Outlook 2011 Will Not Load User Data

mchenry2677 used Ask the Experts™

One of our graphics guys has a brand new iMac running Office 2011 with all available updates. For the past two months, the machine has been operating flawlessly, but within the last week, he has started having problems with Outlook 2011.

  - When you click on the Outlook icon in the dock, the Outlook start-up screen flashes for less than a second and the Outlook toolbar appears at the top of the screen, but the Outlook window never appears.
  - Or, when you click on the Outlook icon in the dock, the Outlook window opens, but it's completely blank with a little circle icon letting you know that it's waiting on something (see my screenshot).
  - In either case, you can only close Outlook by using Force Quit.
  - All other Office apps (Word, Excel, Etc.) are functioning properly

Troubleshooting performed so far:
  - Checking for any available updates.
  - Restarting the computer.
  - Uninstall and Reinstall Office (since I could not find a way to repair the installation on OSX)
  - Rebuilding the existing identity.
  - Creating a new identity.

As a PC technician with very little Mac experience, I'm not sure what to try next.  Can someone give me some further troubleshooting tips or know of a fix for this issue? Any help would be appreciated.


Watch Question

Do more with

Expert Office
EXPERT OFFICE® is a registered trademark of EXPERTS EXCHANGE®

First i would try trashing your preferences.  

close outlook.

search for files that are named something like "com.microsoft.outlook.XXXXX.plist"

Drag that file to the trash or to your desktop.

the restart outlook and see if the issue still occurs.  

I would also try repairing disk permissions.  

Is the operating system running the latest version?  If not, you might update it to the latest version.  If it is, try going to http://support.apple.com/downloads/ and download and reinstall your latest combo update.  then repair disk permissions and see if the issue persists.

You might also create a new user and see if the issue occurs there.  That will tell you if the issue is user related or systemwide.  
We've trashed the preferences, repaired the permissions, and reinstalled the updates, but the issue is still occurring.

A coworker suggested that we also clear the font cache and delete any corrupted fonts, so we're working on that currently.  

One thing we did notice is that Outlook works perfectly in Safe Mode.  In the case of a PC, I'd say that this indicates some kind of a driver problem/corruption or an incompatible startup item. Do those same things hold true with a Mac?

If the font fixes doesn't work, should we still create a new user account and try outlook there... now that we know it works in Safe Mode?


Running a font cache cleaner fixed everything.  Thanks so much for your help!

creating the new user would have likely resolved it as well.  Glad you got a resolution.


Running a Font Cache Cleaner is eventually what ended up fixing this issue.

Do more with

Expert Office
Submit tech questions to Ask the Experts™ at any time to receive solutions, advice, and new ideas from leading industry professionals.

Start 7-Day Free Trial