Fixing Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook 2010 Error


Microsoft Outlook

The Outlook program from Microsoft is capable of storing email messages, appointments, notes, tasks, journals, and related personal data in the form of Outlook PST files. In spite of this, there are some situations where you will be able to notice issues on Outlook startup that leads to a number of errors like “Microsoft Outlook cannot start” and similar ones. Let us assume a situation where the user is trying to start the Outlook 2010 program to get access to the email messages, but instead of this, an error message is displayed on the screen: “Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window.”

After getting the error message, you will not be able to start the Outlook 2010 program and will not be able to open the default user profile.

Causes Of The Error

There can be many reasons for this error. Some of them are listed below.

  • When the default Outlook profile of the user is damaged.
  • When the navigation pane of the Outlook program is faulty or is facing issues.
  • PST file corruption can also lead to this error.


Depending upon the cause of the error, you will have to choose a solution by following these steps.

  • For issues related to navigation pane, you will have to reset it. To do this, go to Start, select Run, and then type Outlook.exe /resetnavpane. You can then restart the Outlook program to check if the problem is resolved. You can make a new Outlook profile after deleting the old one and then attach the old PST file to the new one.

    Cannot Start Outlook

    Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook

  • In case of PST corruption, Outlook suggests using its inbuilt inbox repair tool that is generally called as scanpst.exe. Sadly, this tool comes up with some limitations like the inability to repair corruptions that occurred due to the exceeded size of the Outlook PST file, external issues etc.
  • You will have to go for the PST inbox repair tool that is especially meant to completely fix up the PST corruption issues and consequently, the “cannot start Outlook” issues can be resolved.

These are the simple steps to resolve the Microsoft Outlook cannot start issues. If you need further help with resolving the issue, you can contact the Outlook help and support team. They will be able to help you fix the issue without getting any other Outlook errors.

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Fixing PST Corruption In Outlook

Cannot Start Outlook

               Outlook Errors

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most advanced and useful email applications that comprises of a set of interesting options. Some of the these features include a calendar, note taking options as well as journals that enable the users to successfully schedule their appointments and meetings. Hence, Outlook can be termed as a must have for every business professional.

Although this email program works fine most of the times, sometimes certain issues may crop up that can prevent you from accessing the program further. According to the Outlook tech support team, one of the main issues that occur in Outlook is related to the corruption of PST files. PST files mainly store the personal information of the Outlook users in specific files. Hence, once they get corrupted, you won’t be able to access the information stored in these files.

Whenever you encounter such PST file errors and an error message that says- Cannot Start Outlook, you can resort to the Inbox recovery tool. Microsoft Outlook comprises of a built-in PST repair tool known as Scanpst.exe. This utility comprises of options that fix the corrupted PST files. However, a major drawback of the tool is that it doesn’t retrieve the information stored in the PST files. Moreover, if the PST file is severely corrupted, Scanpst.exe won’t be much effective in fixing the issue.

Outlook Users

                Outlook 2010

Several third party software programs and tools are available today that help fix the PST file corruption. Some of these top PST recovery tools completely fix the corrupted file irrespective of the severity of the problem. Moreover, these tools also help in retrieving the information that was stored in these files. So, if the PST file corruption is severe, it is always better to use such third party software tools that comprise of advanced options to fix the Cannot Start Outlook error.

The PST file corruption can be due to various reasons and that includes malware attack, large file size or even some other issue related to Outlook. Hence, it is always best to keep a backup of the information stored in Outlook such that even if the file gets corrupted, you won’t lose the vital data. In such cases, you can also use the built-in Inbox recovery tool.

So, the next time you encounter such errors in Microsoft Outlook, first try using the inbox repair tool. To get more assistance on the same, you may also contact our technical support team.

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Fixing The Cannot Start Outlook Error


Microsoft Outlook Errors

What you mostly do when you cannot start Microsoft Outlook for some reason, is get it to start in Safe Mode. In this way, you can check out what is wrong with the program, and maybe fix it. A common misconception here is that Outlook’s safe mode is the same as Safe Mode for Windows. Yet in fact, the two are quite different. The latter would have all network drivers disabled, and with no internet, so there would be no point looking into why you cannot start Microsoft Outlook.

Safe Mode in Outlook however, is a function that disables the add-ons and user settings, and runs just the essentials, so that nothing gets in the way of troubleshooting. To enter Safe Mode in Outlook, you have to use a switch that can be accessed from the Start Menu.

To do that, go to the search box, and type in Run. Launch the Run command when you find it, and enter Outlook.exe /safe in the text field. Make sure that you include the space after .exe. Another way to force Outlook to open in Safe Mode is by holding down the CTRL key when launching the email client application.


Microsoft Outlook Troubleshooting

Another method for fixing the issue with Outlook, which does not involve entering Safe Modem, is by using a PST repair tool. If your problem is data related, then the ScanPST tool is a good option. It is a utility that is installed with Outlook, so you will already have it, unless you removed it for some reason.

