October 12th, 2011

Entourage Not Working? Let’s Fix It!

Here’s what you can do if you launch Microsoft Entourage and find messages missing, or Entourage refuses to launch at all. Entourage stores your contacts, messages, attachments, calendar, to do, and project data in a file called Database. The Database file is designed to grow, but never to shrink. Even when you delete messages within Entourage, they are not deleted from the Database. They’re simply marked as being deleted, so they never appear in any of the Entourage mail lists. They still occupy space, which means the Database is larger than it needs to be, and is occupying more space on your hard drive than necessary.

Sometimes that file can become damaged, which causes problems when Entourage tries to launch, display, and receive messages. Follow these instructions to repair the database and also delete all the deleted messages…which makes the Database smaller, faster, and easier to manage.

1. If Entourage is running, click Quit in the File menu.

2. Hold down the Command and Option keys on the keyboard and launch Entourage. Keep holding down the keys. Instead of launching Entourage, this should launch the Database Utility.

Click Compact, then Continue in the Database Utility window

3. Make sure the listing for Main Identify is highlighted in the database list at the top of the window. If not, click on it to highlight it.

4. Click the button for Compact database, then click the Continue button. Database Utility creates a brand new, blank Database file, renames your old damaged file, copies all the undeleted data from the old file to the new, then creates an index within the new file to make all your messages and data easy for Entourage to find.

5. When Database Utility has completed compacting your Database, the Compact Status window indicates that it’s complete. Click the Done button to close Database Utility and continue to your Entourage main window.


If Entourage still has trouble launching or there are missing messages, the Database file needs more TLC than the Compact Database routine could provide. Repeat the same 5 steps above, but this time in step 2 click Rebuild Database instead of Compact Database. This procedure take longer than compacting, but does a more thorough job of running diagnostics on the Database file, repairing them, then copying all the good data to a new file. When the rebuilding is done, the Compact Status window will say it’s complete. Click the Done button to proceed to Entourage’s main window.

5 Responses to “Entourage Not Working? Let’s Fix It!”

  1. Wendy Says:

    July 2nd, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    Despite asking computer to compact and rebuild database still comes up with….An error occurred while attempting to compact/rebuild your database….help

  2. darryl Says:

    July 7th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    When you rebuild the database, what actually happens is that your existing database’s name is changed to Old Database, then a new blank database file is created and named Database, and all undeleted messages from your old database file are copied to the new database file. The old database is not deleted. Since Entourage database files can take up gigabytes of space on your hard drive, rebuilding can fail if you don’t have enough blank space on your drive to contain both the old and new database files and any temporary files that are created during the rebuilding process. Cloning your hard drive to a larger external hard drive, then booting your Mac from that drive may allow rebuilding to take place properly.

    It’s also possible that your database has become so damaged that it can’t be fully repaired by the database utility. There is a third party program from a developer called Stellar Phoenix called Entourage Repair that might help in that case. Here’s a link to the web page describing the product. Good luck!!


  3. Bell Says:

    April 8th, 2014 at 4:25 pm

    Entourage Recovery is fast, easy, and reliable software to repair corrupt Entourage database (.RGE) files and recover various entourage objects, contacts, tasks, such as emails, etc. This software recovers Entourage database in MS Entourage 2008 and 2004 and provides the Log Report of entire Entourage recovery process. For more information and free download http://entouragerecoverytool.blogspot.in

  4. Hor Jasinski Says:

    June 9th, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Problem & Question: How to migrate Entourage 2008 from an iMac onto a Mac mini latre 2012? Both of the machines run Mountin Lion (10.8.5). All setting, stored mails etc. should be transferred to the Mac mini.
    Is there an easy method available to do this? Thanks.

    Berlin, Germany

  5. darryl Says:

    June 11th, 2014 at 4:31 pm

    If all you want to do is transfer all your existing email and account settings from the old computer to the new, copy this folder:

    /Users/(your home folder)/Documents/Microsoft User Data

    from the old computer into /Users/(your home folder)/Documents on the new computer.

    If you’ve already been receiving email on the new computer and simply want to add all the exiting email message from your old computer to the new, copy that same folder to your new desktop. Then click the Import… command in the File menu in Entourage and follow the prompts to import all the messages inside folder you copied to the desktop.

Leave a Reply

  • « Older Entries
  • Newer Entries »