Outlook is an excellent, complete, powerful and reliable email client from Microsoft. However, you may encounter issues with Outlook not being able to load or open, which can be confusing and frustrating.
In this guide, we’ll show you some simple and more advanced troubleshooting solutions that will help you get Outlook up and running again in no time.
Why Outlook won’t open
There are several reasons why Outlook may not load or work properly. These reasons include:
- Problems with the Outlook service
- Internet connection problems
- A bug in the app that requires an update
- Problems with app updates
- Outdated or Faulty Add-ins
- Faulty or defective Outlook PST file
- A damaged profile
- Problems with the navigation pane
How To Fix When Outlook Won’t Open
Whatever the reason is that Outlook won’t open on your device, there are several simple and advanced troubleshooting steps you can use to fix Outlook issues. Try opening Outlook after each step and check if it works again.
1. Quick Fixes
- Check if Outlook works on another device.
- Create another user account on your device and check if it helps.
- Make sure Outlook can access your calendar and verify that your 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 use a POP3 or IMAP account instead of an Exchange account.
- If Outlook continues to crash on your Android or iOS device, clear the browser’s cache. Uninstall and reinstall the Outlook app.
2. Enable working offline
The Work Offline option allows you to access email that you saved before Outlook stopped working.
Open Outlook and check the Work 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 Work 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 available updates and install the latest on your device.
- Enable automatic updates for: Outlookselect File † Office account†
- Select Update options and then select Enable updates in the drop-down menu.
- To manually check for updates and apply them to Outlook, select File and then select Office account in the navigation pane.
- Select Update options † Update now†
- To update Outlook on your Mac, select Help out in the menu bar, then select To check for updates†
- Select Update to download and install any pending updates.
Remark: For older Outlook versions that do not have the Office account option, select File † Help out † Check for updates and install the update.
4. Check Outlook Mail Server Settings
Check your email server settings to make sure nothing has changed that affects the way Outlook works.
- Select File † Account settings † Account settings†
- Then select your e-mail and then select Change†
Remark: If you use Gmail, Yahoo, iCloud, a work-provided email address, a custom domain email address, Outlook.com, or email addresses ending in @live.com, @msn.com, or @hotmail .com you cannot edit the settings directly. In such cases, Windows will manage these settings for you, so you can skip this step.
5. Start Outlook in Safe Mode
Safe mode helps you start Outlook without add-ins, which can conflict with the app. This way you can see if the add-in is the cause of the problem or not.
- Select Get started † Runtype Outlook /secureand then select Okay†
- Accept the default Outlook setting in the Choose profile dialog box, then select Okay†
- Enter your password if prompted, then select To accept† you see the Safe mode label next to your email address when Outlook is in safe mode.
If Outlook is running in safe mode, disable all your add-ins and relaunch the app.
- To disable add-ins in Outlook, select File † Options † Plugins†
- Check if the To manage box at the bottom of the View and manage Office add-ins shows COM Add-ins†
- Select To go†
- As the COM Add-ins listing opens, take a screenshot of the property sheet and save the image or include any selected add-in listed under Available add-ons† Once this is done, uncheck all the selected checkboxes and then select Okay†
- Select File † Exitright click Get started † Runtype Outlook in the box and press Enter†
- Then select File † Options † Plugins†
Re-enable the desired add-on by checking the box next to it and repeat this step until you have re-enabled all original add-ins and found the cause of the error.
Sometimes the error can be caused by more than one add-in.
6. Create a new profile
Your Outlook profile contains your Outlook settings. If the profile is corrupted, you can create a new profile and make it the default profile used when Outlook starts.
- Select in Windows Get started † Control panelsearch Mail and select it.
- Select View profiles.
- Select To add in the Set up email – Outlook dialog box.
- Type the name you want to use for the new profile in the Profile name box.
- Fill in the Add Account Wizard Your Name† E-mail address and password below Email account on the Automatic account setup page.
- Select Finish and you will see that the name of your new profile has been added in the Mail dialog box under the General tab.
- Then select Fast for a profile to use under Use this profile when starting Microsoft Outlook and then select Okay†
- Restart Outlook and select the new profile name you created from the drop-down list in the Choose profile dialog box. Select Okay and check if Outlook starts normally with the new profile name.
Remark: Back up your data files before deleting your old profile, because you remove means all your offline cached content will be deleted.
7. Repair Outlook Data Files
Occasionally, some data files (PST) in Outlook storage may get corrupted. You can use scanpst.exe (Inbox Repair Tool) to scan your data files and fix errors.
Check out our in-depth guides on what to do if Outlook cannot access data files and how to repair a damaged or damaged Outlook PST file.
8. Delete customizations in the navigation pane
The navigation pane shows your folder list and icons to move. You can use the /resetnavpane command to remove all customizations in the navigation pane and check if Outlook still won’t open.
Close Outlook, select Get started † Runand type Outlook.exe /resetnavpane† Select Okay†
9. Check if Outlook is running in Compatibility Mode
Compatibility Mode makes it easier for you to: run programs on older operating systems†
If Outlook is running in compatibility mode, disable it and check if it works properly again.
Remark: This step applies to Outlook 2010 and 2013 versions; Outlook 2016 does not have the Compatibility tab.
- Find the Outlook.exe file on your computer by going to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 14\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 14\ on Outlook 2010 or C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 15\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 15\ for Outlook 2013.
- Right click on the file and select Properties † Compatibility tab.
- Uncheck all boxes that are checked on the Compatibility tab, then select Apply † Okay† 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 won’t open, rebuild the Outlook database using the Microsoft Database utility to resolve the issue. Before rebuilding the database, verify that the problem is caused by a fragmented or damaged hard drive and then run Apple Disk Utility to diagnose and repair hard drive problems.
Remark: You cannot manually repair or rebuild a database in Outlook 2016 for Mac. The application does this for you automatically.
Before rebuilding the Outlook database, make sure you have at least 20 MB of free disk space, which is needed to rebuild or compress the database.
- Open Outlook and select Outlook † Turn off office reminders†
- Close all Microsoft Office apps, including Outlook, and quit Messenger for Mac.
- Close Outlook, press and hold Choice button and select the Outlook icon in the Dock to display the . to open Microsoft Database Utility†
- Select the identity of the database you want to rebuild, then select rebuild†
Remark: Before the Database Utility rebuilds a database, it backs up the database with the date and time the backup was created. You can find this backup in the /Users/ user name/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Office 2011 Identities/ folder.
- Restart Outlook once the database rebuild process is complete.
Get Outlook up and running again
We hope this guide helped you reopen Outlook to access your email and other documents. If you are experiencing syncing issues in Outlook, our Outlook App Not Syncing guide will help you with that.
Share with us what has worked for you by leaving a comment below.