Location of Outlook 2016 Profile (Identity)

In Outlook 2011, your Identity was located in Documents > Microsoft User Data folder. Identities are now called Profiles in Office for Mac 2016 (now available in preview). Your profile is no longer stored in Documents but in your User’s Library folder.

The User’s Library folder is hidden by default. To unhide: Select the Finder in the Dock. Under Go in the Menu bar > hold down the Option key and you’ll see the Library.

More info: Finding the User Library Folder

In your User’s Library folder, scroll down to Group Containers. You’ll find your profile nested in this location:


If you can’t find this folder, most likely you are looking in the main Library folder. As recommended above visit Finding the User Library Folder to show your User’s Library.


Recommended Reading:

 Microsoft revamps features for Outlook for Mac 15

Create a new Profile (Identity) in Outlook v15

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17 comments to Location of Outlook 2016 Profile (Identity)

  • Maria Stoneman


    this is really helpful.
    When importing the main identity from outlook 2011 for mac to outlook 2016 for mac, i select the ‘import from outlook 2011 data’ the third option but the default route or browse route means i cant access the hidden location of my files as above.
    Can you suggest how i might be able to find the location of the above folder in a browser bar? Is there a way of unhiding the library instead of going to go?

    • I’m not sure what you mean by hidden files. Office 2011 stores your Identity in Documents folder. Outlook 2016 stores your data in the Users’s Library. If you click on the link in the article Finding the User Library Folder it shows you how to unhide.

      Microsoft User Data folder
      Office 2011 Identities
      Main Identity

  • Anton

    Is there a way to move or put the identity on another drive ? I have my office 2011 profile on a 2nd drive and would like to do the same. I tried symlink but it did not like it.

    • Franco

      I tired symlink and it doesn’t work either. Please help so that we can save storage on our Mac drive.

      • ilya

        i would do something like this:


        and mount the appropriate disk/image directly over the user’s Library Outlook folder:

        hdiutil attach -mountpoint /Users/user/Library/Group\ Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook /Users/user/Documents/outlook.dmg.sparseimage

        • John


          I have run outlook 2011 from an external drive for the last few years without a problem, updated to 2016 and it doesn’t work any more using alias… this answer sounds like it is what I need, but I don’t actually understand the answer… if anyone can explain what to do in a more ‘for dummies’ way I would be so grateful, need outlook running on a couple of different machines and running the profile from an external drive has worked well up to now.

          Thanks in advance.

      • Niboo

        I had a similar problem because of space crunch on my MBP pro 2015 edition – symbolic links didn’t work when I moved the
        /Users//Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook
        folder – got error upon starting Outlook that Profile read write permissions have been messed and Outlook quit
        way I achieved this is creating a symbolic link where Outlook actually stores the mails
        /Users//Library/Group Containers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook 15 Profiles/Main Profile/Data/Message Sources
        and created a symbolic link for “Message Sources” and restarted Outlook
        Bingo it worked

  • This is absolutely life saver information.
    Thank you Diane,


  • Don Montalvo

    I guess it makes sense, with sandboxing and all. But man I’m so glad I found this article. I was freaking out when I noticed my email gone.


  • Jayson

    my question is – after i’ve imported – can i erase my 2011 identity?
    Can i completely uninstall Office 2011 without fear of losing anything?

  • Yes, you can remove your Outlook 2011 Identities after successfully importing your data.

    Should you remove Office for Mac 2011 after installing Office for Mac 2016?

  • Mac

    I get this error when first launching Outlook 2016 for Mac. All other Office 2016 programs open just fine except for Outlook.

    Any suggestions?

    You do not have write access to the Outlook application folder. To run Outlook you must have the administrative user remove the Profiles folder from the application folder. For more information, see the Outlook Read Me file.

    • it sounds like your Profile is being saved in the Applications > Microsoft Office 2016 > Outlook folder. Not sure how this happened. I’ve never seen this reported before.

  • mohsen

    i had office mac 2011 . because of some problem in my pc. i changed the pc and now installed office mac 2016 .

    wanna to import the data file of office mac 2011 in office mac 2016 which already copied in document folder and use the import route but it can not find the data file.

    please help me in this regard

    • When you open Outlook 2016, you can select to import from an Outlook 2011 Identity. It should automatically look in the Microsoft User Data folder > Outlook 2011 Identities folder for the Identity.

      If the 2011 Identity does not have a database file (say you restored from Time Machine), you cannot import the Identity.