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Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot Open the Outlook Window

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Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot Open the Outlook Window

Today while starting Outlook 2010, it was throwing a strange error, soon after the splash screen it showed this error “Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot Open the Outlook Window”. Even after uninstalling and repairing Outlook 2010 using the Office 2010 set up, the same error occurred. Outlook failed to start even the safe mode when this error occurred (Click CTRL to open Outlook in safe mode).

Outlook 2010

This error is due to the problem with Outlook navigation panel which is failing to start and this could be due to many reasons like improper shutdown of Outlook.

Outlook Error

How to fix this issue:

The fix to this problem depends on the issue with Outlook. You can fix this issue using the methods mentioned below.

1. Open Start menu and Click Run (Windows Key + R) and type Outlook.exe /resetnavpane. Now try opening outlook, if the issue was due to navigation panel, resetting it would solve the issue. If the issue is still not solved, try step 2.

2.  Run the Inbox Repair tool in Outlook- Inbox repair tool (Scanpst.exe) is included in the Office CD and is a tool to repair issues with Inbox personal folder (.pst) files. You can check the Microsoft KB article 272227 for more details on this.

It is most likely that you can solve this issue using Step 1.

Thanks to Microsoft answers for the tip.

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Nirmal is a Technology Blogger and a Microsoft MVP in Windows. He can be contacted at You can find Nirmal on , and .



  1. Kate

    August 3, 2009 at 9:09 am

    Check out the Office Facebook page for tons of helpful resources to help you use all the features of your Office programs. You can post your questions to the Wall and get help directly from Microsoft!

    Share your expertise with other Outlook enthusiasts at

    MSFT Office Outreach Team

  2. mz4mz

    August 14, 2009 at 4:58 am

    Thank you sooo much for posting this. It worked! Hallelujah!

  3. Zane

    August 25, 2009 at 1:12 am

    Thank you for such a nice explanation. I had a problem with Outlook and now it is solved. I had a real big stress as i was scared to loose all my contact information i had in my Outlook. THANK YOU VERY MUCH!!

  4. Bill

    August 27, 2009 at 1:38 am

    Thanks so much – there was a problem with another application that frooze the maching when Outlook was open

    This solved it

  5. Tay

    August 27, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks for that, straight after a windows update outlook failed to open, but your reset pane line fixed it,


    August 28, 2009 at 3:30 am

    Thank you SO much for having this information handy. I had that error message come up and I thought it was the end for my outlook and all the emails I had in it. This saved me.


  7. Jack

    September 11, 2009 at 11:01 pm

    Microsoft totally sucks, I went to their website to try to find help on this and Nada without spending 99.00 and that would take 24hrs and via email, or 259.00 and 8 hour wait time. Don’t we pay enough when we buy these products? Anyway enough rant, your fix seems to have done the trick. Thanks…

  8. jagpate

    October 7, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    Thank you. Outlook.exe /resetnavpane worked fine. You saved my couplre of hours. 🙂

  9. Julie

    October 25, 2009 at 2:17 am

    The resetnavpane worked! You are a genius. I have been having to access my e-mail through web mail (which is a total pain.)


  10. Kerli

    November 16, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Yaay! Thanks so much, this was very useful and I got the problem fixed! 🙂

  11. Aidan

    November 26, 2009 at 3:49 am

    Running outlook /resetnavpane worked for me on Office 2010 tp!

  12. dung_h2

    November 29, 2009 at 9:20 pm

    i did same as ur introduce but 🙁 Outlook isn’t still running.

  13. Dave

    December 8, 2009 at 9:13 pm

    Very grateful for the post! After commiserating with colleagues trying to solve this from the Windows troubleshooting page, I clicked into the tech blog and ran the fix in 2 seconds! thanks!

  14. BeSweeet

    December 24, 2009 at 7:27 am

    Outlook.exe /resetnavpane does absolutely nothing for me.

    I can’t find Scanpst.exe anywhere…

    Office 2010 beta x64, Windows 7 Home Premium x64.

  15. Tim

    January 6, 2010 at 4:39 am

    Fantastic! I tried several other “fixes” until finally finding this one – which worked (Win 7 32-bit Outlook 2007). Thank you!

