Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot Open the Outlook Window

I recently came across this problem on a customer’s computer and tried everything I could find via Google.  Naturally, none of the solutions worked.  When you click on the icon to start Outlook, the window shows up briefly and then disappears, popping up that extremely meaningful message:  Cannot Start Microsoft Office Outlook.  Cannot Open the Outlook Window .

If you google this problem, one of the first sites that shows up with a solution is Microsoft’s site, so you assume that the solution must be a good one.  Actually, it didn’t work for me.  The Microsoft page is this one.  The solutions that they give probably work in many cases, but I tried both of their solutions and I was still at the starting line.

The solution? simply run:  outlook.exe /resetnavpane

basically, this is the same as deleting your profilename.xml in your user directory.  It did the trick for me and if I can save someone the trouble of looking for that solution for hours.. then I’m happy!

807 Thoughts on “Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot Open the Outlook Window

  1. Eileen on April 10, 2011 at 9:24 pm said:

    Thanks for sharing, now I can finally clear all my mails!

  2. Connie on May 2, 2011 at 5:50 pm said:

    I tried your fix for the Windows 7 but still can’t open Outlook 2010. Any other suggestions?

  3. Col on May 5, 2011 at 5:54 pm said:


  4. You are an absolute star!!! It worked straight away.

  5. bebart on May 22, 2011 at 2:11 am said:


    Can you please help me here i tried everything but i’m still facing the same problem:

    Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook, Unable to open the Outlook window. The set of folders could not be opened. Errors have been detected in the file
    Quit outlook and all mail-enabled applications, and then use the inbox repair tool (Scanpst.exe) to diagnose and repair errors in the file.

  6. Nani on May 26, 2011 at 1:18 pm said:

    is there a permanent solution? otherwise i have to do it every time.

  7. please assist. I do not know how I should do this. I have exactly the same error msg on my computer.

    Can you please assist with a step by step to doing this PLEASE HELP! I am a woman, and do not know anything about computers.
    (how do i run the OUTLOOK.EXE /resetnavpane????

    Thank you..

  8. Dangermouse on June 6, 2011 at 6:58 pm said:

    That was a perfect solution thanks from an amateur.

  9. nazar on June 19, 2011 at 3:12 am said:

    very nice thx its working now

  10. Fantastic! At first I couldn’t grasp the command prompt thing but the whole drag and drop to the “Run” box sorts that out. In fact this little quick fix makes me look like a wizard to others haha

  11. Ruba on July 6, 2011 at 12:49 am said:

    thanks alot, the fastest solution i have ever read and used

  12. i owe you a big thank you

  13. joseph on July 18, 2011 at 2:36 am said:

    Thank you so much because it works instantly for me too..


  14. ForganConclusion on July 29, 2011 at 12:53 pm said:

    For what it’s worth, this solution didn’t work for me, but I did find one that did (this time… as opposed to attempts in previous years…)

    I had to run the scanpst.exe.

  15. Robert on August 3, 2011 at 1:42 am said:

    Thanks for the tip!
    Worked great in Outlook 2007 after my outlook crashed and I couldn’t open it.

  16. Betty on August 6, 2011 at 4:10 am said:

    thanks a lot! Help first time!

  17. It definitely works for me. You saved a lot of my time. Thanks!

  18. David HOLMAN on August 30, 2011 at 8:08 am said:


    I am still looking for a permanent solution to the problem.

    I have the additional issue that resetnavpane cleans out my Favourites and I have to recreate them each time.

    If I use /cleanviews instead of /resetnavpane. The program starts properly and crucially the favourites are not removed.

    The only issue I now have is how to get the shortcut working properly.

    I have dragged the programme file from Office 14 to the desktop and told it to create the shortcut.

    I then add the /cleanviews switch BUT the shortcut doesn’t work. It does, however, work from the run command.

    Is there a way I can insert the details into the run command as either a shortcut or a macro?



  19. please I tried but I still continue to have the same message with office 2010. Can you help me further?

  20. If the above solution does not work then try the following stes

    Close Outlook completely.
    Click Start.
    Open Control Panel.
    Category View: Click User Accounts > Mail icon
    Classic View: Click Mail
    Click E-mail accounts.
    Click to highlight “Oracle Beehive Extensions for Outlook”.
    Click Change.
    Click More Settings.
    Select Administration.
    Verify only “Personal workspace” Task is checked.
    Uncheck any other Tasks that are checked.
    Click Reset.
    Verify “Backup your personal folders when they are reset” is checked.
    Click Yes.
    Click OK.
    Click Next.
    Click Close.
    Click Close.


