Home » Blog » Email Tips » How to Resolve Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook Error ?

How to Resolve Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook Error ?

Published By Nilesh Kumar
Debasish Pramanik
Approved By Debasish Pramanik
Published On January 23rd, 2024
Reading Time 5 Minutes Reading

“One of my colleagues decided to switch their crucial data and Outlook application from C to D drive but it stuck in between these two drives. When he make an attempt to open Outlook his machine reported an error ie. “Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook, Cannot open the Outlook Windows”. However, the Microsoft Outlook had lots of important files and it is urgent for him to start Outlook and open Outlook windows to access data. Can anyone help me out of this.”

Before jumping directly to the solution of how to fix cannot start Microsoft Outlook error, first let us find, what are the probable causes behind this error.

unable to open the Outlook window

This type of error appears if there is corruption in the Navigation Pane settings file- profile_name.xml(profile name is the name of Outlook profile). There are several other reasons which can affect the different versions of Outlook and produces this error like; incorrect profile configuration, Outlook data file corruption, Outlook profile is created on older versions of Outlook, error in registry and so on.

Manual Fixtures to Resolve “Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook”

After knowing about probable causes behind not opening of Microsoft Outlook application, you can apply different fixtures to resolve this error. Some manual suggestions are listed below;

Technique 1: Repair Navigation Pane Configuration File

You can repair navigation pane configuration file by going through following steps;

1. Go to the Start menu and hit the Run option
2. Type the “Outlook.exe /resetnavpane” command

Note: Please make sure that there is a space between Outlook.exe & /resetnavpane

3. Hit the file to reset the Navigation Pane and open MS Outlook

If you are not able to see Run or the Start menu then follow the below path;

Start >> All Programs option >> hit the Accessories option>> Press the Run and type the “outlook.exe /resetnavpane” command:

cannot start Microsoft Outlook

Technique 2: Repair Outlook Data File using Inbox Repair Tool

There might several reasons behind corruption issues of Outlook data file (OST/PST file). To do the same, one can use the Inbox Repair Tool to repair Outlook data file. If you want to see Inbox Repair tool in Microsoft Outlook then you need to go through below step;

1. Go through c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\{Office_version}
2. Hit the scanpst.exe and double-click on it


3. A screen of Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool will appear. Now click the Browse button to choose the Outlook data file.


4. Once you have selected the Outlook data file, you need to choose the “start” button to repair data file of Outlook. If your Outlook OST file is majorly corrupted and you are not able to repair your Outlook data file using Inbox Repair tool then you can take assistance from Outlook OST Recovery  to repair Outlook OST file easily.

Technique 3: Disable Compatibility Mode in MS Outlook

1. Go through- Start >> Run and type Outlook.exe
2. Choose properties after right clicking on OUTLOOK.EXE and then choose Properties


3. Choose the Compatibility tab and make sure “Run this program in compatibility mode” is not selected.


4. Finally, click on OK button to start Outlook application

Smart Way to Repair Outlook PST Corruption

Well, the above procedure of repairing PST file corruption using Outlook’s inbuilt inbox repair tool is nice. But this free utility comes with various limitations such as, you are not able to repair major corrupted PST files. Including this, the utility gets corrupted if you try to repair a large PST file.

So to overcome this issue most professionals suggest an automated toolkit and here in this section we are going to introduce one of them. Try Outlook PST File Repair Tool, the tool that repairs multiple PST files in just a few clicks. Also, the tool gives you the option to export the repaired PST file in different file formats.

Technique 4: Create a new profile in Outlook

It has noticed that creating new Outlook profile is the good step to solve different issues of Outlook. You can create new profile in Outlook by going through Control Panel >> Mail >> Data Files >> Add.. option


2. In “Data files” tab choose the newly created profile and click on Set as Default option
3. Now trying to open outlook and import all data from Outlook data file using Import option of Outlook.
4. At last, hit the Next and Finish tab to complete the process

Technique 5: Start Outlook in Safe Mode

Sometimes Outlook add-ins create issues while trying to start Outlook or open Outlook Windows. Starting Outlook in safe mode open Outlook without add-ins installed on the machine. You will open Outlook in safe mode by going through Start and typing outlook/safe in the search box and press the Enter button.


In this blog, we have discussed that how a user can fix “Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook” and “cannot open the Outlook Windows” error. You can resolve “Unable to open Outlook Window” error using different manual approaches suggested by Microsoft Outlook.



By Nilesh Kumar

As a Chief Technical Writer, I know the technical issues faced by home and professional users. So, I decided to share all my knowledge via this blog. I love to help you with challenges while dealing with technical jargon.