- Microsoft Outlook became your top choice, with solid email security and seamless integration.
- Don’t hesitate to disable add-ins or use the /resetnavpane command when it refuses to open.
- Outlook errors are nothing out of the ordinary. Just make sure they aren’t here to stay.
- For more quick solutions, don’t hesitate to bookmark our Outlook Troubleshooting Hub.
Unfortunately, many users reported that Outlook won’t open on Mac or on their Windows 10 PC. This can be a problem especially if you use Outlook frequently, so let’s how to fix it.
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What can I do if Microsoft Outlook will not open?
- Start Outlook in Safe Mode and disable add-ins
- Create a new profile
- Repair your Outlook data file
- Use the /resetnavpane command if Outlook 2010 won’t open
- Make sure that Outlook isn’t running in Compatibility mode
- Use Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant
- Change the DPI settings
- Log out of iCloud
- Use New Email Message option
- Use a separate password for Outlook
- Try using an older version of Outlook
- Change the way you close Outlook
- Try to send any file with Outlook
- Delete Outlook App Data folder
- Check if you have permissions to access your PST file
- Run the sfc /scannow command
- Delete the registry key
- Remove VPN software
1. Start Outlook in Safe Mode and disable add-ins
Many users love using add-ins to enhance Outlooks functionality, but sometimes add-ins can create certain problems and prevent Outlook from starting.
Since you’re not able to start Outlook normally, your only solution is to start Outlook in Safe Mode and disable add-ins. To do that, follow these steps:
- Press Windows Key + R, enter Outlook /safe and press Enter or click OK.
- When Choose Profile window opens, click OK. If you’re asked to enter a password, be sure to enter it and click Accept.
After starting Outlook in Safe Mode, you need to disable add-ins. To do that, follow these steps:
- In Outlook choose File > Options > Add-ins.
- In View and manage Office Add-ins, make sure that the Manage box shows COM Add-ins and choose Go.
- Remember the list of all enabled add-ins in the Available Add-ins section and disable all the selected add-ins by clearing the checkboxes. Click OK.
- Now close Outlook.
Now that add-ins are disabled, you need to start Outlook again and enable add-ins one by one until you find the cause of your problem. To do that, follow these steps:
- Press Windows Key + R and enter outlook. Press Enter or click OK.
- Choose File > Options > Add-ins and enable one or more add-ins on the list.
- Close Outlook and restart it.
- Enable another add-in and repeat the Outlook restart cycle. Perform this step until you find the problematic add-in and keep it disabled.
According to some users, the problem was Microsoft CRM Add-in, and after disabling it the issue was resolved.
Outlook won’t open in safe mode? Few users reported that they were unable to do so when using the Outlook /safe command.
If you’re having the same problem, be sure to enter the full path to the outlook.exe file in the Run dialog.
Instead of Outlook /safe, you should use
C:>Program Files (x86)>Microsoft Officeroot>Office16>OUTLOOK.EXE /safe command.
Keep in mind that the path to outlook.exe might be different on your PC, so double-check if before you use this command.
2. Create a new profile
Your Outlook profile keeps all your Outlook settings, but if for some reason your profile gets corrupted, you might experience this problem while starting Outlook.
To fix this problem, you need to follow these simple steps:
- Press Windows Key + X to open the Win + X menu and select Control Panel from the list.
- When Control Panel opens, select Mail.
- Click the Show Profiles button and choose Add.
- Enter the name of the new profile.
- Enter your name, email address, and password and click the Next button. This method will set up all the necessary email settings manually. If you want, you can also choose the option to manually set up your Outlook profile.
- Click Finish and the new profile should be added to the General tab in the Mail dialog. Select Prompt for a profile to be used option and choose OK.
- Start Outlook and from the dropdown list select the new profile that you just created. Click OK.
If everything works without any problems with your new Outlook profile, you can now switch back to the original Outlook profile and check if the problem is completely fixed.
3. Repair your Outlook data file
All your Outlook email messages, contacts, tasks, and events are stored in your data file. Sometimes the data file can get corrupted and that can prevent Outlook from opening.
Speaking of the Outlook data file, there are many reasons why it can’t be accessed. We have an extensive guide on how to solve these issues.
For a quick fix to the problem, you need to repair your data file by following these simple steps:
- Go to your Office installation folder and run SCANPST.EXE.
- Click the Browse button and select your Outlook data file.
