Get instant live expert help with Excel or Google Sheets
“My Excelchat expert helped me in less than 20 minutes, saving me what would have been 5 hours of work!”

Post your problem and you'll get expert help in seconds

Your message must be at least 40 characters
Our professional experts are available now. Your privacy is guaranteed.

How to Fix ‘Cannot start Microsoft office Outlook and cannot open the Outlook window’

If we have trouble opening our Outlook app, we can use the solutions in this tutorial to fix this problem. We will explore ways to fix the “cannot start Microsoft Outlook” challenge for Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007 and lower on all Windows platforms.

Figure 1 – Example of Error message; Cannot open Outlook. The set of folders cannot be opened

Fixing Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook by Recovering Navigation Pane Configuration File

A corrupted Navigation pane Settings file may prevent Outlook from opening. We have to repair it but it slightly different for different windows.


Repair for Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8


We will go to Start and select “Run” on Windows XP or the Start Button on Windows 7 or 8. Next, we will enter this command in the search field “Outlook.exe /resetnavpane” (Make sure there is a space between /resetnavpane and Outlook.exe. Next, we will click Enter.

Figure 2 – Cannot open Outlook 2016

We can also use the Run Dialog on Windows 8 or Windows 7 by clicking on the Start Menu, then All Programs, Accessories and lastly click, Run. We will type the command “out.look.exe /resetnavpane and select OK.

Figure 3 – Cannot start Microsoft Outlook 2007


Delete the Navigation Pane Settings File


If we cannot recover the Navigation configuration, then we have to try deleting it by clicking on Start. In the Search field, we will enter this command; %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook and press Enter. When we open the folder where the Microsoft Outlook configuration files are stored, we may find the Outlook.xml file and delete.

Warning! This is a permanent delete function. Weshould try all other methods first.

How to Repair Outlook Data Files .pst and .ost using the Inbox Repair Tool

When we have recently reinstalled Outlook or had problems with a previous installation, our Outlook data file (.pst/.ost) may have been damaged or deleted, which is the reason why Outlook can’t open. In this case, we have errors like the file Outlook.pst is not a personal folders file. Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook.

  • First, we will exit Outlook and locate the Outlook data file through one of the following locations below.
    1. Outlook 2019: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
    2. Outlook 2016: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
    3. Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
    4. Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
    5. Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12
  • Next, we will browse and open the Scanpst.exe file
  • We will browse to select the Outlook Data file (.pst) we wish to scan. Choose Start to initiate the scan. If there are errors, this will be found after we click Repair to fix errors
  • After repair, we can start Outlook by using the profile related to the Outlook Data file we just repaired.

Switch off Compatibility Mode in Outlook

When we use the compatibility mode for any software, we may run into a lot of problems. To turn off compatibility mode in Outlook, we will:

  • Click Start, then type Outlook.exe in the search field

Figure 4 – Cannot start Outlook 2016

  • Next, we will right-click on the Outlook.exe file and select Properties

Figure 5 – Cannot start Outlook. set of folders cannot be opened

  • Now, we will switch the compatibility tab and unmark the “Run this program in compatibility mode for” box. Next, we will click OK and start Outlook as usual

Figure 6 – Cannot open Microsoft Outlook 2010

Create a New Outlook Profile

When we cannot restore or repair Outlook.pst file, we will need to open a new profile. When this works, we can then copy the current Outlook data file (pst or ost) onto the new one.

  • We will go to the Control Panel, select Mail, then Data File and Add
  • In the Profile name button, we will enter a name for the profile and select OK

Figure 7 – Change profile to fix Outlook cannot start

  • Next, we will set the new profile as our default by going to Account Setting and in the dialog box, pick a new profile. Lastly, we will tap the set as Default button
  • To import data from the old Outlook PST file, we will go to file, open and import
  • Then we will click on Import from another program or file and click Next
  • After this, we will choose “Outlook Datafile (.pst) and select Next
  • Now we will click the browse button and select the old data file. We will select Next and then finish.

Disable Add-ons and Start Outlook in Safe Mode

We can start Outlook in safe mode by clicking on the Outlook icon while holding the control key. Next, we will enter Outlook/safe in the search box and press Enter. We will see a message requesting confirmation and we will select Yes. If we can use Outlook in safe mode without problems, then one of our add-ons must have been the problem.

Figure 8 – Open Outlook in safe mode to fix Outlook cannot start

Outlook Hanging on Loading profile

To fix this issue, we may use these methods:


  • We will right-click on any empty space on the desktop. We will select Screen Resolution and tap Advanced setting. We will switch to the Monitor tab and set display color to 16-bit


Figure 9 – Change Screen Resolution

  1. We may also go to the file tab, select options and then advanced. Next, we will tap the Disable Hardware Graphics Acceleration checkbox found in the display section.

Fixing Cannot Start Outlook.MAPI32.DLL is corrupt error

  • We will open C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\Msmapi\1033
  • Next, we will delete MAPI132.DLL to MAPI32.DLL
  • Now we can start Outlook with ease.

Use Support and Recovery Assistant support

If we are using Office 365, then the automated recovery assistant can be a very reliable tool.

  • Download the Support and Recovery Assistant app
  • Run the Installation. Once Installed, it will start automatically
  • Now, we will agree to the License agreement
  • Select Outlook and click Next
  • We will select Outlook Won’t Start and click Next
  • We will enter Yes to confirm and click Next
  • Enter an email address and password for Office 365, click Next and wait for a diagnosis


We may come across the phrase, cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook error when we click the Outlook icon, resulting in an hourglass, which hangs for a long time. In many events, this issue may apply when we have a corrupted Navigations Pane Settings file – profilename.xml (profile name is the name of our Outlook document). This file is often shown as O KB. We don’t know the exact cause of this error, but wecould get these variations of messages indicating that our Outlook window is unable to start.

Outlook 2003: Cannot Start Microsoft Office Outlook. Invalid XML the view cannot be loaded. Unable to open the Outlook Window.

Outlook 2007: Cannot open your default email folders. The information store could not be opened

Outlook 2010: Microsoft Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience


If our Outlook PST file is severely damaged, repair, creating a new profile or restoring to the previous version may not work. However, the most effective Outlook repair tool is the Support and Recovery assistant. It can fix not only our Outlook problems but also many other Microsoft Office challenges.

Instant Connection to an Excel Expert

Most of the time, the problem you will need to solve will be more complex than a simple application of a formula or function. If you want to save hours of research and frustration, try our live Excelchat service! Our Excel Experts are available 24/7 to answer any Excel question you may have. We guarantee a connection within 30 seconds and a customized solution within 20 minutes.

Leave a Comment


Subscribe to

Get updates on helpful Excel topics

Subscribe to
Trusted by people who work at, Inc
Facebook, Inc
Accenture PLC
Siemens AG
The Allstate Corporation
United Parcel Service
Dell Inc