Are you using MS Outlook? It is one of the most widely used email clients. Sometimes, Outlook shows error message when you try to open it. The situation can fill you with fear of data loss. The problem can resolve. Below are some guidelines to fix the problem.

Update Your MS Outlook

Like other applications, MS Outlook also needs an update from time to time to avoid compatibility issues. For example, Outlook 2003 and 2007 cannot run on Windows 7 and 8. Here the compatibility is an issue. So, updating MS Outlook is the only way to avoid compatibility issues. You can update the email client along with Office to install both  Office and Windows latest version.


Configuration of Mail Account

In case you have not used MS Outlook for a long time or you are a new user, MS Outlook can deny opening because the mail account is not configured. Some users choose Exchange account for configuration which is a big mistake. Select IMAP, POP3 or Hotmail account for configuration. In this situation, you can recreate your email profile with the help of correct server settings which is provided by email administrator or ISP.

configure your account

Installing Office Incorrectly

If you are sharing your system and your Outlook login shows errors while it is working fine for other users, it might be incorrect office installation. Faulty add-in or damaged Outlook/office installation settings can cause the problem. Set your Outlook and add-ins correctly at first.

Starting Outlook in Safe Mode

If your work is highly depended on MS Outlook and you have previously worked with the email client incorrect settings, open MS Outlook in safe mode. It is the best way to identify errors in MS Outlook causing by add-ins. While in safe mode, MS Outlook doesn’t load unnecessary add-ins and other features. It also turns off the reading pane.

outlook safe mode

Start Outlook in safe mode on different OS-

Windows XP – Start > Run: Outlook.exe/safe

Windows Vista and Windows 7 – Start > Type: Outlook.exe/Safe

Windows 8 – Start > Type Outlook.exe/safe

Resetting Dat Files

Resetting Dat Files

Users of Outlook 2007 or previous versions may have to reset their.Dat files to resolve Outlook access errors. Whenever Outlook is opened, these Dat files load data to Outlook. If these files get corrupted, renaming them can solve the problem. Reset the name of outcmd.dat and extent.dat files.

cannot open outlook

Location of these files on Windows OS-

Windows XP – C:\Documents and Settings\User name\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

Windows Vista, 7 and 8 – C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook

Location of Outcmd.dat file:

Windows XP – C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\

Windows Vista, 7 and 8 – C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

Enable to Access Outlook Window

While running Outlook 2007, 2010 or 2013, if you are getting an error message “cannot open the Outlook Window”, the error may cause because of corruption in Navigation pane. Resetting both Outlook and Navigation pane can fix the issue.

For Windows XP- Go to Start, then Run and Outlook.exe/resetnavpane

For Windows Vista and 7- Go to Start and write Outlook.exe/resetnavpane

For Windows 8- go to Start and write Outlook.exe/resetnavpane

Disabled Add-Ins

If Outlook is not running smoothly in safe mode, it indicates the problem is in add-ins. Start your Outlook again in safe mode and enable the required add-ins one after another till Outlook fails to load again. The loading problem may arise at the last point usually. Below are the steps to enable or disable Outlook add-ins in different versions of MS Outlook-

For MS Outlook2003 and other lower versions- go to Tool > Options> other tab > advanced email options > add-in

Outlook 2007- go to Tools, then Trust Center and finally add-ins

Outlook 2010 and 2013- go to File, then Options and later Add-ins

Again Create Mail Profile

Corrupted mail profile can make your Outlook inaccessible. Recreate mail profile to fix the issue. For this, go to Control Panel and then Mail applet. Create a new mail profile at first without deleting your previous one. Now, check the current profile is configurated to resolved. If it has been resolved, you can transfer the existed profile data to a new profile.

configure your account

Re-Installing MS Outlook

If the abovementioned methods don’t work, you can re-install MS Outlook. Before re-installing, make sure you have a backup of the data. Re-installation doesn’t make any change in the file, but the safety of the data is necessary.

The process of re-installation has varied the version of MS Outlook, Office and Windows. The simple process is given below.

Help > Detect and Repair

Help > Office Diagnostics

Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs

Control Panel > Uninstall a program

Insert Office CD/DVD and run Setup.exe > Repair or uninstall Office and reinstall it.

Note- If you are have installed and configured anti-virus with MS Outlook, it is better to remove it because Outlook has in-built anti-virus feature. Integrating MS Outlook with an anti-virus add-in can make MS Outlook inaccessible.

You can use a third application or take a technician help to re-install MS Outlook.

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