‘Inbox Invisible’ plagues Outlook 14.5.0 users running Yosemite

Microsoft released the Office for Mac 2011 14.5.0 update this past Tuesday and customers who’d installed the update on any version of Yosemite (OS X 10.10) began reporting their Outlook Main Window was invisible. Reverting to Office for Mac 14.4.9 by first uninstalling Office and then installing up to 14.4.9 is so far the only supported fix.

Dubbed Inbox Invisible by Rich Trouton on Der Flounder, Microsoft developer Erik Schwiebert posted an unofficial explanation for this behavior in his Twitter feed.

Editing a plist file within the Outlook application bundle to make the application report its version as 14.4.9 instead of 14.5.0 reverts the issue. This supports the developer’s claim Yosemite is linked to the problem, however, editing the file is not a supported solution to resolve the problem.

The developer said in a later tweet Microsoft is working with Apple to locate the code to correct it in Outlook. Considering Apple included code in Yosemite specifically to correct an issue with a third party developer’s application, Apple may need to release a companion fix in an upcoming Yosemite update.

For now, Yosemite users should avoid installing the Office for Mac 2011 14.5.0 Update. Mavericks (10.9.5) and earlier users do not experience this issue.


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8 comments to ‘Inbox Invisible’ plagues Outlook 14.5.0 users running Yosemite

  • Joshua

    If I understand this correctly, the claim is that Apple put a patch in Yosemite to make Office Mac 2011 work but did not inform Microsoft, that the patch tests for MS Office level < 14.5, and that the patch is still needed for Office 14.5.

    Is it just me, or does it seem more likely that Apple DID tell MS through channels, and told them they should get Office compatible without special patches for their next Office release (hence the version limitation on the patch), but the message got lost somewhere between MS managers and MS developers?

    • Keep in mind this is one developer who is speaking on his own and not on behalf of Microsoft.

      Yes, though, the idea that Apple put code in Yosemite to accommodate an Outlook issue is strange. But this was an issue documented in the Yosemite betas. I would imagine Microsoft didn’t pay attention then.

      We can only speculate.

  • mike


    We have just released an update that fixes the issue of the main window not showing up for Outlook for Mac 2011. For more details, please refer to:
    The update can be downloaded at:

  • David Leicester

    Fantastic – fixed using Mike’s link. After spending an hour on web chat with MS “mac” support who knew nothing of this update I stumbled upon here. Thanks for sharing the link to the fix update – pity Microsoft can’t do the same with its auto updates!

  • Aditya

    Awesome help, some times the unofficial forums are faster and better to resolve the critical issues than the formal channels. Thanks.

    I was screwed big time because of “absconding inbox”, but now my issue is resolved by using download available at the link posted by Mike. I wish, Microsoft should have pushed this through auto update.

  • El Del

    I’ve downloaded the update 14.5.1 and outlook still wont open. when i double click the icon for a brief second the outlook menu appears on the top of the screen and then nothing

  • El Del

    Thanks William, problem is that I can’t get to “about outlook” or “file menu” as Outlook wont launch. I did however open excel and choose about excel and the latest installed update is 14.5.1

    I will post the issue on the forum as you suggest (did so previously and no joy)