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Outlook Won’t open? How to Fix it?

Outlook Won't Open

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most reliable email clients that you can use on your Windows computer to carry out various email tasks. While Outlook is known for providing interrupted services to the users, however sometimes, users face trouble accessing or operating their Outlook program due to one or the other issue.

One of such common issues which users face with their Outlook email program is launching it on their computer. Generally, when a person is unable to access his/her Outlook account, the error message appears like this – “Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook Window”. If you are also seen such an error message on your computer, you can follow the troubleshooting steps provided below.

Outlook Won’t Open? Try These Tips To Fix

  1. Begin Outlook in Safe Mode and Disable Add-ins

Outlook safe mode

One of the most common reasons responsible for this issue is using a faulty add-in with your Outlook email program. To know if any add-in is causing the problem with Outlook, you can identify it by launching your Outlook email program in safe mode. This way your Outlook program will load without add-ins. Here are the steps to load Outlook in safe mode.

  • On your computer, click on the Start option from the lower-left corner of the screen. Type Run in the Start search field and press Enter key on your keyboard. This will open a Run box on your screen.
  • In the Run box, you will need to type – Outlook /safe and click on the OK button or press the “Enter” key on your keyboard.
  • Next, go to the Choose Profiles dialog box, you will need to accept the default setting of Outlook and select the OK
  • Enter your password in the provided field (if prompted) and select Accept. The Outlook will open in the safe mode.
  • When Outlook will open in the safe mode, you will see (Safe Mode) appearing on the title bar. If the Outlook opens in the safe mode, it means that the problem is more likely with the add-in. In such a case, it is suggested to disable add-ins. For this:
  • Go to the File option located on the top-left corner of the window. Under File, you will need to go to Options and then Add-ins
  • Under the Add-ins section, make sure that the Manage box shows COM Add-ins option located at the bottom of the View and manage Office Add-ins. Then, select the Go
  • When the COM Add-ins listing of your current add-ins opens, it is suggested to one of the following as a precaution:
    • Record the title of every selected add-in listed under the Available Add-ins section manually.
    • Alternatively, you can take a screenshot of the property sheet and save it to your desired location.
  • Once you are done capturing the titles of the add-ins, simply deselect the checkboxes next to all add-ins and click on the OK
  • After that, select the File option and click on the Exit

Restarting Your System

  1. Select Start option from the lower-left corner of the screen, type Run and enter Outlook in the box that opens on your screen.
  2. If you find your Outlook to be working properly, this means that the problem is one of the add-ins. Here, all you need to do is identify the one causing trouble.
  3. To identify the faulty add-in, you will need to enable one add-in at a time and see which one is the source of the error.
  4. For this, go to the File > Options > Add-ins Select the checkbox next to the add-in you wish to re-enable and select the OK button.
  5. Then, you will need to repeat all the steps to re-enable all the add-ins and identify the faulty add-in.

NOTE: The problem could be caused by more than one add-in, so make sure to go through the restart-disable-restart process.

2. Create a New Outlook Profile


Your Outlook settings are based on your Outlook Profile you create. Sometime such profiles might become corrupted and you may have to create a new profile. This way you will be able to determine if the problem is occurring due to corrupted profile.

  1. To create a new profile, go to the Control Panel section on your computer and take one of the following actions:
  • For Windows Vista or Windows 7, go to Start > Control Panel.
  • For Windows 8 and Windows 10, select Start option and enter Control Panel in the field.

NOTE: For Windows 10, make sure that the “View by” box located in the upper-right corner is set to Category under Control Panel section.

  1. Next, you will need to select the Mail In the Mail Setup – Outlook dialog box, you will need to select Show Profiles > Add option.
  2. Now, in the Profile Name box, you will need to enter the name you wish to use for your new profile.
  3. On the Auto Account Setup page for the Add Account Wizard, you will need to enter Your Name, E-mail Address, and Password in the E-mail Account and select Next

NOTE: The Add Account Wizard will start searching for your mail server settings automatically.

  1. After that, select Finish option and you will find the new profile name that you added listed under the General tab in the Mail dialog box of Outlook.
  2. You will need to select “Prompt for a profile to be used” option under When starting Microsoft Outlook, use this profile. Then, click on the OK

Using a Different Profile in Outlook

  1. Begin by restarting Outlook email program on your computer.
  2. From the drop-down list in the Choose Profile dialog box, you will need to select the new profile name you created.
  3. Next, you will need to click on the OK
  4. This way if you find your Outlook program to be loading properly, this means the problem is with your earlier profile.

NOTE: If you wish to remove the corrupt profile, make sure to back up the data first. When you will choose the Remove option, all offline cached content will be deleted right away.

3. Repair Outlook Data Files

Repair Outlook Data Files

The outlook is known for storing all your email messages, Contacts, Tasks, Meetings and Events in data files. These files generally become corrupted due to various reasons. In such a case, you can run the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) to scan such corrupted Outlook Data Files and repair them if needed.

  1. To use the Inbox Repair Tools, exit from your Outlook program.
  2. Next, you will need to go to one of the following file locations depending on the Outlook version you are using:
  • For Outlook 2019: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
  • For Outlook 2016: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
  • For Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
  • For Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
  • For Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12
  1. Once you are on the suggested location, you will need to open EXE.
  2. Next, you will need to select the Browse option to choose the Outlook Data File (.pst) you wish to scan.
  3. Then, select Start to begin the scan.
  4. If the scanning process will find any error, you will need to select the Repair option to begin the fixing process.
  5. Once the repair process gets completed, launch Outlook with the profile you associated the Outlook Data File you repaired.

NOTE: Once the Outlook Data File gets repaired, in the Folder Pane, you might see a folder with the name “Recovered Personal Folders” containing your default Outlook folders or a Lost and Found folder. The repairing process might recreate some of the folders which could be empty. The Lost and Found folder include folder and items which are recovered by the repair tool that Outlook cannot store in the original structure. If you wish to store the Lost and Found folder, you can do so by creating a new Data File. Once you are done creating a new data file, you can drag the items from the Lost and Found folder into the new data file.

If the Outlook runs properly after the repairing process, you are done. However, if this doesn’t fix the problem you can try resolving the problem by running the /resetnavpane command.

4. Resetting the /resetnavpane Command


  1. On your computer, close the Outlook program if it is running.
  2. Next, go to the Start option located on the lower-left corner of the screen and enter Run in the Search field that appears on your screen.
  3. After typing “Run” in the Start Search field, click on the OK button or press the “Enter” key on your keyboard.
  4. Then, in the Open box, enter exe /resetnavpane, and click on the OK button.

If this also doesn’t fix the problem, you can try checking if your Outlook program is running in compatibility mode.

5. Verifying Whether Outlook is Running in the Compatibility Mode

Outlook Compatibility Mode

Though Compatibility Mode is designed to make a program run in an older operating system, however, if your Outlook program is running in compatibility mode and you wish to turn that off to see if this resolves the problem in your Outlook program.

  1. Locate the Outlook.exe file on your computer.
    • For Outlook 2013, you can locate this file in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 15\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 15\
    • For Outlook 2010, you can locate this file in location – C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 14\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 14\
  2. Next, you will need to Right-click on the exe file and select the Properties option. Then, you will need to select the Compatibility tab.
  3. Then, if you find any boxes on the Compatibility tab to be selected, make sure to deselect them. Then, you will need to select the Apply option and then click on the OK
  4. After that, you can restart the Outlook program to see if the problem is resolved or not.

So, these are the different solutions that you can follow to fix the problem with your Outlook program.

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