Wednesday 3 June 2009

Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window.

There are two profiles on the Windows 7 RC laptop we are using at home, Monique’s and my own.

Monique’s Outlook is still humming along after Office 2007 SP2 while mine took a turn for the worst:


Microsoft Office Outlook

Cannot start Microsoft office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window.

There was nothing relevant that came up in our searches for a solution other than a suggestion to rebuild the local Outlook Profile.

To do that, delete the profile in the Mail properties that is available in the Control Panel in x86 (32bit) versions of Win7 or behind the Legacy 32bit Control Panel Icons in x64 (64bit) versions of Win7. The exact name of the legacy icon in Win7 x64 slips the mind at the moment but it is there.

When recreating the profile and the connection to a remote Exchange server as is the case here make sure to not click the Check Name button until after the Outlook Anywhere settings for the RPC/HTTPS connection have been set. A credentials prompt will happen once the button is clicked.

All SBS Outlook Anywhere credential prompts are formatted:

  • SBSDomain\FirstLast
  • My very l0ng password!

It took several runs at getting the profile to stick, but once the Exchange credentials prompt seemingly took the server name and the username were underlined in the Exchange Server e-mail profile window as per the following screenshot:


Note that the Use Cached Exchange Mode is unchecked. That is what we needed to do to get things working. We enabled Cached Mode once things started to work.

One of the drawbacks to having to rebuild my profile is its size due to the volume of e-mail that I deal with.

UPDATE 2010-06-30: As Marek suggested in the comments section, the proper way to fix this is to run the following command:

  • XP: Start –> Run –> Outlook /resetnavpane
  • Vista/7: Start –> Outlook /resetnavpane

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*All Mac on SBS posts will not be written on a Mac until we replace our now missing iMac! (previous blog post)

Windows Live Writer


Marek said...

I am getting exactly the same error. Not sure if this could be a cause, but I did install the newest nVidia driver (Dell XPS1530 running Vista x64). Needless to say, I unistalled the driver but the problem still persists. Won't start in Safe mode either. All other Office 07 program start fine.

I googled for a resolution to this, but so far to no avail. Any ideas?

Marek said...

n/m... found the fix. Simply run "Outlook.exe /resetnavpane"

Unknown said...


You have changed my day with the solution - thanks so much it worked perfectly - Craig

Max said...

I too had this same issue for a couple weeks and couldn't find a solution online - until I found this.

Thanks so much for the simple and effective fix!

Anonymous said...

I'm using Windows Vista Home Premium Edition and I just update Firefox to version 3.5 and now I'm getting the message "Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook...." message. Marek's message worked perfectly but I'm wondering if Mozilla is overwriting a file in Office 2007.

Tom L said...

I had the same problem. Vista/Outlook 2003. Outlook wouldn't open at all. Here is the fix I found:

By going to Control Panel (Classic View) I clicked on the Mail button.

Under Data Files I checked the Personal and Archive Folders Settings. Archive was okay. Personal Folders showed me an error code telling me that file was corrupted.

To fix that corrupted file I used the Scanpst.exe program on my computer, loading in the file address for the corrupted file. Details here on how to use that program:

After the repair, when I clicked on the Outlook icon everything worked for me. There is a strange "Lost & Found" folder in Outlook that I need to sort out, but this is what worked for me.

Anonymous said...

I don't know how you guys figured out the Outlook.exe /resetnavpane fix, but this just solved a problem that has been driving me crazy for the last wee.

Thanks a million

Club Scene Network said...

Thank you soooooo much this worked for me and I am on XP Outlook 2007! Thank you again!!!

Anonymous said...

I agree you are the greatest. I fretted all day and googled and googled and this was a quick easy fix.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

/resetnavpane worked a treat!

Anonymous said...

Thank you very much for the fix. It was something even a knucklehead like myself could do (once I figured out how to "run" a command, thanks for obscuring it, Vista). Reinstalling Outlook did not fix it but this did. Thanks again

Mick said...

Thanks and thanks! I've used this quick fix for the second time. It works great and is easy, but this Outlook problem seems to keep happening. (Vista Home Premium)

Anonymous said...


Thank you and bless your first born!

Anonymous said...

Outlook.exe /resetnavpane worked!!! Thanx a million!!!

Anonymous said...

Markek:, best solution ever!

Mick said...
Thanks and thanks! I've used this quick fix for the second time. It works great and is easy, but this Outlook problem seems to keep happening. (Vista Home Premium)

If it's a recurring problem -> disable the preview pane. It's almost always the email preview that messes up the program start.


John said...

"Outlook.exe /resetnavpane" worked for me. Thanks.