- Click the Start button to scan your data file. If any errors are found click the Repair button to repair them.
If you use Microsoft Exchange, you can simply delete your data file and it will be recreated again. To delete a data file, follow these steps:
- Go to Control Panel and select Mail.
- When the Mail window opens, select E-mail Accounts.
- Go to the Data Files tab, select the Exchange account, and choose Open File Location.
- A new Explorer window will open. Close the Mail window and switch back to the Explorer window. Locate the data file and delete it.
After deleting the file, it will be created again with Microsoft Exchange once you start Outlook.
4. Use the /resetnavpane command if Outlook 2010 won’t open
If Outlook won’t open on your Windows 10 PC, you might be able to fix it by running /resetnavpane command. To do that, follow these steps:
- Make sure that Outlook is completely closed.
- Press Windows Key + R, enter outlook.exe /resetnavpane and press Enter to run it.
By running this command you’ll remove all customization related to the navigation pane, and sometimes that can fix this problem with Outlook.
5. Make sure that Outlook isn’t running in Compatibility mode
Compatibility mode is designed to run older software on Windows 10 that usually wouldn’t run natively. Outlook is fully optimized for Windows 10, therefore there’s no need to use Compatibility mode.
In fact, if you have Compatibility Mode turned on for Outlook, you can sometimes cause this issue to appear, therefore it’s advised to turn Compatibility mode off for Outlook.
To do that, simply right click the Outlook shortcut and choose Properties from the menu.
Go to the Compatibility tab and make sure that Run this program in compatibility mode option isn’t turned on. Click Apply and OK to save changes.
6. Use Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant
Sometimes you can fix Outlook errors simply by running the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant tool.
This tool is designed to fix common problems with Office tools and in order to fix those problems, you just need to download it, run it and let it fix the problem for you.
7. Change the DPI settings
Few users reported that you can fix the problem with Outlook simply by changing the DPI scaling to 100%. To do that, follow these simple steps:
- Right-click your desktop and choose Display Settings.
- When the Display Settings window opens, move the slider all the way to the left until it says 100%.
- After that, log out of Windows 10 and log back in. Try to start Outlook and check if the problem is resolved.
Few users reported that they managed to fix this problem simply by lowering the display scaling to 200 DPI from 250 DPI, so you might want to try that as well.
8. Log out of iCloud
iCloud is a popular cloud storage service created by Apple, but unfortunately, this cloud service can cause some issues with Outlook.
If Outlook 2010 won’t open, you just need to log out of iCloud and log back in and you should be able to start Outlook without any problems.
9. Use the New Email Message option
Before you try this method, you have to close Outlook completely. We suggest to use Task Manager to close Outlook by following these steps:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to start Task Manager.
- When Task Manager starts, in the Process tab locate the Outlook process and click the End Task button.
Speaking of Task Manager, a lot of users prefer the tool from Windows 7. For that, we have a complete guide on how to bring the Windows 7 Task Manager to Windows 10.
After you close Outlook, locate Outlook in Start Menu and click the right arrow next to it to open its Jump List.
You can also right-click Outlook on your Taskbar to reveal its Jump List. Select New Email Message or New Meeting or any other option. A new window will now open.
After that, right-click Outlook and choose Run as administrator option. Outlook should now start without any problems.
Some users are also suggesting to change the File open on start option while using this method. Simply select the New Email message from the Jump List and when Outlook opens go to Settings > Advanced and change File open on start to Outbox.
Restart Outlook and change File open on start to Inbox. Save changes and the problem should be resolved.
10. Use a separate password for Outlook
Users reported that you need to use a separate password for your Outlook account if you use 2 step verification with your Gmail account.
To fix this problem simply generate a 16-digit App password that you will use with Outlook. After using the new password with Outlook, the issue should be resolved.
Some users are also suggesting to remove your Gmail account from Outlook as a potential workaround, so you might want to try that.
11. Try using an older version of Outlook
Users reported that Outlook 2010 won’t open on their PC, but one suggested workaround is to use an older version of Outlook with your PST file.
If you have an older version of Outlook available, you can use your PST file with it without any problems.
All your emails will be imported and you can continue where you left off. This isn’t a permanent solution, but it’s a useful workaround.
If that doesn’t work, you can try using a different email client. There are many free alternative mail clients that will do perfectly as an Outlook replacement.
We strongly recommend Mailbird as one of the leaders on the market. It is a friendly user option and has many great features that will be very helpful in managing your emails.
