Error: Your identity is older than this version of Outlook

DO NOT DOWNLOAD Service Pack 2 (SP2) 14.2.0. This update contains problems that were fixed in 14.2.1. You can go directly from 14.1.0 or higher to 14.2.1. SKIP the 14.2.0 updater. [Added May 3, 2012]

If you get the following error “Your identity is older than this version of Outlook” you will need to revert to Office 2011 v14.1.4 in order to repair your identity.

  • If you want to remove Office 2011 v 14.2.0 and revert full time to v 14.1.4, follow the directions here: How to revert to Microsoft Office for Mac 14.1.4 after upgrading to SP2
  • If you want to continue with Office v14.2.0 and only want to repair your identity, follow the directions below. This requires you to have a backup copy of Office v14.1.4 on Time Machine or backup drive. For help recovering from Time Machine see this article. Otherwise you’ll need to re-install Office in the new User/Application folder.

1)  Drag to the Shared folder any identity that you need to rebuild.


Go to System Preferences  >  Create a New User in Accounts (Users & Groups). Name the User “Recovery”. Switch to the New User by logging out under the Apple in the Menu bar or use Fast User Switching.

3) Add a new Folder in the User’s folder named Applications.

4) Open Outlook from the new Applications folder. This will create a new Microsoft User Data Folder in Documents.

5) Quit Outlook.

6) Drag from Shared (it actually copies) your Main Identity and place it in the Microsoft User Data folder > Office 2011 Identities folder replacing the blank identity that was created.

~/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/your identity

5) Hold down the Option key and launch Outlook. This will launch the Database Utility.  Select your identity then click on Rebuild.

Unless your database is severely corrupted this should rebuild your identity. I suggest that you export your data as .olm file under File > Export in case you need to access your old data at a later time. Exporting each item (contacts, calendar events, messages, tasks and notes) as individual .olm files can be useful if you need to recover just a specific item.

6) Now that you have recovered your data, you can drag your Identity back to Shared folder for access in your main User.

7) After logging into your main User, drag your identity from Shared to your Office 2011 Identities folder.

8) Hold Option key when you open Outlook to open the Database Utility. Set your recovered identity as default.

9) Open Outlook. This should start the upgrade process for SP2.

Note: Currently there are issues with SP2 identities that have no fixes. While you’ll see some improvements like not having to activate every time you open Outlook with a Thunderbolt or eSATA drive attached and the ability to have multiple signatures attached, there are issues that will require an update from Microsoft to fix.

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