Symptoms of the error:

The primary symptom of the “cannot start Microsoft outlook” issue will be the following:

When you click the Outlook icon, an hour-glass will display on your screen. It will just hang there for some time. Then, it will be followed by the error message mentioned above.

The main reason for the occurrence of the issue is a corrupted Navigation Pane settings file profilename.xml, in which “profilename” is the name of your Outlook profile.

If you find that the size of the file is 0 KB, then you can be sure that the file is corrupted. All the versions of MS Outlook might get affected by this error.

When this issue pops up, you will not be able to open your Outlook window. At times, you might also see the following error messages:

  • Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window.
  • Microsoft Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.

The error messages will vary based on the version of Outlook that you are using.

Method to fix the “cannot start Microsoft Outlook” issue:

Recovering the Navigation Pane configuration file:

  • If your operating system is Windows Vista, 7, or 8, click the Start button. If it is Windows XP, go to Start and then Run to fix the error cannot start Microsoft outlook.
  • In the Search field, type in the following command:outlook.exe /resetnavpane
  • Now, press the Enter key or click the file to reset your Navigation Pane settings. Next, try to open Outlook.

In case you choose the Run dialog box on Windows 7 or 8 version, make use of these steps:

  • First, go to the Start menu. Then, click All Programs and select Accessories.
  • Choose the Run option.
  • In the Run dialog box, type in the outlook.exe /resetnavpane command. Click the OK button.

Deleting the Navigation Pane Settings file:

  • Try deleting the XML file that stores your navigation pane settings. To achieve the same, carry out the following instructions:
  • In case you are using Windows 7 or 8 versions, enter the following command in the Start->Search field. If it is Windows XP, go to Start->Run and type in the same command. Please do not forget to press the Enter key after typing the command:
  • %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook
  • You will be taken to the folder in which the Microsoft Outlook configuration files are saved. Locate the Outlook.xml file and then delete it if you cannot start Microsoft outlook.

Important Note: Please try recovering the Navigation pane settings file. Resort to deleting the file only if you don’t have any other choice.

Cannot start Microsoft outlook