Resolve the Cannot start Microsoft Outlook Issue

  • May 8, 2023
  • Written by:
  • James
  • Reading Time: 15 minutes

Have you ever experienced the frustrating “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook” error message popping up on your computer screen? This issue can leave you feeling stuck, unable to access your emails and other important files. But fear not! We have put together some tried-and-tested troubleshooting tips that can help resolve this problem quickly and easily. So, if you’re tired of pulling out your hair in frustration over this pesky error, read on for some helpful solutions.


If you’re seeing the “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook” error, it means that there is a problem with your Outlook profile. This can be caused by a number of things, including:

  • Your Outlook profile is corrupted
  • Your Outlook data file is damaged
  • There are problems with the mail server you’re trying to connect to

Luckily, there are a few troubleshooting steps you can take to resolve the issue.

First, try opening Outlook in Safe Mode. To do this, simply hold down the CTRL key while double-clicking on the Outlook shortcut. This will disable any add-ins that may be causing problems. If outlook opens without issue in Safe Mode, then you know an add-in is the root of the problem. To fix this, go to File > Options > Add-ins and disable any suspect add-ins. You can also try uninstalling any recently installed add-ins.

If opening Outlook in Safe Mode doesn’t work, the next step is to delete your Outlook profile and recreate it. To do this, go to Control Panel > Mail > Show Profiles. Select the profile you want to delete and hit Remove. Then, restart outlook and create a new profile when prompted. Be sure to enter all your account information correctly when prompted.

If neither of these steps work, it’s likely that your Outlook data file is corrupt or damaged. The best way to fix this is to create a new

Causes of the ‘Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook’ Issue

There can be several reasons why you may be seeing the “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook” error. We’ll go over some of the main causes and what you can do to resolve them.

One of the most common causes is an incorrect or Outdated PST file. If your PST file is corrupted, it can prevent Outlook from opening. To fix this, you can try running the Inbox Repair Tool ( scanpst.exe). This will attempt to repair any errors in your PST file and should allow Outlook to open correctly.

Another common cause is an issue with your anti-virus software. If your anti-virus software is outdated or incompatible with Outlook, it can prevent Outlook from starting properly. To fix this, you can try temporarily disabling your anti-virus software and see if that resolves the issue. If it does, you’ll need to update or uninstall your anti-virus software.

Outlook may also have difficulty starting if it’s not configured correctly for your email account. This could be due to an incorrect email address or password, or an outdated server name or port number. To fix this, you’ll need to open the Account Settings dialog in Outlook and verify that your account information is correct.

If none of these solutions work, it’s possible that your Windows user profile is corrupt. This could prevent Outlook from accessing the necessary files to start properly. To fix

Troubleshooting Tips

If you are facing the cannot start Microsoft Outlook issue, it can be quite frustrating. However, there are some troubleshooting tips that you can follow to try and resolve the issue.

First, make sure that Outlook is closed properly. If it is not, close it and then try opening it again.

Second, check to see if your computer’s system date and time are correct. If they are not, adjust them and then try opening Outlook again.

Third, try opening Outlook in Safe Mode. To do this, hold down the Ctrl key while you click on the Outlook shortcut. This will open up a dialog box where you can select “Safe Mode”. Once Outlook has opened in Safe Mode, exit out of it and then try opening it normally again.

Fourth, disable any add-ins that you may have installed for Outlook. To do this, go to File > Options > Add-Ins. In the Manage drop-down menu at the bottom of the dialog box, select COM Add-Ins and then click on the Go button. This will open up another dialog box where you can uncheck any add-ins that are currently enabled. Once you have disabled all of the add-ins, restart Outlook and see if it opens properly now.

Fifth , check to see if your antivirus software is causing the issue . Sometimes , antivirus software can interfere with Outlook and cause it to not start properly . To disable your antivirus software

Resetting the Navigation Pane Layout and Profiles

If you are still unable to resolve the issue, you can try resetting the Navigation Pane layout and profiles. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Close Outlook and then press and hold the CTRL key while you start Outlook. This will open Outlook in Safe Mode.
  2. Once Outlook has opened in Safe Mode, go to File > Options > Advanced.
  3. In the Advanced options, click on the Reset button next to Reset Folder Views and confirm by clicking OK when prompted.
  4. You can also try resetting your Outlook profile by going to File > Account Settings > Manage Profiles and selecting the profile you want to reset. Then click on Change and select Repair from the drop-down menu. Follow the prompts to complete the repair process.

Repairing the PST File

The ‘Cannot start Microsoft Outlook’ error can be caused by a corrupted PST file. If this is the case, you can try repairing the PST file using the Inbox Repair Tool. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Close Outlook and go to the folder where your PST file is located. The default location is C:\Users\username\Documents\Outlook Files.
  2. Click Start > Programs > Accessories > System Tools > Disk Cleanup.
  3. In the Disk Cleanup dialog box, select Drive C and click OK.
  4. In the Disk Cleanup for Drive C window, select Files from all users on this computer and click OK.
  5. Click Yes when prompted if you want to delete all temporary files on your computer. This will free up some space on your hard drive and help improve performance.
  6. Once the temporary files have been deleted, open Outlook and click File > Open & Export > Import/Export.
  7. In the Import/Export Wizard, select Import from another program or file and click Next.
  8. Select Comma Separated Values (Windows) and click Next.

Reinstalling the Latest Updates for Office 365

If you’re having trouble starting Microsoft Outlook, one troubleshooting step you can try is to reinstall the latest updates for Office 365. This is especially helpful if Outlook is crashing or freezing after opening.

To reinstall the latest updates for Office 365, first close Outlook if it’s open. Then, go to the Start menu and type “Control Panel.” Click on “Control Panel” to open it.

In the Control Panel, click on “Uninstall a program” under the Programs heading.

Find Microsoft Office 365 in the list of installed programs and click on it. Then, click on the “Repair” button.

Follow the prompts to complete the repair process. Once it’s finished, restart your computer and try opening Outlook again.

Checking the Windows Firewall Settings

Assuming that you have Windows Firewall enabled (the default setting), you need to check your firewall settings to see if Outlook is being blocked. Here’s how:

  1. Go to Start > Control Panel > System and Security.
  2. Click on Windows Firewall.
  3. On the left panel, click on Allow a program or feature through Windows Firewall.
  4. Scroll down the list until you find Microsoft Outlook. If it’s not there, click on the Allow another program button and add it manually.
  5. Make sure both the Private and Public checkboxes are ticked for Microsoft Outlook and then click on OK to save the changes.


The ‘Cannot start Microsoft Outlook’ error is an incredibly frustrating issue that can cause a huge interruption to your productivity and workflow. However, if you follow the troubleshooting options mentioned in this article, you should be able to resolve it quickly and get back on track with standard operations. If all else fails then please don’t hesitate to reach out for additional support from our service providers so that you can return to peak efficiency as soon as possible.

Written By

  • James
  • My name is David Wayne, and I work as a technical support specialist for the online industry. In the last 7 years, I have fixed a variety of email issues, such as Outlook server errors, Outlook send receive errors, Outlook working offline problems and etc. So if you are facing these types of problems, please do not hesitate to contact us without any hesitation.

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