How to Fix “Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot Open the Outlook Windows” Error?

Encountering the error message “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window” can be a frustrating experience for users relying on Microsoft Outlook for their email management. This error often disrupts productivity, preventing users from accessing their emails, contacts, and other crucial data.

However, many such Outlook PST file errors appear commonly but, in this article, we’ll explore the possible causes of why MS Outlook cannot start an issue and provide step-by-step solutions to help users resolve the error and regain access to their Outlook application.

What Causes Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook? Cannot Open the Outlook Window” Error?

Every error is caused by an underlying issue and once you identify that; it becomes easier to fix the problem. However, at times it becomes difficult to point out the exact cause and that is when we need to consider all the probable causes as listed below:

Corrupted Outlook Profile: A damaged or corrupted Outlook profile is a common cause of this error. Profiles store various settings and configurations; and if they become corrupted, Outlook may fail to start.

Corrupted Outlook Data Files (PST or OST): Corrupted PST (Personal Storage Table) or OST (Offline Outlook Data File) files can trigger the error. These files store mailbox data, and if they become corrupted, Outlook may fail to open.

Add-in Interference: Third-party add-ins can sometimes conflict with Outlook, leading to startup issues. Disabling problematic add-ins may resolve the problem.

Outdated Outlook Version: Using an outdated version of Outlook may result in compatibility issues. Updating Outlook to the latest version can resolve such problems.

Windows Profile Issues: Problems within the Windows user profile, such as a damaged user profile or insufficient permissions, can impact Outlook’s ability to open.

Apart from these, you must also consider that the size of Outlook data files should always be low and manageable because this could lead to data file corruption ultimately leading to the error. If it is not, then compact the PST file to shrink the size. Let us have a look at other fixes which can help you make Outlook accessible again.

Solutions and Fixes to Resolve cannot start Microsoft Outlook – An unexpected error

Start Outlook in Safe Mode: Launching Outlook in Safe Mode can help identify and isolate issues caused by add-ins. To do this, hold down the ‘Ctrl’ key while opening Outlook. If it starts successfully, disabling problematic add-ins becomes the next step.

Create a New Outlook Profile: If the error persists, create a new Outlook profile. It can often resolve issues related to profile corruption. Navigate to the Control Panel, open the Mail app, and create a new profile.

Repair Outlook Data Files: Microsoft provides a built-in tool called “Scanpst.exe” for repairing corrupted PST files. Running this tool can help fix issues with the data files. Ensure Outlook is closed before using this tool. However, if the ScanpST.exe fails to repair the PST file, you can consider using paid tools to repair.

Update Outlook: Ensure that Outlook is updated to the latest version. Microsoft regularly releases updates that address bugs and improve overall performance.

Check Windows Profile and Permissions: Verify that the Windows user profile is functioning correctly and has the necessary permissions to access Outlook. Create a new user profile if needed.

The final recourse is to safeguard your Outlook data from permanent loss. Achieving this involves exporting your Outlook PST data file to an alternative format such as Outlook PST to MBOX, EML, MSG, or EMLX. By doing so, you ensure that you can reuse or access it on any alternative email platform, such as Thunderbird, Apple Mail, and more. This provides a means to open PST files in a different email environment.

Conclusion: The “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window” error can be resolved through a systematic approach. By identifying the underlying cause and applying the appropriate solution, users can restore normal functionality to their Outlook application. Whether it’s repairing data files, creating a new profile, or updating the software, taking these steps will help users overcome this common Outlook error and regain access to their email communication.

Related Posts