How to Access Outlook Temp Folder in Mac OS X

Mar 29, 2016 - 17 Comments

Outlook icon

Many Microsoft Office for Mac users may find themselves needing to gain access to the Outlook Temp folder, which is where everything from attachments are stored, to cached version of items that are actively being worked on but that are launched from Outlook as an attachment. For example, if someone emails you a report as an attachment, you open it and are working on it in Word, Excel, Powerpoint, and you save it, this saved document which began as an Outlook attachment will usually be in the Outlook Temp folder.

Let’s quickly find out how to directly access the Outlook Temp folder and the files that you may have saved into that directory, whether it’s files you’re actively working on, various email attachments, HTML signatures, images, PDF, documents, or whatever else.

How to Access the Outlook Temp Folder & Outlook Temp Files in Mac OS X

This applies to all versions of Mac OS X with Outlook:

  1. Navigate to the Finder in Mac OS X, whether it’s the desktop or a folder doesn’t matter
  2. Pull down the “Go” menu and choose “Go To Folder” (or hit Command Shift G if you prefer keystrokes)
  3. Enter the following path:
  4. ~/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/Outlook Temp/

  5. Click on the “Go” button and you’re now in the Outlook Temp cache folder
  6. Go to Outlook Temp folder on Mac

The Outlook Temp folder contains attachments and other items that are caches created by and used with Outlook, some of them are user facing and some of them are not intended to be.

Outlook Temp folder on a Mac

You can also manually navigate to the Outlook Temp cache folder if you have made the user Library folder visible in Mac OS X, where it would be in the user Library > Caches > Temporary Items > Outlook Temp directory.

Once you’re in the Outlook Temp folder on the Mac you can find the file(s) you are looking for, whether they’re attachments you have been editing, or want to make a copy of, or whatever else.

Another option of course is to open the attachment in Word or Excel that you were working on, and using the File > Save As option to save a copy of the temp outlook file to another location that is more user friendly.

By the way, this is specifically for accessing the Outlook application temporary folder, it does not apply to an account used in Mail app in mac OS X, because Mail app has it’s own unique and different temporary folders for cache.


Related articles:

Posted by: Paul Horowitz in Mac OS, Tips & Tricks


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  1. Robyn says:

    Looks like Microsoft has moved it again.


  2. Jim Hannan says:

    The above file path does not take me to the Outlook Temp folder. It does take me to the Case folder, but there is no Outlook Temp folder.

    I inadvertantly saved some files to this folder and can to find them.

    As a side point, why is Outlook set up to save files to a folder that you cannot find by default? Stupid beyond belief.

  3. hatice says:


    the info “~/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems/Outlook Temp/” helped me alot. I have been trying to reach outlook temp for so long.. thx alot making it so easy. great help!

  4. Gerry says:

    The actual path after the “folders” path is different on my Mac, probably unique to each machine. Had to search around through various folders after the path: /private/var/folders to find Outlook Temp. However, I discovered that if you open an Outlook attachment directly, Word Doc for example, without saving it and then do a “Save As,” then use the pull down menu to choose a folder to save the document you will see the path to the OutlookTemp folder When you navigate to that folder, you may also see a folder called “Temporary Items,” that is not it.

  5. katem says:

    Hi – I still have not been able to find the microsoft outlook temp files.

    Looking for this folder does not work– /private/var/folders/b6/w46fh44s2wz53qqvcwhnrz440000gp/T/ Temp

    And when I look in the library folder and open the cache folder
    os el captain.

    outlook for mac v 15.30

  6. Dude says:

    If you need to access this folder often, do the following:

    1) First make the Library visible (use link above in the article)

    2) Navigate to ~/Library/Caches/TemporaryItems in Finder

    3) Do a search for Name Matches: Outlook Temp

    4) Save the search as Smart Folder

    Now, you will always be able to navigate to the folder using the Sidebar. (You can’t just drag the folder to the sidebar because every time you reboot, it will disappear off the Sidebar)

  7. Andrew says:

    Path stated in this article is for Office for Mac 2011. This is the path for Office for Mac 2016:

    /private/var/folders/b6/w46fh44s2wz53qqvcwhnrz440000gp/T/ Temp

    • Kari says:

      Andrew! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! I have been researching for HOURS on how to retrieve my effing document. Your link was a life-saver.

    • Alessandro says:

      You are Jesus and you know it. Thanks, man! The actual address may vary, but that’s definitely where desperate seekers should look in! Thanks, a lot again!

  8. eamonn byrne says:

    I attempted to use this “Outlook temporary folder” but having got to Library/Cache/Temporaryitem/ TemporaryOutlook,
    it came back and said “cannot find folder”

    can you help


  9. RM says:

    That keychain issue is notorious and there is no real fix for it.
    Consider it a ‘security feature’ designed by jerks.

  10. justme says:

    Sorry this off topic – but at end of my rope after researching without results

    Using Office Business with Outlook 2016 on Mac. All Office updated and with Mac OS El Capitan 10.11.4

    Outlook, always open on MBP and all day long keeps asking for my email password. Type it in, 10 minutes later, pop from Outlook asking for Password. Anyone have this issue with Outlook?

    Sorry and thanks.

    • strangers says:

      Open the “Keychain Access” app in the /Applications/Utilities/ folder and see if the credentials are in there, if so, double-click, and enter the email password directly into the Outlook credential for that email account

      You may also want to delete and re-add the email account to Outlook, sometimes that works. But you may lose the emails.

      Sometimes deleting Outlook preferences can help too.

      But the good news is that if you just bought Microsoft Office 2016 then MICROSOFT owes you free tech support! Call them, let them help you. You paid for their service! Microsoft has good tech support too.

    • Bombaba says:

      When it prompts you for an email password, make sure that your username is your full corporate email. I work in IT for tech company and we have made our user’s life miserable for couple of days when migrated them over to O365.

      Again, if you’re constantly prompted to enter your password and your username is just first.last, then change it to

      If this does indeed work, then make sure to hardcode your password in preferences within your Outlook. PEACE

    • David says:

      Check the setting for the keychain named “login”. There is a setting that controls how long the keychain remains unlocked during periods of inactivity. This is a relatively new feature, I think, that gets turned on by default when a keychain is created.

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