Outlook won't open? 10 solutions

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Valery Aloyants
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Outlook is an excellent complete, powerful and reliable e-mail client from Microsoft. However, there may be times when you may encounter problems when Outlook isn't working or opening, which can be confusing and frustrating.

In this guide, we will show you some solutions to fix simple and more advanced problems that can help you to quickly restore Outlook, such as when Microsoft Outlook cannot start. unable to open Outlook window.

Why Outlook Won't Open

There are several reasons why Outlook does not start correctly. These reasons include: 

  • Problems with the Outlook service
  • Internet connectivity problems
  • A bug in the app, which requires an update
  • Problems with app updates
  • Outdated or defective add-ons
  • Defective Outlook PST file
  • A damaged profile
  • Problems with the navigation window

How to fix problems with Outlook

Whatever the reason Outlook won't open on your device, there are several simple and advanced troubleshooting steps you can use to fix Outlook problems. After each step, try to open Outlook and check if it works again. 

1. Quick fixes

  • Check your internet connection. 
  • Also download and install Automated Support and Recovery Assistant (SaRA). This tool tests to identify problems and offers the best solutions. Works in Microsoft 365, Office, or cloud-based Outlook on your computer. 
  • Check for updates on your computer.
  • Check if Outlook works on a different device. 
  • Create another user account on your device and check if it helps. 
  • Make sure Outlook can access your calendar and check if the device's date / time and country / region information is correct. 
  • Make sure you are using the correct server settings provided by your IT administrator or ISP. Configure Outlook using a POP3 or IMAP account instead of an Exchange account.
  • If Outlook keeps crashing on your Android or iOS device, please clear your browser cache. Remove the Outlook app and reinstall it.

2. Enable offline work

When Outlook is not responding the offline option allows you to access the mail you saved before Outlook stopped working. Open Outlook and check the Offline status at the bottom of the window. If you don't see Work offline, it means the feature is disabled. 

  • To enable Work Offline on your Windows PC, select Send / Receive > Work offline.
  • For Mac, select Outlook on the menu bar, then select Offline.

3. Update Outlook 

By default, Outlook installs updates automatically, but you can manually enable or disable these updates through your Office account settings. You can also check for updates and install the latest on your device.

  1. To enable automatic updates for Outlook, select Fillet > Office account.
  2. Select Update options, then select Enable updates in the drop-down menu.
  3. To manually check and apply updates to Outlook, select Fillet and then select Office account in the navigation pane.  
  4. Select Options of updating > Update now
  5. To update Outlook on your Mac, select Help from the menu bar, then select Verifica updates availability
  6. Select Update to download and install any pending updates. 

Note- For older versions of Outlook that don't have the Office Accounts option, select Fillet > Guide > Check for updates and install the update. 

4. Check the Outlook mail server settings

Check your mail server settings to make sure nothing has changed that might affect Outlook operation.

  1. Select Fillet > Settings account > Account settings
  2. Then, select yours email and then select Change

Note- If you use Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, work-provided email address, custom domain email address, Outlook.com, or email addresses ending in @ live.com, @ msn.com, or @ hotmail.com , you cannot change the settings directly. In such cases, Windows manages these settings for you so that you can skip this step.

5. Start Outlook in Safe Mode

  • How to start a Mac in safe mode and when to use it
  • Windows 10 Safe Mode, Complete Guide

If it is still unable to start Outlook, Safe Mode helps you launch the app without add-ons, which may conflict with the app. This way, you can know if the add-on is the cause of the problem or not. 

  1. Select Start > Run, type Outlook / safe, then select OK.
  2. Accept the Outlook default in the dialog box Choose profile and then select OK
  3. Enter the password if required, then select Accept. You will see the label of the Safe mode next to your email address when Outlook is in safe mode. 
  4. If Outlook works in safe mode, disable all add-ins and then restart the app.
  5. To disable add-ins in Outlook, select Fillet > options > Additional components.
  6. Check if the box Manage at the bottom of View and manage Office add-ins show i components additional COM.
  7. Select vai.
  8. If the list of COM add-ons, take a screenshot of the properties window and save the image or register each selected add-on listed in Add-ons available. Once this is done, uncheck all checked checkboxes and then select OK
  9. Select Fillet > Logout, right-click Start > Run, type Outlook in the box and press Submit.  
  10. Then, select Fillet > options > Additional components

Reactivate the desired add-on by checking the box next to it and repeat this step until you have reactivated all original add-ons and found the source of the error. When Outlook cannot be opened, the error may be caused by more than one add-in. 