Sometimes, all you need to get Outlook back up and running, is removing some of the add-ins you do not need. If you do need every one of them, then systematically disable each to check if that solves your problems. This can take some time, if you have many add-ins installed, but if any one of these is preventing Outlook from launching, then there is no other way around to fix the email client application.

If all else fails, consider un-installing Outlook and install a fresh copy. To do this, go to Start > Control Panel > Uninstall a Program, and select Microsoft Office. Click on Change, and deselect all the options other than Outlook. Repeat the same steps to re-install the program, keeping Outlook marked this time.

These are just some of the ways to fix the Cannot Start Outlook error. Call us for assistance with PC issue resolution, on our 24-hour support hotline.

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Improve Outlook Performance By Renaming .DAT Files


Features Of Outlook

Most of you might be using Outlook as your email client program. While using Outlook, you might have received many pop up errors with the program like Outlook will not load or the program might be taking long to open up or respond to the mouse clicks. This could be due to many reasons. According to experts, one of the reasons is the corrupt .DAT files of the program.

Keep in mind that there are numerous .DAT files in the Outlook folders. However, you do not need many of them for the functioning of Outlook and these .DAT files could be the ones giving troubles. Now, in order to fix this Outlook issue and make your email program load faster, you may rename these files. Follow the steps below to rename the files.

Steps involved

  • Save the work that you are currently performing with the program. Then, click the x button in the program to close it.
  • Locate the troubled .DAT files in the Outlook folders.
  • Click the button F2 and rename these files. It is advisable to rename these files to Filename.old.
  • Launch the Outlook program and this will create a new copy of the modified files.

One of the major files, which are responsible for Outlook will not load error messages is the outcmd.dat. The corruption of this file can lead to the slow performance of the program and even it not loading. All the changes made to the Outlook toolbar is saved in this file. It can also become the home to spyware, virus files, adware etc. In addition to this, there are several .dat files, which cause Outlook issues. Let us find out the locations of this file in various Microsoft operating systems.


Outlook Email Configuration

Windows XP users need to navigate to the location C:Documents and Settings<username>Local SettingsApplication DataMicrosoftOutlookVista – C:Users<username>AppDataRoamingMicrosoftOutlook to locate the Outcmd.dat file.

Extend.dat: This file contains the path to various DLL files. The location of this file in Windows XP Is C:Documents and Settings <username> Application DataMicrosoftOutlook. Windows Vista users can find this file at C:Users<username>AppDataLocalMicrosoftOutlook.

 Frmcache.dat: This is an index file of various forms used with the program. The location of this file in XP is C:Documents and Settings <username> Application DataMicrosoftOutlook. In case of Windows Vista, you can find it at C:Users<username>AppDataLocalMicrosoftFORMS.

Once you locate the above-mentioned files, you may rename them with the extension .old. This will help improve the performance of your Outlook program.

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Start Outlook With All Folders Expanded/Collapsed


            Outlook Email Program

While expanding and collapsing folders in the Outlook program can seem random, there are two basic rules.

  • Outlook program should remember which all folders were collapsed or expanded when the user closes the program and should also start with this folder state again.
  • If any of the folders is closed and a message is delivered to one of the subfolders of it, it will automatically expand to that subfolder.

As the folder state is saved when the user closes the Outlook program, Outlook shutdown issues can prevent the program from saving it so the folder state is not remembered when the program is started again.

Collapsing The Folders

To keep the mailbox collapsed even when a new message is delivered, ensure that your Inbox and other folders that get the email message have been added to the favorite list. If the default startup folder for the Outlook program is your Inbox folder, then the Outlook program will always expand that mailbox to the Inbox folder even when your Inbox folder is added to the Favorites list. To counter this, you can set the default startup folder to Outlook Today.

To set the default startup folder,

  • In Outlook 2007 and previous versions, go to Tools, select Options, and then choose Startup in this folder.
  • In Outlook 2007, choose File, then Options, Advanced, Option group, and then select Outlook start and exit and finally Start Outlook in this folder.

            State Outlook Support

Collapsing The Folders

IMAP folders will always start collapsed and would remain collapsed even when a new message is being delivered to any of its folders. Setting the default startup folder of Outlook to Inbox folder of an IMAP account will expand the folder list on startup, but this could increase the startup time of the Outlook program.

If you are having many folders, this macro could take a long time to finish and can prove to be quite a resource hog, as the Outlook program will not load the view of each folder. It is recommended to run the macro with all the folders expanded. As the Outlook program should remember the folder state when the user restarts the Outlook program, there is no need to run the macro at each startup unless you are using an IMAP account.

If you would like to know more on the Cannot start Outlook error, or the above discussed steps, you can contact our Outlook help team. The Outlook help technician will be able to help you know more on the Cannot start Outlook error.

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