12. Change the way you close Outlook
This is another workaround, but users reported that it works for them. Apparently, you can stop this error simply by choosing the File > Exit option to close Outlook.
According to users, this error appears if you use the X button to close Outlook, therefore instead of closing Outlook with the X button, try closing it by clicking File > Exit.
Users reported that this workaround works for them, so you might want to give it a try.
13. Try to send any file with Outlook
Users reported that they are getting stuck on a Processing screen while trying to start Outlook. One suggested a workaround that might work for you is to try sending any file using Outlook.
To do that, start Outlook and you should get stuck on the Processing screen.
After that happens, open File Explorer and right-click on any file and choose to Send To – Mail Recipient. After doing that, a new email window will open along with Outlook.
14. Delete Outlook App Data folder
According to users, you can fix the problem with Outlook simply by deleting the Outlook AppData folder. To do that, follow these simple steps:
- Make sure that Outlook is completely closed.
- Press Windows Key + R and enter %localappdata%.
- Navigate to Microsoft folder.
- Locate the Outlook folder and delete it.
- Try to start Outlook again.
If Outlook manages to start, all the deleted files will be recreated and the problem should be completely resolved.
Some users are also suggesting to delete outlook.xml file, and you can do that by following these steps:
- Press Windows Key + R and enter %appdata%. Press Enter.
- Go to the Microsoft Outlook folder, locate outlook.xml file and delete it.
15. Check if you have permissions to access your PST file
Outlook holds all your information in a PST file, but if you don’t have the necessary permissions to access this file, you might encounter certain errors.
In the worst-case scenario, Outlook won’t be able to open on your PC.
Fortunately, you can fix this problem simply by changing your security permissions. This is a simple procedure and you can do it by following these steps:
- Locate your PST file, right-click it and choose Properties from the menu.
- Go to the Security tab and check if your username is available in the Group or user names section. If it’s not, click the Edit button.
- Now click the Add button to add a new user.
- In the Enter the object names to select field, enter your user name, and click Check Names. If your user name is valid, click OK to add it.
- Select your user name from the Group or user names section and click on Full Control in Allow column.
- Click Apply and OK to save changes.
After gaining full control over your PST file, you should be able to start Outlook without any problems.
16. Run the sfc /scannow command
If your files are corrupted, you might not be able to start Outlook at all, but fortunately, you fix this problem by performing an SFC scan.
This is a simple command that will scan and repair your system, and you can perform it by following these steps:
- Press Windows Key + X and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the menu.
- When Command Prompt opens, enter
sfc /scannowand press Enter. The scanning process will now start, so be sure not to cancel it or interrupt it.
- After the scan is completed, check if the problem with Outlook is resolved.
17. Delete the registry key
You can sometimes fix the problem with Outlook simply by deleting a specific key from your registry.
Before making any changes to the registry, we strongly advise you to back up your registry in case anything goes wrong. To modify your registry, follow these steps:
- Press Windows Key + R and enter regedit.
- In the left pane, navigate to
Windows NTCurrentVersionWindows Messaging Subsystemkey and expand it.
- Select Profiles key, right-click it, and choose Delete.
- After doing that, restart your PC and check if the problem is resolved.
18. Remove VPN software
VPN tools are useful if you want to protect your privacy while surfing the Internet, but VPN tools can interfere with Outlook and cause this and many other problems to appear.
Users are suggesting to disable or to remove your VPN software and check if that fixes the problem.
Not being able to start Outlook can be a big problem, especially if you use Outlook as your default email client, but you can easily fix this problem by using one of our solutions.
FAQ: Learn more about what to do when Outlook won’t open
- What causes grayed out attachment that won’t open in Outlook email?
Running an outdated Outlook version or a computer that hasn’t been restarted in a long time usually causes grayed out attachment issues. If the PC is stuck, use this quick guide.
- How to remove Outlook add-ins when Outlook won’t open?
To make that happen, enter into File-> Options-> Add-Ins and uncheck their corresponding boxes in the opened list.
- How to export emails if Outlook won’t open?
To get to those emails that you want to export, try to repair corrupted files with the help of this handy procedure and see if Outlook finally opens.
- How to diagnose why my Outlook won’t open?
Diagnosing why your Outlook won’t open isn’t an easy task since there are multiple scenarios to consider. Therefore, we can only encourage you to use this dedicated guide.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.