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Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity

admin | April 27th, 2017 | Outlook Error

When the Mac Outlook users try to open email from the spotlight search then sometimes they receive an error message Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity. This error message occurs because the Spotlight search returned a result from Mac Outlook identity that is not the default identity. There are various solutions are available to troubleshoot Spotlight Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity. Therefore, in this post, we are going to discuss these solutions in detail.

outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity

Reason “Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity”

When users search any message in the spotlight then the resultant message consist the index of the message and it does not have the message body. This is the main reason of the occurrence of error “Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity” when users try to open message from the spotlight search. This error may also occur when Spotlight returns messages from an identity other than that of default identity. This behavior occurs because of rebuilding Outlook profile or by creating a new profile or identity.

Users Queries

“I have created a new Outlook identity and after that when I was trying to search an old email message in the spotlight search I have received an error message “Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity”. I do not have any idea that how can I solve this error. Please share your solution to help me to fix this error.”

“I have many Outlook profiles in Outlook for Mac 2016. When I was trying to open an email message from the spotlight indexing then I received an error message “Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity”. I have tried the solution, which I know to solve this error but I failed. Is there anyone who can help me to resolve this error?.”

How to fix Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity?

There are various solutions are available to solve the error Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity. Some of them are described below:

Method 1: Delete Other Outlook Identities or Profiles

Follow the below mentioned steps to delete Outlook identities:

For Mac Outlook 2016

  • Close Mac Outlook 2016 application
  • Click on Go >> Applications
  • Right-Click on Microsoft Outlook, and then select Show Package Contents
  • Now, expand contents >> ShareSupport and then open Outlook Profile Manager
  • Choose the Outlook profile that you want to delete, and then click on the minus sign (–)  which is available at the bottom of the window

For Mac Outlook 2011

  • Close Outlook application on your Mac machine
  • Start Microsoft Database Utility by following the below mentioned path:
    Applications/Microsoft Office 2011/Office/Microsoft Database Utility
  • Select the Outlook identity that you want to delete, and then click on the minus sign (–) which is available at the bottom of the window

Note: When the user deletes an Outlook identity, all email messages and data associated with that identity are also deleted. So, before deleting the identity, verify that you do not need any data associated with the Outlook identity.

Method 2: Exclude Other Outlook Identities from Spotlight Searches

Excluding Outlook identities from Spotlight allows the email messages to remain in the Outlook 2011 Identities folder without being searchable by Spotlight. Follow the below-mentioned steps to Exclude Other Outlook Identities from Spotlight indexing:

  • Go to Apple menu and then click on System Preferences >> Spotlight >> Privacy
  • Click on the plus sign(+), which is available at the bottom of the window
  • Locate any of the below-mentioned directory paths, depending on the version of the MS Outlook for Mac
    For Mac Outlook 2016
    /Users//Library/GroupContainers/UBF8T346G9.Office/Outlook/Outlook 15 Profiles/
    Outlook For Mac 2011
    /Users//Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/
  • Select the identity folder that you want to exclude from the spotlight indexing and then click on Choose

Conclusion

The error Outlook cannot open the file because it is not associated with the default identity mainly occurs when the users search a mail in the spotlight which is not available in the default identity folder. This error can be resolved by deleting the other Outlook identities or by excluding other Outlook identities or profiles from spotlight searches. In this article, we have discussed both these solutions to fix the error. Therefore, you can use any method as per your convenient.