Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook Error

cannot start microsoft outlook

The Cannot start Microsoft Outlook message may appear. The major cause of this Error is a corrupted Navigation Pane settings file. The error may also occur when you run Outlook in the compatibility mode or if you are using a profile created in an older Outlook version or if the Outlook data file was damaged or deleted due to incorrect uninstallation or reinstallation of Outlook. Follow the guidelines given below to resolve the Microsoft Outlook error message.

  •   In few cases, add-ins can conflict with Outlook. Try to start Outlook in safe mode. Click Start –> Run, type Outlook or safe and select the OK option. Accept the default setting of Outlook in the Choose Profiles dialog box and click the OK option. If prompted, type your password and choose the Accept option.
  •   If Outlook starts in safe mode, it shows that the problem is likely with one of your add-ins. Disable all your add-ins before restarting Outlook. Determine if your profile is corrupted by creating a new profile. On Windows Vista or Windows 7, click Start –> Control Panel. On Windows 8 and Windows 10, click Start and type Control Panel. Select Mail –> Show Profiles –> Add.
  •   In the Profile Name box, enter the name you want to use for your new profile and on the Auto Account Setup page for the Add Account Wizard, select E-mail Account. Give the details in the Your Name, E-mail Address and Password box. Select the Next option. Click Finish to resolve Cannot start Microsoft Outlook error. You will find the new profile name you added listed on the General tab in the Mail dialog box.
  •   Select the Prompt for a profile to be used option and click OK. To use a different profile, restart Outlook. In the Choose Profile dialog box, select the new profile name you created and click OK. If Outlook starts normally, it indicates Outlook profile as being corrupt and the source of your problem. To remove a profile, back up the data files first.
  •   Outlook usually stores all your email messages, meetings and events, contacts and tasks in data files. Sometimes, these files can become corrupted. Try to run the Inbox Repair Tool to scan your Outlook data files and repair errors. To use the Inbox Repair Tool, exit Outlook.
outlook exchange pane

The navigation pane is located on the left side of Outlook where you will find your folder list and the icons to move between Mail, Calendar, People and Tasks. Run the /resetnavpanecommand to remove all customizations to the navigation pane. Close Outlook, click Start –> Run, in the Open box, type Outlook.exe /resetnavpane and select the OK option to resolve Cannot start Microsoft Outlook error.

Check if Outlook is running in compatibility mode. Turn that off and check if it fixes the problem. Locate the Outlook.exe file on your computer. Right-click the Outlook.exe file, click Properties and choose the Compatibility tab. If you find any of the boxes on the Compatibility tab checked, uncheck them. Click Apply and select the OK option. Restart Outlook and check if starts. If Outlook hangs on the Loading Profile screen, set the display color depth to 16-bit and disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration.

Recover the Navigation Pane configuration file

navigation pane configuration
  •   In many cases, the corrupted Navigation Pane settings file prevents Outlook from starting successfully. To fix the issue, proceed to the next step.
  •   On your Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, click the Start button and on Windows XP, click Start –> Run. Type the command in the search field as outlook.exe /resetnavpane.
  •   Make sure there is a space between outlook.exe and /resetnavpane. Press Enter or click on the file to reset the Navigation Pane settings and open Outlook to resolve Cannot start Microsoft Outlook Error.
  •   To reset the Navigation Pane settings, use the outlook.exe /resetnavpane and restart Outlook. To work with the Run dialog on Windows 7 or Windows 8, proceed to the next step.
  •   Go to the Start menu, click All Programs –> Accessories –> Run. After typing the outlook.exe /resetnavpane command, click the OK option. This will cause the navigation pane to get back in order and fix the issues.

Delete the Navigation pane settings file

  •   To reduce the number of clicks or taps it takes to locate a file or folder, the Navigation pane provides links to commonly used drives and folders. If there is any disorder in the Navigation pane, fix it for resolving Cannot start Microsoft Outlook Issue.
  •   A corrupted navigation pane can cause issues that can stop accessing favorite’s folder in Outlook. Outlook might prevent you from sending email based on the issue with the navigation pane.
  •   If you are unable to recover the Navigation pane configuration file, or the automatic fix provided by Microsoft work does not work, try to delete the XML file that stores the navigation pane settings.
  •   Select Start –> Search field on Windows 7 and Windows 8. On Windows XP, click Start –> Run and press Enter: %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook to open the folder where Microsoft Outlook configuration files are stored.
  •   Locate and delete the Outlook.xml file. Try to recover the Navigation pane settings file first to resolve Cannot start Microsoft Outlook Error. Make sure you choose to delete as the last resort if nothing else works.
delete nav pane