Outlook and iCloud: default data files

Last reviewed on May 28, 2014   —  44 comments

Applies to: Microsoft Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007

New for iCloud v.2, released September 2012: the ability to set the iCloud data file as the default data file.

Works again in iCloud 2.1.2 if you use Outlook 2010. Outlook 2013 still crashes. (Those are the only versions I tested).

Many users would like to set the iCloud data file as their default data file, if only because they want to see their appointments on the To-do Bar. This seems to work OK with POP3 accounts but won't work for IMAP accounts.

When iCloud is set as default and you use an IMAP account, you can't send email. This is because IMAP accounts need a default data file for sent items (even if you have Outlook configured to move sent items to the IMAP folder). The iCloud does not support a Sent Items (or any other mail folder).

When the iCloud folder is set as default data file, you can only create Notes (or Journal entries) when you are viewing a (non-IMAP) pst file. If you use RSS feeds, you need to select a delivery folder in local pst file when you add the feed to the profile.

There are no workarounds for IMAP accounts. You'll need to use a POP3 account to send email. There may be other errors and issues I'm not aware of.

iCloud 2 users should check Outlook and iCloud 2: What you need to know. General Outlook and iCloud issues are at Outlook and iCloud Sync Issues. iCloud & Outlook Calendar issues are at iCloud and Outlook Calendar Sync Issues and Contact issues are at iCloud and Outlook Contact Sync Issues

"Cannot Start Outlook..." Error

This is an iCloud 1.x error. Upgrade to iCloud 2 to fix. If you receive this (or a similar) error message

Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. Unsupported folder class (IPF.Contact)

You don't have the default delivery location set to a pst. You can avoid this error by installing iCloud 2.

To change the default data file to a local pst file, open Control panel and find Mail, open the profile, Account Settings, then select Change Folder at the bottom of the dialog or set the PST file to default on the Data Files tab.

Choose a default delivery folder

"Do not have permission to create entry..." error

Applies to iCloud2.

When an IMAP account is set as the default email account and the iCloud is set as the default data file, you'll receive this error message when you attempt to create a new message:

You don't have permission to create and entry in this folder. Right-click the folder, and then click Properties to check your permissions for the folder. See the folder owner or your administrator to change your permissions.

Error message when you try to create an IMAP message

You'll receive a similar message when you try to create a new Note (or Journal item).
Before creating the note, you need to select a folder in a non-IMAP pst file before trying to create the item.

Do not have permission to create this item error

"Service provider does not support operation..." error

Applies to iCloud2.

When you try to compose a message while viewing the IMAP folders or send reply to a message received on an IMAP account, you'll receive the following error. The default service provider (the icloud data file) does not support mail items.

Could not complete the operation because the service provider does not support it.

Can't complete the operation error

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

44 responses to “Outlook and iCloud: default data files”

  1. Simon Clark

    Sorry, if I am being dumb (as is often the case!) but can I have iCloud 2 and NOT have it as the default data store, therefore using IMAP and sending happily?

    (my set-up in case it matters - Outlook on a PC, iphone and MacbookAir use Mail, calendar, contacts. Gmail manage our domain and host our IMAP mail)

    thanks in Advance


  2. Tom Combs

    Question. What happens to your data, (calendar, contacts) If you remove Icloud? I just started using it and I see my local calendar is now blank. Should I decide to stop using Icloud, how would I get my data back?

  3. Fred

    Thank you Thank you Thank you.
    Can't tell you how many posts I read before I got to this one which WORKED!!

  4. Diana

    I would rather not change my default data file to iCloud but need to add tasks to outkook programmatically from Access via vba to sync with my ipad. How do I point to the iCloud task folder to add or change tasks?

  5. Rick Hodel

    Really appreciate your site. I found it much more in depth and helpful then searching for hours about these issues on Apple's Support website. I am using Outlook 2007 and I've had horrible problems with iCloud trying to synch my task list (no Exchange server involved) with iCloud 1.x and now still with iCloud 2.1.1. I logged a case # with Apple telephone support 6 months back and demonstrated my issue with a senior technician who recorded our session where we recreating the bug. Apple stopped respond to me about this issue, as if that's a surprise...

    At first I was told it was probably an issue with my PC, registry, Outlook installation, etc. I did a fresh install of Win7 64 bit and installed Outlook 2007 with all necessary patches and demonstrated the issue again which caused Outlook to crash when Tasks were modified in iCloud via Outlook about 50% of the time. It's extremely annoying. I don't have this crash issue with iCloud's calendar, email or contacts functionality...only when using tasks, which I do a lot of.

    Just wanted to mention that when I set iCloud as the default data file and restart it, Outlook will not start. You've highlighted the issues that impact not having iCloud as your default folder in other posts. I was looking forward to trying this, but it doesn't work for me. I had to set the default folder back to my Personal Folder via the control panel mail settings and go back to the orginal settings.

    Thanks for your comprehensive website; it really is a enjoyable to read. /Rick

  6. Matthieu JOBERT

    I am using iCloud 2.11 and would like to set iCloud as default data file (to get my appointments in the task bar). But when I set the .aplzod file as the default data file, I cannot start Outlook and get this error:
    "Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. Unsupported folder class (IPF.Notes)"

    On Microsoft website, it is said it's not possible: http://support2.microsoft.com/kb/2668932/en-us

    Any idea?

  7. Sebastian

    same problem as Matthieu JOBERT described. What am I missing?

  8. Sam

    My pc will not allow me to reset the default data file. I no longer want to use icloud and have deleted the program but it is still set as the default data file preventing me from even opening Outlook.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated as it is sending me mad!!