  21. thank you it works now I do have a diferent problem outlook opens but I can’t work on it do not respond to any comand.
    do you have any solution to this problem

  22. rea – did you sort it – i have just resolved it for myself ;-) – can help you if needed

  23. MARYDAS on October 2, 2011 at 7:16 am said:

    I tried lot many things Including re installing MS Office , but all no use . then God only shown me this command line . It worked like a blessing from God .

    Thank you very much for sharing this tip. otherwise life could have been miserable
    thanks again.

  24. THANKS LARRY! The resetnavpane wasn’t working for me, and it turned out to be communicator.

  25. Sung ho Hong on October 13, 2011 at 8:48 pm said:

    here is how i fixed this problem..

    go control panel..

    and clicked on Mail icon, and click on E-mail accounts, and click on data files
    and make personal folders default(click on personal folders and click on set ad default button) …..Boom~~~done…

  26. I have run the outlook.exe /resetnavpane command but still problems exist, pl help!

  27. Thanks a ton. Worked Instantly.

  28. Michael on October 20, 2011 at 10:35 am said:

    Can someone give me EXACT step by step instruction to help me resolve this issue.
    Beginning with clicking on start menu.

  29. Michael on October 20, 2011 at 10:36 am said:

    Can someone give me EXACT step by step instruction to help me resolve this issue.
    Beginning with clicking on start menu.

  30. Worked great!

  31. Michael:

    Hit Start –> Run

    In the box type in:

    “c:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\OUTLOOK.EXE” /resetnavpane

    Hit Enter. This will start Outlook without any glitches.

  32. Thank you. What a time-saver for me. It worked immediately.

  33. Thank you so much it worked great for me.

    I just used the command outlook.exe /resetnavpane in the run window, it started Outlook.

  34. I am Sri lankan,working in Afghanistan,above command was successful.Thank you very much dear.I wish you archive more knowledge and help others.everybody bless you.

  35. “Outlook.exe /resetnavpane” worked for me. Thanks.

  36. thanks so much guy’s my out look was blocked i used the run comment outlook /resetnavpane

    now it is working

  37. Didn’t work here, must be a different problem.

  38. Audra on March 21, 2012 at 9:16 am said:

    Thank you so much for this fix! It works great! I found this works with Office 2010 as well. Just have to ensure you have correct path. Please note instead of Outlook /resetnavpane I used excel /resetnavpane.
    Awesome fix. Keep up the great work!

  39. Jerry on March 22, 2012 at 6:33 pm said:

    Thank you a thousand times. What a time saver. I didn’t have a clue what to do

  40. Ahmed Kishk on March 27, 2012 at 3:11 am said:

    Brilliant, thank you very much!

  41. Hi, outlook.exe /resetnavpane worked for me. Thanks a lot.

  42. claire on April 23, 2012 at 8:36 am said:

    It took a few attempts but eventually solved the problem. Thank you!

  43. Sorry, did not work for me. Same behavior, same error message, no effect.
    Outlook 2003 on Windows 7 64-bit.

  44. Samuel Aryee on June 5, 2012 at 1:46 pm said:

    outlook.exe /resetnavpane, this did not work.

  45. Tmiller on July 24, 2012 at 12:13 pm said:

    Its outlook /resetnavpane.

  46. outlook repair on August 4, 2012 at 5:19 pm said:

    Hi, everything is going sound here and ofcourse every one
    is sharing facts, that’s in fact good, keep up writing.

  47. Here I am in 2012 and I see your solution, but not sure how to implement it. I click on the icon, the hourglass appears, then disappears and nothing happens.

    If you are still around, pls tell me step by step….where do I “run” your suggestion?
    thanks a bunch…

  48. Arvind Singh on August 28, 2012 at 4:17 am said:

    u rock……. i was wandring, how i m gona fix it. but it worked in fraction of seconds……..thanks a lot, man…

  49. Outstanding story there. What haрpеned after?
    Τake care!

  50. Germán Pérez on September 30, 2012 at 10:28 am said:

    Thanks, worked perfectly!

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