Outlook Not Opening: How to Fix the Issue and Open in Safe Mode

Microsoft Outlook is one of the most popular email clients in the world, used by millions of people for their daily communication needs. However, like any software, Outlook can encounter issues that prevent it from opening or functioning properly. This can be a frustrating experience, especially if you rely on Outlook for your work or personal communication. If you’re experiencing issues with Outlook not opening, don’t worry! In this article, we’ll provide you with helpful tips and tricks to diagnose and fix the issue. We’ll also explain how to open Outlook in safe mode, which can be a useful diagnostic tool to identify and resolve issues.

Why is Outlook Not Opening?

There are several reasons why Outlook may not be opening. Some of the most common reasons include:

  1. Corrupted Outlook Data File: Outlook uses two types of data files, namely PST and OST files, to store your emails, contacts, and other data. If these files are corrupted or damaged, it can prevent Outlook from opening.
  2. Add-ins: Add-ins are third-party applications that integrate with Outlook to provide additional features and functionality. However, some add-ins can cause issues with Outlook, preventing it from opening.
  3. Malware or Virus Infection: Malware or viruses can cause issues with your computer’s applications, including Outlook. It’s important to use reputable anti-malware software to scan your computer for potential threats.

How Do I Fix Outlook Not Opening?

Here are some steps you can take to fix Outlook not opening:

  1. Restart Your Computer: Sometimes, a simple restart of your computer can help fix the issue with Outlook not opening. This can help clear any temporary files or processes that may be preventing the application from launching properly.
  2. Run the Outlook Repair Tool: Outlook has a built-in repair tool that can fix issues with your PST and OST files. To run the tool, open the Control Panel, click on Programs, select Microsoft Office, and then click on Change. From there, you can select Repair to start the repair tool.
  3. Disable Add-ins: As mentioned earlier, add-ins can sometimes cause issues with Outlook. To disable add-ins, open Outlook in Safe Mode (we’ll explain how to do this later in the article), and then go to File > Options > Add-ins. From there, you can disable any add-ins that may be causing the issue.
  4. Uninstall and Reinstall Outlook: If none of the above steps work, you may need to uninstall and reinstall Outlook. Before doing this, it’s important to backup your Outlook data files to ensure you don’t lose any important emails or data.

How to Open Outlook in Safe Mode

Opening Outlook in safe mode can be a useful tool to diagnose and fix issues with the application. Safe mode starts Outlook with only the essential components needed to run, which can help isolate the issue and determine if it’s related to add-ins, corrupt files, or other factors.

Here’s how to open Outlook in safe mode:

  1. Close Outlook if it’s currently open.
  2. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run dialog box.
  3. Type “outlook.exe /safe” in the Run box and press Enter.
  4. Outlook will open in safe mode. You can now try to diagnose and fix any issues you may be experiencing.


Outlook not opening can be a frustrating problem to deal with, especially if you rely on it for work or personal communication. However, by following the troubleshooting steps outlined in this guide, you can increase your chances of resolving the issue and getting Outlook back up and running.

It’s important to keep in mind that the root cause of the problem may not always be obvious, and may require some trial and error to pinpoint. Additionally, if you’re not comfortable making changes to your computer or email settings, it may be best to seek assistance from a professional or contact Microsoft’s support team for additional help.

By taking proactive measures to keep Outlook up-to-date and properly configured, you can minimize the chances of encountering issues in the future. And if all else fails, remember that there are alternative email clients available that may meet your needs, such as Gmail or Thunderbird.

Overall, with patience and persistence, you can overcome the frustrating issue of Outlook not opening and continue to efficiently manage your email communication.

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