Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook

What is error message ‘Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook’?

“Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook” is an error that usually occurs when trying to launch MS Outlook and it may occur in different versions. It indicates that the data file where all the Outlook information is stored cannot be opened. The error may be due to due to errors while opening the Outlook Data file, or due to navigation pane settings corruption, invalid Outlook Add-ins or because Outlook is running in compatibility mode.

You may see an error message, “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. The operation failed.”


How can you fix ‘Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook’?

Some of the common fixes include:

  • Resetting the navigation pane
  • Disabling add-in


Please see our in-depth walk-through solutions below.

Staff Asked on April 6, 2018 in Microsoft Outlook.
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2 Solution(s)

Solution 1. Reset Navigation Pane settings

“Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook” error may indicate that your Outlook navigation Pane settings might be corrupt. Try to reset it by running the outlook.exe /resetnavpane. To run this see steps below.

Option 1.

  1. Press Windows key + R key.

    RE: Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook

  2. Type outlook.exe /resetnavpane and press Enter key.

Option 2.

  1. Press Windows key + R key.
  2. Type %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook and press Enter key.

    RE: Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook

  3. Delete the Outlook.xml.
Staff Answered on April 9, 2018.
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Solution 2. Disable Add-in

“Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook” may also be caused by the add-in in your Microsoft Outlook. Try to run your Microsoft Outlook in Safe mode. If the error disappears, disable all add-in. See the instructions below on how to.

  1. Press Windows key + R key.

    RE: Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook

  2. Type Outlook.exe /safe and press Enter key.
  3. Click “File” tab select “Options” and then select “Add-Ins.

    RE: Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook

  4. Select “Com Add-ins” and click “GO.
  5. Uncheck the Add-ins then click “OK.”
Staff Answered on April 10, 2018.
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