How To Fix “Cannot Start Microsoft Office Outlook” Error?


MS Outlook has established itself as a top email client, and if you were using this email client smoothly, but have started facing issues of late, then you will get the necessary help to restore the functioning of MS Outlook on your computer. One of the most common issues in Outlook is ‘Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook’. If you are facing this particular issue, then here is how you can fix it.

Method 1 – Corrupt Navigation Pane Configuration File

A file named profilename.xml is what you need to find, as all the settings related to the navigation pane in MS Outlook. If this is corrupt (0 KB), Outlook may not open properly. If you are using Windows 8.1 and Windows 10, then here is how you can locate it:

Windows 8.1/Windows 10 – C:\Users\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

To resolve the problem, simply reset the file in the navigation pane. For this, you can click the ‘Start’ button followed by ‘Run’ in the search box. Now, you need to enter this particular command, i.e., ‘Outlook.exe/resetavpane’.

If you are not able to fix the problem by resetting the Navigation Pane file, then you will have to delete it. Here is how you can do so:

  1. From the ‘Start’ menu, open ‘Run’ command and enter, ‘%appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook
  2. A folder will open where you need to locate ‘Outlook.xml’ file. Once found, delete that file.

Method 2 – Disable Cached Exchange Mode

If you are using Exchange with Outlook, this problem may be caused by a problem called Cached Exchange Mode. In this mode, a local copy of the Exchange Mailbox is stored, which isn’t beneficial for PC that always remains connected, although it may be beneficial for a laptop. You can disable the option on your MS Outlook if you don’t require a locally cached copy.

This “Exchange” error also appears when you are not even using MS Exchange. Therefore, you will have to safely disable cached mode to ensure the proper functioning of Outlook.

Method 3 – Use ScanPST.exe

If both of the above methods don’t work, you may have a problem with your current PST file. If that is the case, then you will have to use ‘scanPST.exe’ file to resolve the problem. To find PST file here is what you can do:

  1. Open Windows Explorer, go to ‘Program Files > Microsoft Office > Office Version.
  2. Find ‘Scanpst.exe’ in the list, once found, double-click on it.
  3. Or, you can click ‘Start’ and enter, ‘scanpst.exe’ in the search box.
  4. Click the ‘Browse’ button to select your default Outlook .pst file.

Method 4 – Create a New Profile

If your profile is corrupt, you are going to get this error until you decide to create a new profile. To create a new profile, go to Control Panel > Mail > View Profiles. After that, you need to delete all the profiles that you currently see. Before deleting profiles, be sure to back up your PST file.

  1. As you create a new profile, set it to default by going to ‘Account Setting’ where the ‘data files’ tab can be seen, where you will have to select the new profile and click, ‘Set as default button’. As you do so, you will see a tick mark corresponding to the profile that you’ve selected.

  1. Open Outlook, and if it starts normally, then you can copy the data from your old .pst file. For that, follow below-mentioned steps:
    1. Go to ‘file’, then ‘Open’ and after that, ‘Import’.
    2. Select ‘Import from another program of file’ followed by clicking ‘Next’.
    3. Choose ‘Outlook DataFile’ and click ‘Next’.
    4. Click ‘Next’ followed by ‘Finish’ to complete the migration process.

Method 5 – Access Outlook With No Extension

Another reason for the problem could be the presence of a 3rd party add-in. So, to fix the issue, you should start Outlook without any extension. Go to ‘Run’ and enter ‘Outlook.exe/noextensions’. Or, you can click on the icon holding ‘Ctrl’ key or click paste ‘Outlook /Safe’ in the search box followed by pressing ‘Enter’. You will see a message asking you to confirm the action of accessing Outlook in safe mode to which, you will have to click ‘Yes’.

If Outlook starts correctly, then you will have to go ‘add-in manager’, then deactivating the add-ins followed by reactivating those, one by one because that is how you can fix the problem.

Method 6 – Outlook Connector

It is also possible for you to receive a message such as ‘Cannot start Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. All the files cannot be opened. An unexpected error has occurred. MAPI was unable to load the msncon.dll information service. Make sure the service is properly installed and configured.

If you see this message, then there are some issues with the Outlook connector. To fix the problem, uninstall and reinstall the party.

Method 7 – Default Gateway

In case, you are not having a default gateway configuration on your PC, then you will get ‘Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook’ error. To fix the problem caused due to default gateway configuration, you need to enter the correct registry key to your PC.

If you are still not able to fix the problem, then you will have to get in touch with Outlook email experts.

Method 8 – Outlook Hanging on Loading Profile

The problem is very common in Office 2013/2016/365, but you may come across the problem in Outlook 2010 and lower versions as well. If the Outlook hangs on the loading screen, then the issue could be between the OS and OEM video drivers. To solve the issue, follow these steps:

  1. Right-click on empty space on the desktop, then click on ‘Screen Resolution’ followed by ‘Advanced Settings’. Then, go to the ‘Monitor’ tab and change the colors to ’16 bit’.

  1. Now, go to Outlook and click the ‘File’ tab where, in ‘Options’, tab, you will have to select ‘Advanced’ followed by ticking the checkbox corresponding to ‘Disable hardware graphics’.

In case, the issue persists, then you must contact Outlook support for better assistance.


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