Outlook 2016 Mac wouldn’t import user data

I installed MS Office 2016 on my Mac (running Yosemite) and everything appeared to have gone well except for the small issue that Outlook 2016 wouldn’t import my existing MS Office 2011 data. Whenever I tried, I got the following error:

This data isn’t from the latest version of Outlook 2011

I had assumed that my version of office was up-to-date (what with all the automatic updates), but decided to check.

I fired up Outlook 2011 and manually checked Ms Office for updates. Sure enough, there were some, including a general MS Office update. I installed those, and repeated the check for updates/install routine until everything was up to date.

Next, I restarted my Mac, then relaunched MS Office 2011. This started an ‘upgrade’ progress, apparently to update my user data store. This tool a few minutes, but once it was done it started up Office 2011 without problem.

I quit Office 2011 and started up Office 2016. I manually ran the import process (File > Import > Outlook 2011 data on this computer), and (after a very long import process… i.e. +2 hours) voila! Success!

Note: I realize that this is a relatively trivial bit of information, but when I tried to search for this problem I found little/no information. For that reason, I thought it worthwhile to take a few moments to write this up and share it here. In my experience, it is often these kinds of blog posts that are the most appreciated.