Cannot start/open Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft OutlookA friend of mine, let’s call him Mitch, had a problem with Microsoft Outlook. Whenever he tried to open it, this message came up: “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Microsoft Outlook window”. I was quite confident I could help. Foolishly, I attempted to repair the installation by running the setup from the CD. This didn’t make it worse, but it didn’t help either, as the problem was still there after the repair-installation. Before I did that, I also tried to open it while in Safe Mode and by selecting Run as Administrator – without success.

Then I remembered that I didn’t have to investigate as Google would probably find the solution for me :). I typed in the error message and found the solution in one of the first few links I clicked.

To fix the problem, all you have to do is click on Start, then on Run and type: outlook.exe /resetnavpane and that was it. After that I could open Outlook. In Windows Vista,  you just have to type the same command in the search field instead of selecting Run first. Thanks to the Microsoft Answers forum for the solution.

This fix works on Windows XP, Vista and Windows 7 and most users confirmed that it resolved the problem in their PCs. However, some people say that this error reappears at some point and they believe it is only a temporary fix. If the same error comes back, take a look at this Microsoft Knowledgebase article:

Needless to say, the problem was solved and Mitch was happy!

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