  9. varghese scaria

    Dear Diane Poremsky,

    hi i wan to syc my outlook 2010 with icloud. if it possible please help me regarding this

  10. Cem

    Hi Diane,
    I had two email accounts one IMAP one POP, previously I upgraded my
    POP to IMAP. now I am getting "you don't have permission to create an entry in this folder outlook 2010" error.
    ICloud is set as my default Data File, I have been trying to change this but "set as default" button is gray.
    Thank you.

  11. peterasmith

    Hi Diane,
    Thanks for the great site - really helpful in understanding the limitations here and what will and will not work. I have just installed icloud 2.1.2 with Outlook 2007, however if I make icloud the default data file, Outlook crashes when you access the calendar. I have a POP3 email account. Any suggestions? Otherwise it looks like we are still stuck with copying and multiple reminders/calendars to deal with...

  12. Chris

    Hi Diane,

    I have iCloud and Outlook 2013. Do you know when or if I will be able to set the iCloud data file as the default? I really would like my appointments and tasks on my To Do Bar.

  13. Tom

    I have a new computer with Windows 7 Pro and Outlook 2013
    I am having problems setting up iCloud
    Whenever I start up iCloud, Office says
    "We're sorry, but Microsoft Office has run into an error that is preventing it from working correctly. Microsoft Office will need to be closed as a result. Would you like us to repair now?
    Allowing it to repair does not work and I cannot get iCloud to Sync. I have tried deleting data files and setting a .pst as default and deleted the apple data file as suggested in another forum but to no avail.
    Any suggestions?

  14. Tom

    This is the whole problem. Outlook 2013 crashes when I try to install iCloud even with the pst as default.

  15. Tom

    I'm using iCloud 2.1.2 and Outlook 2013.
    What I would like to do is a totally clean reinstall of Outlook 2013 and try again. However when I try to do this it reinstalls with the old settings. How can I do a completely clean reinstall?

  16. Tom

    Okay so I've done this. I now have another issue. The default calendar in Outlook 2013 is called 'Calendar (this computer only)'. For some reason this has found itself in the deleted items of my email account (IMAP). This means it does not show in the Calendar by default and all my new meeting requests go to this folder. When I try to move this to the Outlook default data file it refuses to move or copy it. Any suggestions as to how I can move this?

  17. Tom

    Just done this and now I'm back to the old issue of whenever I start up iCloud, Office says
    "We're sorry, but Microsoft Office has run into an error that is preventing it from working correctly. Microsoft Office will need to be closed as a result. Would you like us to repair now?'
    I'm going round and round in circles on this and have wasted many hours.
    Any further thoughts? When I try to create a new profile the same problem occurs.

  18. Alex HG (@thaipirate)

    i had this problem with other IMAP items... this is a very helpful page... thank you!

  19. Akash Kumar Sharma


    Could anyone please let me know where does iCloud store all its data on a Windows computer. From the above post its clear that .aplzod folder in %appdata% has calendar, tasks and contacts store. But I somehow got into an issue where a custom icloud folder in icloud mail got stuck in Outlook during deletion. Its not in icloud (as i saw at icloud.com) but i can't delete it from Outlook. New profiles don't help at all. If I could reset iCloud completely by deleting the local store from where its loading the data, i might be able to remove the whole folder as well as the deletion operation in queue.

    I need the icloud local data location for everything. Is it that itunes also could be caching some data ?

    Please, please, please I'm in so urgent need of this. This is so annoying to see that stuck folder in Outlook.

  20. Akash Kumar Sharma

    Thanks for the response.
    But i was was wrong in framing the question maybe. I found the resolution. It was an IMAP fodler subscription issue. I learned about IMAP protocol and came to know that a folder can't be deleted from Outlook, it has to be "unsubscribed" and deleted from iCloud. This worked like a charm.

    Thanks a lot for your response.

  21. Kim


    I'm really struggling and would appreciate any advice on this. I was previously working with iCloud 1 and Outlook 2010. I was able to send meeting requests from both my pop3 and imap work accounts (there was a "From" pull down on the invite request), but they were saved directly in my iCloud calendar which was great. After setting up Outlook 2010 and iCloud 2 on a new computer, I cannot find a way to replicate this. When using my iCloud calendar, I have no option to choose the account to send it from. It sends from "noreply@insideicloud.icloud.com". Otherwise I have to use my pop3 calendar to send a request, which doesn't save to my iCloud. To move it to my iCloud, it sends a notification to everyone invited. Help please! Thanks!

  22. Z-Bar

    Hi Diane,

    Can you please suggest how can I setup Outlook/iCloud so that Contacts and Calendar data will still be stored in the PST file? I am using a PST backup program, and I want it to be able to backup the Contacts and Calendar items as well.

    Will the suggested method restrict other possibilities?

    Thanks for this wonderful page

  23. Peg

    I have a Toshiba PC laptop running Windows 7. I use Google Chrome. You seem to know how to do stuff with outlook 2007 and icloud. I have a really weird problem that I can not see here (or anywhere). In a recent sync yesterday I got the message that some of the data would not sync and could be kept or deleted. I chose to keep it and it ended up in "Local Contacts" and "Local Calendar" folders under icloud. When I open either of those folders and try to delete any items that are unneeded I get this error message:
    "You don't have appropriate permission to perform this operation."
    I have already tried "delegates" (no button and no way to install it AND its NOT an email account) and "open outllook.exe as administrator" . I'm really good at looking up fixes for problems but can't find this one anywhere. Can you help me be able to delete or manipulate those items in the local folders that I no longer need in outlook or icloud?

  24. Peg

    Hi, and thanks,
    But I need more specifics than that. I am assuming I am to open Outlook and do Ctrl 6 to access the Folder list. Correct?
    Please then tell me what is scanpst. and where do I find that and how do I use it and what will it do?
    Will this address the inability to delete, add or manipulate things in Local Folder and Local Contacts?

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