbar, it crashes Outlook. I tried to use this to create a new folder, hoping it would resolve the first problem. A hard crash every time I click on the icon or use the "File/New" drop down.

I can't find any solution on the web yet and all other Office apps work fine.

If you've seen this problem

For more reports about Outlook 2012 in OS X 10.8, see Mountain Lion and Outlook for Mac Tips and Reports

Possible workaround for Outlook Mac remote problem

A reader reports in our Forum a problem where Outlook Mac doesn’t work outside his network. Our guess is that it has to do with Outlook’s Autodiscover feature not working correctly, and that turning off this feature and manually setting the location of Exchange Server could fix it. Here’s the…

TIP: SMTP, DNS sources of remote Outlook Mac problem

Two readers sent in two different fixes for the problem of Outlook 2011 for Mac not being able to remotely access Exchange Server. Our suggestion was to disable AutoDiscover in Outlook, but the readers fixed their problems with DNS (related to the Autodiscover feature) and with SMTP settings.…

See top of page for more Outlook for Mac Tips

Reader's Outlook Mac has multiple identities

Kirk reported a problem in our forum about an Outlook 2011 problem that started after rebuilding is database:

I had an issue with Outlook 2011 and was asked to rebuild my database. I'm now getting copies of all the messages that I send in my Sent folder. I've also gotten some copies of older messages in my inbox. I think this is because I now have multiple Identities in my Office 2011 Identities file folder. If I delete my old identities, will I have any issues or will this solve my issue of having multiple messages in my sent folder.

If you know the answer, or have seen this problem, post a reply in the forums or

Moving email from Apple Mail to Outlook for Mac

A discussion in our Forums deals with the question of how to move email from OS X's Mail app to Outlook 2011. We suggested dragging the message out of Mail to a Finder folder, and then dragging them into Outlook. The problem is that you have to drag one message at a time. Other readers in the thread offered pointers to other solutions. If you have an idea, post a reply in the forum or .

Outlook 2011 broken in 10.8.4 and Mavericks DP

Monday, July 8, 2013

Brady Hiscox reports problems with Outlook for Mac after updating Mountain Lion to OS X 10.8.4. He also said the problem also occurs in the Developer preview of OS X 10.9 Mavericks:

Just emailing to say that Outlook was busted after the 10.8.4 update and the problems continue in 10.9. Just the same message you reported about database being corrupted over and over again. You get one use after rebuilding before it will do the same thing.

If you've seen this problem

Outlook Contacts switch name order from Mac to Windows

Monday, July 8, 2013

A reader posted a note in our forums about a problem with contacts in Outlook for Mac, where contacts with last names first switch order to first name first when seen from Windows:

I am using Outlook for Mac 2011 and am working with someone who is using Outlook on a PC. When I create a new contact, I input the first and last name in separate boxes, and I have my search contacts set to Last Name, First.

However, every time I create a new contact, the guy using the PC sees the contact show up as "first name last name" and says he has to manually go in change the "File As" to Last Name, First Name.

Looking for 1 of 2 options:

How can I set it up so whenever I create a contact on my Mac, it automatically files it as Last Name, First Name, so the PC guy doesn't have to keep changing it?

Or Where do I find the "File As" field/option on my Mac?

If you know the answer or post a reply in the forums.

Reader 's Outlook no longer receives mail after OS X 10.8.4 update

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Responding to a previous report of problems with Outlook 2011 and the OS X 10.8.4 update, Nadim Yared reports that he can no longer receive email in Outlook 2011 after updating two Macs to OS X 10.8.4:

I upgraded to OS X 10.8.4 on my Outlook 2011, MacBook Air 2013 (Haswell), i7 / 8Gb / 512G. Outlook cannot initially connect. Then it connected. I can send emails, but it says that the folders are up to date -- but they are not. I am not receiving any email. I tried the following:

  • Restarting Outlook
  • Restarting Mac Book Air
  • Rebuilding identity database
  • Creating new account
  • Validating certificate in keychain

Another colleague with Mac is having the same issue in the office. We are the only two with Macs. The only two with email issues today. Not a Happy day.

If you've seen this problem .

TIP: Office update may fix OS X 10.8.4 file sharing bug and Outlook issues

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Microsoft has released an update to Office that may fix a problem readers have been reporting about saving files to a Windows server from within Word. The update, called Office for Mac 2011 14.3.6, also fixes several problems with Outlook 2011 for Mac, including sending and syncing messages… (Read more here.)

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