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Outlook has a database utility program that you can use to rebuild the database if it gets corrupted, and it allows you to switch back-and-forth between multiple Outlook identities. If you ever suspect that there's a problem with your database, all is not lost. If the program quits unexpectedly, items won't open or don't display properly, you can't find items you know are there or your Office Reminders are blank, it means your database maybe corrupted. In that case, the solution is to rebuild it. If you have a Microsoft Exchange account, rebuilding the database deletes any information that's not synchronized with the Exchange Server, including your contacts' Digital ID Certificates.
Before you rebuild the database, you should use the techniques we learned in the backing up video to backup all your Outlook data that's stored only on your local computer. When you're ready to rebuild, go up to the Outlook menu and quit the program. You'll also need to quit any other open Microsoft Office programs. Open up the Finder window, and go to the Applications folder, and then to Microsoft Office 2011, and the Office folder, and then look for Microsoft Database Utility, and double-click it to open.
You can also open up the Database Utility program by closing and reopening Outlook while holding down the Option key. In the bottom right-hand corner of the window is a Rebuild button. Click on it and Outlook will create a backup in the Office 2011 Identities folder inside your Documents folder, then do the repair. Note that you need to have double the room available on your hard-drive. In other words, if your Outlook file is 500 megabytes, you need 1 gigabyte of space available to rebuild and compact the file.
After the rebuild is finished, your Outlook should be repaired. I'll click Done. The Database Utility also allows you to run more than one Outlook Identity at a time, if you need two completely separate Outlook environments. For example, maybe you're self- employed and you have two different independent businesses. Click on the Plus sign in the lower-left corner of the window. A second line will appear. Give this new identity, a descriptive name, and press Return.
Then click on the gear, and set up this new identity file as the default. When you close the Database Utility program and open Outlook again, you'll have a brand-new file and when you want to go back to your original identity, come back into this Database Utility and set the first file as the default again. I'm going to leave Hansel and Petal as the default and let's see how this works. I'll quit the Database Utility. When my Outlook reopens, it's completely blank.
This is my new Hansel and Petal identity. The Microsoft Database Utility is an indispensable tool if you're having problems with Outlook and when you have a need for multiple Outlook identities.
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