Numerous Mac customers might accidentally need to access the temp folder of their Outlook desktop program, where attached files are stored. For instance, your colleagues may send you reports in attached files, so you just open them and start working with the files in Excel, Word, or PowerPoint and then save them. The resulting doc that was initially an Outlook attachment will be placed in the temp folder.
Thus, there is a question of how to find and get into the temp folder and any docs you might have saved in that location. If these are docs you have been working on, different mail attachments, HTML signatures, pictures, PDF docs, docs, or whatever—the algorithm will be the same.
How to search for the Outlook Temp folder on Mac?
The macOS uses temp folders to store the system docs as well as the files received and used by its apps. In theory, users are not considered to access these folders, but sometimes, professional users can do it for many reasons—system administration, legal forensics, solving user problems, etc. In such a situation, finding a temp folder can be tricky, while making adjustments to these files is undesirable.
In this guide, we will share detailed instructions on how to access the Outlook temp folder. One of the fastest and simplest ways to find the location of the macOS or Mac OS X temp folder is to use the echo command in the $TMPDIR environment. For this purpose, follow the below steps:
- open the Terminal application;
- search for /Applications/Utilities/;
- insert the following command: echo $TMPDIR;
- the resulting file will be the Mac temporary folder.
TMPDIR always shows the path to a meaningful directory structure, as it may seem at first glance. This is because this folder is simply not intended for the client’s eyes and is temporary. In case you still cannot access your temp folder, use the export Mac Mail to Outlook utility to find the necessary folder.
Also, you could access the temp folder in a macOS Finder window if using the open command and pointing it to the $TMPDIR environmental variable like this:
- Open the desktop application, and insert the following command: open $TMPDIR;
- Click on Return, and a new Finder window with $TMPDIR will open immediately;
Please keep in mind that $TMPDIR is not secured by System Integrity Protection (i.e., if SIP is on or off, you can still read, modify, update, and write to that directory), so beware of many files and objects in $TMPDIR that will be actively used by currently opened apps. Inside $TMPDIR, you will find all kinds of multimedia caches and other files. Don’t manually update or eliminate anything in these folders unless you know exactly what you’re doing.
Risks and precautionary measures
Let us remind you that the above-mentioned methods are only aimed at advanced Mac users. Hardly anyone should go into the temporary folders of macOS or Mac OS X. And you shouldn’t attempt to eliminate or remove data manually from any of the temp folders either, as you could break something or completely ruin your system configurations. This may result in data loss or the need to reinstall macOS or restore it from a backup.
Do not attempt to edit anything manually, and do not delete any files found in the macOS system temporary folders. If you somehow ruin and delete a critical system file or directory, you will need to follow complex instructions to restore deleted system files by reinstalling the basic macOS system software.
Outlook Mac stores temp docs such as email signatures, open attachments such as pics, docs, PDF files, etc., and other email content in the temp folder. Sometimes, accessing it may be the only solution for restoring the lost file. In this situation, you can use the instructions given in this article to access the temp folder without a hassle. Do you know any other helpful tips or tricks related to a temporary folder on macOS or Mac OS X? Do not hesitate to share them with us in the comments below!