6. Create a new profile

Your Outlook profile contains your Outlook settings. If the profile is damaged, you can create a new profile and make it the default profile used when Outlook starts. 

  1. In Windows, select Start > Control Panel, search for Mail and select it.
  2. Select Show profiles.
  3. Select Add in the dialog box Configuration area of  post - Outlook.
  4. Type the name you want to use for the new profile in the box Profile name.
  5. In the Add Account wizard, enter yours nameaddress e -mail e Password in Account e-mail on the page Automatic account setup.
  6. Select end and you will find the name of your new added profile in the dialog box Mail in the card General
  7. Then, select Request a profile to use in When starting Microsoft Outlook, use this profile and then select OK
  8. Restart Outlook and select the new profile name that you created in the drop-down list in the dialog box Choose profile. Select OK and check if Outlook starts normally with the new profile name.

Note- Back up your data files before removing the old profile because by selecting Remove all cached content offline will be deleted. 

7. Repair the Outlook data files

Sometimes, some of the data (PST) files stored by Outlook may be damaged. You can use scanpst.exe (Inbox Repair Tool) to scan data files and repair errors. 

8. Remove the navigation pane customizations

The navigation pane shows the list of folders and the icons to move. You can run the command / resetnavpane to remove all customizations from the navigation pane and check if Outlook still does not open. 

Close Outlook, select Start > Run and type Outlook.exe / resetnavpane. Select OK.

9. Check if Outlook is running in compatibility mode

Compatibility mode makes it easier to run programs on older operating systems. 

If Outlook is running in compatibility mode, disable it and check if it works properly again.

Note- This step applies to Outlook 2010 and 2013 versions; Outlook 2016 does not have the Compatibility tab.

  1. Find the file Outlook.exe on your computer by going to C: Programmi Microsoft Office Office 14  C: Program Files (x86) Microsoft Office Office 14  on Outlook 2010 o C: Program Files Microsoft Office Office 15  C: Program Files (x86) Microsoft Office Office 15  per Outlook 2013. 
  2. Right-click the file and select Property > tab Compatibility.
  3. Uncheck all checked boxes on the tab Compatibility, then select Apply > OK. Restart Outlook and see if Outlook opens normally again.

10. Rebuild Outlook database (Mac)

If you are using Outlook on a Mac and the app does not open, rebuild the Outlook database using Microsoft Database Utility to fix the problem. Before rebuilding the database, check if the problem is caused by a fragmented or damaged hard drive, then run the Apple Disk Utility to diagnose and repair hard drive problems.

Note- It is not possible to manually repair or rebuild a database in Outlook 2016 for Mac. The application does this automatically for you. 

Before rebuilding the Outlook database, make sure you have at least 20MB of free disk space, which is required to rebuild or compact the database.

  1. Open Outlook and select Outlook > Turn off Office Reminders
  2. Quit all Microsoft Office apps, including Outlook, and quit Messenger for Mac.
  3. Close Outlook, press and hold the key Option and select the icon of Outlook in the Dock to open Microsoft Database Utility.  
  4. Select the identity of the database you want to rebuild, then select Rebuild.

Note- Before the database utility rebuilds a database, it will create a backup copy of the database with the date and time the backup was created. You can find this backup in the folder / Users / username / Documents / Microsoft User Data / Office 2011 Identities /.

  1. Restart Outlook after the database rebuild process is complete.

You solved?

Were you able to understand and solve why Outlook is not working ... okay? We hope this guide has helped you get Outlook working again and access your mail and other documents.

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