  16. rakis santa

    January 9, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    cool it really works for 2007 version

  17. imdna

    January 21, 2010 at 3:53 am

    fantastic… yep, worked for Outlook 2007 as well…
    thanks for sharing…

  18. Blue Boy

    February 26, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Hi, I agree, you are a genius! I just love the way Kate hops on to encourage everyone to head off to Facebook; no mention of the problem’s potential solution. Honestly, I am a follower of the “piece of shit” mutterers when it comes to personal computers, Microsoft, and the problems and conflicts that seem to be never-ending! Outlook Connector, hah!

  19. Cloud Toucher

    February 26, 2010 at 8:36 pm

    Thanks, That really help, fix the problem

  20. Andy B

    March 17, 2010 at 9:37 pm


    Option 1 did not work, Option 2 Did.


  21. nick

    March 22, 2010 at 11:40 am

    thank you!!!!! you saved my week!

  22. Tipper

    March 22, 2010 at 10:31 pm

    Option one worked for me. Thanks for the quick fix!!

  23. Kim

    March 22, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Thanks so much…nice,simple and it solved the problem. My hectic life owes yuou big time!

  24. Mike Ciaramitaro

    March 23, 2010 at 12:00 am

    Worked like a charm. You’d think by now they (Microsoft) would script this into the error message.

  25. Inta

    March 24, 2010 at 1:22 am

    Thank you! And I thought all those emails had gone for good. Option 1 fixed it pronto. Lifesaver!!!

  26. Giancarlo

    March 31, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Thanks for the fix tip! Worked just like I hoped it would!
    Thanks again!

  27. Karthik

    April 25, 2010 at 11:04 am

    abs brilliant dude!
    thanks a lot
    the first step worked

  28. Seth

    May 19, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    It didn’t work. I tried Option 1. It came up with the error message again. I also can’t find scanpst.exe on my disc anywhere.

  29. srinivasan Kumar

    May 25, 2010 at 7:49 pm

    Thanks this resolves my issue.

  30. JR

    May 31, 2010 at 9:57 am

    Thanks for the quick fix (option 1)! Almost had a meltdown when I thought I lost my Outlook forever!

  31. Michael

    June 7, 2010 at 10:10 pm

    Thx a billion. I used option 1 and it solved my problem. Nice!

  32. Betsy Adams

    June 9, 2010 at 12:44 am

    Thanks so much. Problem solved, and now have enabled “run” on Windows 7. My question is WHY did this happen?

  33. Paul

    June 25, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Thanks so much. Other fixes did not take me, a complete tech novice, through step by step the way you did – very helpful.

  34. dru

    July 17, 2010 at 8:12 am

    option 1 worked for outlook 2007. THANKYOU!!!!

  35. scalapendra

    August 21, 2010 at 5:53 pm

    Oh, it’s realy help me. Thank you!

  36. Hamza Khan

    September 29, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Thanks you sooo much, resetting the navigation panel was the issue. I was looking for a possible solution for hours. Thanks again mate 🙂

  37. Divya

    December 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm


    Thank you so much for this post.It was exactly what I was looking for! immense helpful….

  38. Shakeel

    January 17, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    I have tried your steps, Its still not resloved the issue…. Please let me know ;if you have any other solution for the above problem…Please suggest …..


  39. dpminusa

    July 6, 2011 at 1:13 pm

    Here is what we did to get rid of this problem. It seems odd as does the error.

    We had this error after an update was installed. We installed the update with a user that has administrator privileges.

    We tried the 101 under-the-hood tricks that are stored in an empty m&m jar on Bill Gates front-porch first without success.

    We then went to the Icon that is created in the Office Folder for Outlook, and edited the Shortcut -> Advanced Properties to run as administrator. This seemed to allow Outlook to finish a step that the implicit administrator privileges used during the update did not.

    After this step and launching outlook, it does not seem to matter if this property is chosen or not for further launches.

    We suspect this was an update oops, oops.

    Hope it works for you as well.

  40. Danfers

    October 2, 2011 at 4:02 pm

    on windows 7

    unchecked the compatibility mode.

    this work for me.

  41. Praveen

    February 13, 2012 at 10:29 am

    hi even i am unable to open with run command please help me

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