Microsoft Outlook Not Opening

“Microsoft Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience”. This error message may appear when you try to open the Microsoft Outlook program. Also, Microsoft Outlook may refuse to open up without showing an error message or with a different one. There are a number of reasons that may prevent the program from opening. Let’s look in to the below mentioned free Microsoft Outlook support guide. It will help you troubleshoot such Microsoft Outlook problems and understand


Make sure the Outlook program is not running in the background. Close any error message that is appearing on your screen. If MSN or Windows Messenger is running, close it too. When done, click the Start button and click Search. Type ‘outcmd.dat’ (without quotes) in the All or part of the file name box, select C: drive as the directory to look in to from the drop-down menu under the Look in box, and hit the Search button to begin the search. Windows 7 and Vista users can use the Start Search menu to type and search for the ‘outcmd.dat’ file.

When finished, you will see the outcmd.dat file. Right-click the file and select Rename. Give a different name to file (any name of your choice). Exit the Search Results window. Now click the Microsoft Outlook icon and open it. It should open up fine. If the email program still does not open, go back looking for the outcmd.dat file in the Search Results window. Right-click the file and select Delete. If prompted, confirm the action by clicking the Yes button. Close the window and reopen Outlook. It should open fine.

OUTCMD.DAT is a small file that stores the custom changes you make to your Outlook toolbar buttons. Since malware or virus infections often target toolbars to slip into your computer, they add toolbars or add-ins to this file, making it corrupted. Also, a temporary glitch can cause this file to become corrupted. If Outlook starts working fine after renaming the file, you can customize your Outlook toolbar buttons again. Otherwise, delete the file and then re-customize your toolbar buttons.

If you are using Windows 7 with the Outlook 2010 version and receive “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Unable to open the Outlook window. The set folders could not be opened. The server is not available. Contact your administrator if this condition persists”, check this method. Click the Startbutton and open Command Prompt. If you do not see Command Promptanywhere in programs, type ‘command’ (without quotes) in the Start Searchtype, and look in the search results. Click to open Command Prompt.

Type ‘C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOffice 14Outlook.exe” /resetnavpane’ (without quotes and as is) and hit the Enter key. The command assumes that your Office program resides in Programs Files in the C: drive. If it resides in a different location, change the path accordingly. Exit the Command Prompt window. Open Outlook and check back, it should work fine. The command removes and recreates the navigation panel for your Outlook profile. If the problem persists, move on to the next step.

Disable the add-ins that you no longer use and will never use in the future. Since Outlook is not opening in the normal mode, restart in Safe Mode. To do so, click the Start button and go to Run. Type ‘outlook.exe /safe’ (without quotes and as is) and hit the Enter key. When in Outlook, click the Tools tab, and select Trust Center. Click Add-ins in the left hand panel of Trust Center. Look at the bottom of the window beside Manage.

If COM Add-ins is not selected beside Manage, click the drop-down menu and select it. Hit the GO button to get in the COM Add-ins window. Look for the unnecessary add-in, click to uncheck the box beside it, and then hit the OK button. If you want to remove an add-in, just select it, and hit the Remove button. The add-in will be removed. Exit Trust Center, close Outlook and reopen it. It will open up fine in the normal mode.

Additional Tips:

If none of the above mentioned methods works, open Outlook in Safe Mode and delete your existing email profile. Create a new one, close and reopen Outlook normally. In case Outlook still does not open, contact a Microsoft Outlook support service.