Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook: Here’s Easy Solutions

Last Updated on Mar 25, 2021

Do you have trouble using Microsoft Outlook? Like it cannot start or exits on startup. The most reported issue is the Microsoft Outlook cannot start. In this article, we’ll show you the potential troubleshooting to fix the Outlook not launching. For an employee, it’s hard to survive without Outlook, if you’re the one with these issues, this article will definitely help you resolve them.

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Starting with resetting the configuration file, here you’ll get more advanced tips without downloading or using any third-party program or software.  

Fix Cannot Open Microsoft Outlook

Solution 1: Recover Navigation Pane Configuration File

Sometimes the corrupted files damages the Outlook functionality and won’t let open the Outlook app. This is one of the easiest ways to fix the cannot start Microsoft Outlook error on any PC. This will reset the navigation pane configuration file.

  1. Launch the Run dialogue box by pressing the Windows+R keys.
  2. Enter the outlook.exe /resetnavpane command and hit Enter.
  3. The command will automatically fix the outlook, relaunch the outlook app to see if it is working properly.

If it didn’t work, then manually reset the navigation pane configuration file by following the steps:

  1. Press the Windows+R to open Run dialogue box.
  2. Enter the following command in the Run dialogue box: %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook
  3. Look for the Outlook.xml file and delete it.
  4. Relaunch the Outlook App to see if issue still persists or gone.

Solution 2: Repair Outlook Files

Mostly all the application now features inbuilt repairing tools so does Outlook. While reinstalling or moving the Outlook, these operations corrupts .pst and .ost files which is likely to cause these issue. Use the Outlook inbuilt repairing process to fix the same. Here’s how it can be done.

  1. Open the File Explorer.
  2. Paste any of the command in the path or you can manually open them.
    • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\(Your Office version)
    • C:\Program Files x86\Microsoft Office\(Your Office version)
  3. Find SCANPST.EXE and open it.
  4. Select the Browser button and navigate to the following path mentioned below.
    • C:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook (Windows XP)
    • C:\ Documents and Settings\user\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook 
  5. Replace user with your PC name.
  6. Locate Outlook.pst file and click OK.
  7. Select Start to begin the repairing process.

Solution 3: Create a New Outlook Profile

It might be possible the existing Outlook profile is too messed up to be fixed or some files are missing, if that’s the case, the only option left is creating new Outlook profile. Learn how to create new Outlook profile with these easy steps.

  1. Click on the Start button and search Control Panel.
  2. Click on Mail.
  3. Select Show Profiles > Outlook and then click Add.
  4. Enter the new profile name and click OK.
  5. When the Add Account set up displays, enter the following fields that needs to complete the new Outlook profile set up, like Your Name, E-mail Address, Password and Retype Password.
  6. Once you’re done, Finish the setup, the profile will appear in General tab.
  7. Under When starting Microsoft Outlook, use this profile, select Prompt for a profile to be used, and then choose OK.

Solution 4: Disable Compatibility Mode in Outlook

Many users have reported that turning off the compatibility mode in Outlook have resolved the issues. Check the setting on your PC and disable it.

  1. Open the File Explorer on the Windows PC. Follow the below mentioned path.
    • C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\(Office version).
  2. Find the Outlook.exe and right-click on it and select Properties.
  3. Select Compatibility mode and deselect “Run this program in compatibility mode for” option.
  4. And click Apply > OK.

Solution 5: Start Outlook in Safe Mode

Outlook has tones of Plug-ins and Extensions, if you’ve recently added one or already have few installed, they could cause problems with Outlook. When Outlook is in safe mode, all the add-ins will be disabled and only default programs will be available to use.

  1. Press the CTRL button and click on Outlook App to open it.
  2. A window asking “Outlook has detected that you are holding down the CTRL-key. Do you want to start Outlook in safe mode?” Select Yes.
  3. Check if the Outlook is working like before or not.

If Outlook starts working correctly, delete the recently installed plug-in and extensions from Outlook.

Jaysukh Patel is the founder of howtoisolve. Also self Professional Developer, Techno lover mainly for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and iOS, Jaysukh is one of responsible person in his family. Contact On: [email protected] [OR] [email protected]

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