I can’t start Microsoft Outlook 2010 or 2013 or receive the error “Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook Window”

If you are having trouble starting Outlook 2010 or Outlook 2013, or have received the error “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window”, the user interface may be failing to completely launch. You can use the steps below to find and correct the Outlook start error.

Start Outlook in Safe mode

Sometimes add-ins can conflict with Outlook. Starting Outlook 2010 or 2013 in safe mode, which launches Outlook without add-ins loaded, can tell you if this is the problem:

  1. Start Outlook in safe mode. To do this:
    For Windows XP, click Start, and then click Run.
    For Windows Vista or Windows 7, click Start
    For Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, hold the Windows key and press X, then choose Run in the popup menu.

  2. Type Outlook /safe in the Run dialog box.

If Outlook launches in safe mode:

  1. Click File, then click Options, and then click Add-Ins.

  2. Select COM Add-ins, and then click Go.

  3. Click to clear all the check boxes in the list, and then click OK.

  4. Restart Outlook, but not in safe mode.

If Outlook starts and the error does not appear, this indicates a conflict with an add-in. Begin adding the add-ins one at a time, restarting with each add-in that is enabled. This will allow you to figure out which add-in is causing the issue. You can also refer to the Why can’t I start my Office 2013 application? article for additional add-in troubleshooting information.

Note    An outdated version of ABBYY FineReader add-in may cause this error. For more information, see Office programs may crash with the FineReader add-in installed.

If starting Outlook in safe mode did not resolve the problem, continue to the next section.

Create a new user profile in Outlook

Your Outlook startup issue may be resolved by creating a new profile, then setting Outlook to use this profile on startup. To do this:

  1. Open Control Panel.
    For Windows Vista, or Windows 7, click the Start button, click Control Panel, click Programs, and then click User Accounts.
    For Windows 8 or Windows 8.1, type Control Panel while on the Start screen.

  2. Click the Mail icon.

  3. Click Show Profiles.

  4. Click Add.

  5. In the Profile Name box, type a new name for the profile.

  6. Specify the user name, the primary SMPT address, and the password, and then click Next.

You may receive this prompt: Allow this website to configure alias@domain server settings?

In this prompt, click to select the Don’t ask me about this again checkbox, and then click Allow.

  1. In the Add Account dialog, click Finish.

  2. Under Always use this profile, select the profile name that you used in step 5.

  3. Click OK.

Try restarting Outlook. If creating a new user profile did not resolve the issue, continue to the next section.

Run the /resetnavpane command

Before beginning, close Outlook and any other Office applications.

  1. Launch the Run dialog box.
    For Windows XP, click Start and then click Run.
    For Windows Vista or Windows 7, click Start.
    For Windows 8 or 8.1, hold the Windows key and press X, then choose Run in the popup menu.

  2. Type Outlook.exe /resetnavpane, then click OK or press Enter.

Note    There is a space between “Outlook.exe” and “/resetnavpane”.

If this step did not solve the Outlook start issue, continue to the next section.

Repair your Outlook Data files.

When you install Outlook, an Inbox repair tool (scanpst.exe) is also installed on your PC. The Inbox repair tool can resolve issues by scanning your Outlook data files, and repairing errors. To use the Inbox repair tool, exit Outlook, and then click the link below to follow the steps in the article:

Outlook 2013: Repair Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost)

Outlook 2010: Repair Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost)

Applies To: Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010

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