Solve the “Cannot open the Outlook window” error

Updated: March 10, 2023
6 min read
Solve the “Cannot open the Outlook window” error
by Jake Jeong
Tech Expert & Writer
Checked by
Quality Control team

Recently, some of our users have encountered a “Cannot open the Outlook window” error. This problem can occur for several reasons. Let’s discuss them below!

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How do you fix the “Cannot open the Outlook window” error?

Cannot open the Outlook window

Microsoft Outlook is an integral part of the workplace that simplifies our work. The word Outlook has become synonymous with email applications in every workplace in the world. Unfortunately, Outlook can also make your life more difficult with the error saying “Cannot open the Outlook window”.

Don’t worry, in this article, you will learn why Outlook won’t open and also you will learn how to eliminate the problem.

1: Outlook navigation bar reset method

The Outlook navigation bar is on the far left side. This is the place where you’ll find folders and icons for switching between email, connections, notes, calendars, and more. This section can be customized by the user to suit their needs, and this customization can result in fatal errors that will prevent Outlook from opening.

  1. Press Windows + R buttons to open the Run dialog.
  2. Type outlook.exe /resetnavpane (note the space) and click OK.
  3. Restart your computer and start Outlook.

2: Check if add-ons are running in safe mode

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If the previous way didn’t fix the Microsoft Outlook startup problem, try the next one. When someone starts Outlook in safe mode, some add-ons won’t load and stay afloat. It’s easy to check if these add-ons are to blame for your error. You can manually enable add-ons to see which add-on is causing the error.

3: Create a new profile

Your Outlook profile has specific settings, some of which might have been corrupted. In this case, creating a new profile may help:

  1. Open Control Panel and select Email.
  2. Under Mail Setup click View and Add Profiles.
  3. Enter the profile name and the details.
  4. In the “When Microsoft starts, use Write this profile back” section, select “Request a profile to use” and click OK.
  5. Restart Outlook in safe mode to select the newly created profile from the drop-down menu.
  6. If Outlook starts normally with this new profile, you should proceed with Outlook data file recovery.

4: Check if the view works in compatibility mode [Outlook 2016, 2013, Or Outlook 2010 Only]

Follow the instructions below to fix your Outlook error:

  • Browse to the location of my Outlook.exe file on your computer. Find the location of the most important computer in the following path:
    Outlook 2016: C:Program (x86)Microsoft Office FilesrootOffie16.2010:
    Appearance C:ProgramsMicrosoft OfficeOffice 14 or C:Programs (x86)Microsoft OfficeOffice 14
    Outlook 2013: C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice 15 or C:Program Files (x86)Microsoft 15
  • Once the office locates Outlook.exe, right-click the file and select Properties.
  • Click Lost Compatibility, uncheck the Compatibility tab if it is selected, and click Apply.
  • Now restart the Outlook application on your computer and check if you’re still seeing the error.

5: ScanPST.exe causes problems that you cannot reset

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The penultimate solution for recovering Microsoft Outlook will be absolutely no problem – to repair the Outlook data file. The question is how to repair the PST file to deal with the Outlook startup error.

Of course, there is a built-in Microsoft utility called the Inbox Repair Tool. However, ScanPST.exe has some drawbacks such as working directly on all corrupted PST files. Therefore, it is highly recommended not to use ScanPST.exe if you are dealing with an insecure PST file.

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