How to Fix Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook [Top 3 Methods]

Published by John on Last Updated On :

Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook

Outlook is one of the most generally utilized email administrations. Its features and easy user interface increase its popularity. But being the best email client, Outlook also undergoes many inadequate scenarios. The most common scenario users experience is the Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook issue. In this scenario, the user is not capable of starting MS Outlook, even after many tries. Even Outlook crashes, freezes, and doesn’t respond to the command. This issue can occur for many reasons, which we will explain through this blog’s medium. We also derive easy and advanced methods to troubleshoot the problem quickly.

Why I Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook?

Whenever you try to access Outlook, and it doesn’t start, you will get the following error on the screen:

Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. The operation failed.

It can be due to various reasons, which are mentioned below:

  • Due to the accidental deletion of the Outlook PST file from the system.
  • Corruption in the PST file is also responsible for the Can’t start Microsoft Outlook problem
  • Inaccurate installation of the Outlook program.
  • When the incompatible add-ins install.
  • Missing installation of Outlook files.
  • System firewalls or anti-virus also prevent Outlook from starting.
  • Due to an internal registry conflict.
  • Attack of viruses or malware infection also is a significant reason.
  • When using the older version of Outlook.
  • Not accessing Outlook with the Admin account.

The above are the grounds for the “Cannot start Outlook” issue. Now, we are heading towards methods that will help you troubleshoot the issue easily.

Troubleshoot Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook Issue

This is the worst scenario when you are doing some urgent emailing work, and Outlook doesn’t access it even after so many tries and waiting. So to access your Outlook and email, try the following methods to get rid of the issue easily. These are:

Method 1: Open MS Outlook in Safe Mode and Remove Add-ins

It is the first step you should obtain when you cannot start Microsoft Outlook 365. Sometimes, accessing Outlook normally can create some problems by which Outlook doesn’t start. Also, the faulty add-ins stop the accessing procedure of Outlook. So opening Outlook in the safe and removing the faulty add-ins will help you out with it. Now, go through the following steps:

  1. Firstly, press the Windows+R keys to get the Run command.
  2. When the Run opens, compose Outloo.exe/safe in the field and press the Enter or OK button.

Now, Outlook will open in safe mode. After this, remove all the faulty add-ins that are creating issues with the following:

Remove Add-ins from Outlook

Removing the add-ins will help you to troubleshoot the cannot start Microsoft Outlook problem. The following are the steps:

  1. From the Outlook menu, click on File and then Options.
  2. Now, click on Add-ins from the Outlook Options window left side panel.
  3. After that, choose COM Add-ins from the Manage field and click on the Go button.
  4. In the next step, Unmark all the Add-ins checkboxes and click on OK.
  5. After removing all the add-ins, Restart Outlook in normal mode and check for the issue.

If the issue is resolved, then enable the add-ins one by one and must reboot Outlook after enabling each add-in. Performing so will help you find the faulty add-in. If this won’t help you, then we have the following method for you.

Method 2: Update Outlook & Windows to Latest Release

When you are using an older Outlook and Windows version, they can create accessing issues that are why you cannot start Microsoft Outlook easily, So updating Outlook and Windows is a must to fix the issue. Go through the following steps.

Step 1: Update Outlook

  1. Firstly, go to the File tab and open Office Account.
  2. Now, click on the Update option.
  3. Lastly, click on the Update Now button.

Note: If you can’t see the update now button, you already use the updated Outlook version.

Step 2: Update Windows

Sometimes, when the automatic update option is disabled in Windows, it can create an issue by which you cannot start Microsoft Outlook. So update Windows with the following steps:

Step 3: Activate Automatic Update

  1. Go to Start and choose Settings.
  2. Click on the Update and Recovery option.
  3. Select the How to Updates gets installed option.
  4. Lastly, enable Automatic Updates; it will update the Windows automatically.
Step 4: Update Windows Manually
  1. Go to Start >>Settings>>Windows Update>>Check for Updates>>Update Now.

Related Post:- How to Repair Office 365

Method 3: Reset or Remove Navigation Pane

When you cannot start Microsoft Outlook, it can be due to corruption in the Navigation Pane Configuration file, profilename.xml. When the file size is zero, then it means the pane is corrupted. To resolve the issue, you can reset the file with the accompanying steps:

  1. In the first step, Close MS Outlook.
  2. Secondly, go to Start and then choose Run.
  3. Now, type outlook.exe/resetnavpane in the Run box and hit Enter.

Your corrupted Navigation is restored now. If restoring doesn’t help you with the Outlook not starting issue, then removing it will. Doing so will affect your .pst file. Now, go for the following steps:

  1. Go to Start and select Run.
  2. Then, type %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook in the Run and press the Enter button.
  3. Now, you will be on the Microsoft Outlook Configuration file location.
  4. In the next step, browse for the XML file and Delete it.
  5. Finally, launch Outlook and review the problem.

Final Thoughts

Whenever the user cannot start Microsoft Outlook, it is frustrating, as they can’t perform any work-related tasks. So, to fix the issue, you can go through the above-stated troubleshooting methods and resolve your issues. Opening the MS Outlook in the Admin account is always suggested to avoid any issues and not close it improperly. However, if you want some Experts to help resolve the issue easily, you can contact Outlook support experts through Email or Live Chat. Our experts will uphold you with the best. Thank You!

Written By


John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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