Among the many little errors that crop up unexpectedly while working with Outlook, lies the frustrating one where Outlook doesn’t open. Usually, whenever an issue strikes MS Outlook, you can find numerous handy ways online to fix it. But what do you do when Outlook simply doesn’t want to open? How do you fix an error when the very first step for it doesn’t complete?
If you’ve ever been in this situation, you should probably bookmark this article. Herein we’re discussing about the “Outlook doesn’t open” error and easy methods to resolve it.
What this error is all about?
Being greeted with an error pop-up that says, “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook” could be rather irritating when all you want to do is confirm the exact time for your approaching meeting. What’s more, all the error pop-up mentions is that Outlook can’t open; it specifies nothing about why or what to do about it. Thus, it can become a bit of a puzzle for anyone who faces it for the first time.
This error occurs as a result of the failure of Outlook’s user interface to completely launch. As per Microsoft, the reasons behind it include:
That clears the “why” aspect. Now let’s move on to the “what to do about it” aspect.
Resolving the error
Depending upon what the cause behind it is, there are several ways to deal with this error. We’ve divided the fixes into two broad categories for better understanding.
These solutions are easy to apply and are free of cost. Although you should be aware that you might need some technical background to use them and they might not always work.
1. Launch Outlook in Safe mode
Safe mode starts Outlook with the basic setup (without any add-ins that you might have installed). This trick works if the real problem behind the error is a corrupted or crashing add-in.
2. Turn off Compatibility mode
If the add-in trick doesn’t work, try turning of the compatibility mode as follows:
3. Reset the navigation pane settings file
If the above fix doesn’t resolve the issue, try resetting the navigation pane settings file as follows:
Note: Make sure you key in a whitespace between outlook.exe and /resetnavpane
If this doesn’t work, try deleting the xml file that stores the settings, but as a last resort only. For this,
4. Recreate Outlook profile
If none of the above solutions work, the problem might lie in a damaged or outdated Outlook profile. To fix this, create a new profile and set Outlook to use it as default.
5. Repair Outlook OST
Lastly, if the above solutions fail to fix the issue, your Outlook OST file might have been corrupted or damaged and might be preventing Outlook from opening. Microsoft offered an inbuilt inbox repair utility called ScanOST.exe with Outlook versions older than 2010 to fix minor issues with OST files, however, Outlook 2010 and beyond lack this utility. Even if it was present, this utility doesn’t work with serious corruption issues in OST files and more often than not, it fails to repair Outlook OST file.
Thus, to repair Outlook OST file, use our OST to PST Converter. This software efficiently converts all objects within the OST file into a blank PST file that can be imported into Outlook and used. Here are the features of this product at a glance:
Through a simple 3 step repair and recovery process that includes:
This competent software makes sure you don’t have to suffer from the Outlook cannot open error and also that you don’t lose any crucial Outlook data.
So now, if you find the nasty “Cannot start Outlook” error greeting you on launching Outlook, you know exactly what to do! Nevertheless, to keep your data safe from loss, always backup your OST files and archive your important data.
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