I'm familiar with the Microsoft Database Utility app / window that you can trigger by opening Outlook while holding option, like this one:

Microsoft Database Utility

However I received a different window this morning when opening Outlook normally, without any modifier keys. This is the window I received this morning:

Select an identity window

Does anyone know how to manually bring up this "select an identity" window? A few of my users at work have to refer to old identities, usually archives, and I'm always hesitant to teach them how to use the MS Database Utility for fear of them rebuilding or accidentally deleting the identity. This "select an identity" window seems much more user friendly.

2 Answers 2


Yes, you can do this.

  1. If you have Outlook open, quit out of it.
  2. Launch the Activity Monitor.
  3. In Activity Monitor, locate "Microsoft Database Daemon" and quit it.
  4. Quit the Activity Monitor.
  5. Open the Finder.
  6. In the Finder, hold the Option key and select Go –> Library. This will open the hidden Library folder in your home folder.
  7. In the Library folder, navigate to Application Support/Microsoft/Office/Preferences/Office 2011.
  8. In that folder, find the file named "Outlook Preferences" and drag it to the trash.
  9. Launch Outlook. It will now display the dialog box that allows you to choose your identity.
  10. If you want this dialog box every time you open Outlook, make sure that "Show this list when opening Outlook" at the bottom of the window is selected.

In my testing, the solution above works once. If you then quit Outlook and restart it, it does not bring up the dialog box, even if you checked the the Show this list every time... box. :-(

Another way to change identities is to option-click Outlook, then change the default identity in the database utility. Unfortunately, this requires closing all Office apps.


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