When I booted my Windows 7 laptop this morning to start working on a project everything seemed normal at first. Then I attempted to start Microsoft Outlook 2007 to view any new email and I received an error. At first I assumed that the error was a fluke and if I simply rebooted everything would work properly but this was not the case. I tried numerous different attempts to resolve the issue without success and then one of the easier resolutions I tried worked. After the fix I was using Outlook again in seconds to read and reply to email. Below I describe the error in detail, failed attempts to resolve the Microsoft Outlook 2007 issue, and then finally the command I used to resolve the issue. Before you begin I suggest reading the entire article and attempting fixes in order based on time to complete which will vary based on your computer. All of the below steps were completed on a Windows 7 laptop though the steps should be very similar for any version of Windows running Microsoft Outlook 2007.

Outlook Error Text: Cannot Start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot Open The Outlook Window.

Error Attempting To Launch Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 On Windows 7:

Cannot Start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot Open The Outlook Window.

Attempted Steps To Resolve The Outlook Error That Failed:

I am mentioning all of the below steps because it is possible to receive this error for numerous different reasons. Just because the last item resolved the issue for me does not mean that the same specific step will resolve the error for you. It is definitely possible that one of the initial steps I took will resolve your issue so my suggestion would be calculate the amount of time each step will take and start with the shortest step for resolution first.

Outlook 2007 Error Observations On Windows 7:

I noticed a couple things I thought may be related to the error though in the end I think that these were simply normal operation. I wanted to mention them as other clues that may lead you to resolution. One thing I noticed was the fact that when attempting to launch Outlook 2007 some temporary files were created in the Outlook AppData folder.

Windows 7 Outlook 2007 Default PST File Path:

C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\

Outlook 2007 View Of Temporary Files Created While Outlook Is Running:

Outlook 2007 Temporary Files Created

After I was able to get Outlook 2007 running properly I came to find out that these temporary files are normal and are generated each time you run Outlook 2007 in Windows 7.

Event Viewer Suggested NTFS Errors, Ran Windows 7 CHKDSK:

Initially I thought the best place to look would be the Windows 7 Event Log which lead me to believe that there could be hard disk errors. To bring up the Event Viewer on Windows 7 click the Windows Start Icon and either type in “Event Viewer” followed by Enter in the Search Programs window or navigate to Administrative Tools and select Event Viewer from the pop out navigation menu. You will need to dig around a bit but look for events happening around the time you tried to launch Microsoft Outlook 2007. In my scenario I located numerous NTFS events that were right around the same times I had attempted to start Outlook as displayed in the below image.

Windows 7 Event Viewer Displaying NTFS Errors When Launching Outlook 2007:

Windows 7 Event Viewer NTFS Errors When Launching Outlook 2007

So after looking at the above errors that don’t provide much detail beyond the fact that there were NTFS errors and X time besides the fact that they suggest running a CHKDSK which I decided was a good idea. In the past I have seen CHKDSK resolve issues like this with large Outlook PST files. So I scheduled a CHKDSK to occur during a reboot and waited the 30+ minutes for the CHKDSK to completely scan entire 256GB Solid State hard drive. No errors were detected and upon reboot I still had the same issues with Outlook 2007. Click here to read an article with more information on Windows 2007 CHKDSK.

Verify No Issues With Outlook 2007 PST Files Using SCANPST.EXE:

After the CHKDSK I remembered that I previously had resolved some Microsoft Outlook issues by using the SCANPST.EXE application that comes packaged with Outlook. To use SCANPST you need to launch the application, browse to each PST file, scan the file for errors, and then repair errors if they are found. Be patient with SCANPST.EXE because it can take awhile depending on the size of our .PST files. Below are images of each of these steps.

Windows 7 Default Path To SCANPST.EXE:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12\SCANPST.EXE

Launch Outlook 2007 SCANPST.EXE On Windows 7:

Windows 7: Outlook 2007 SCANPST.EXE

Example Outlook 2007 PST Files On Windows 7:

Example Outlook 2007 PST Files On Windows 7

Outlook 2007 SCANPST Process: Checking Folders And Items:

Outlook 2007 SCANPST Process: Checking Folders And Items

Outlook 2007 SCANPST Process: Errors Found & Repair Complete
Outlook 2007 Inbox Repair Tool: Errors Were Found Outlook 2007 SCANPST: Repair Complete
After the I had run SCANPST.EXE on each of the two active PST files I was still unable to launch Outlook 2007 on my Windows 7 laptop. Frustration was starting to set in because of the limited about of data provided by the error. Finally I ran across a command that resolved the issue.

Windows 7 Outlook 2007 Error Resolution: Outlook.exe /resetnavpane

A simple command run from the “Search programs and files” box from the Start Menu on Windows 7 resolved the issue. Simply type “Outlook.exe /resetnavpane” in the Search programs and files window on Windows 7 and click the Enter button. This should reset the Outlook navigation and launch Outlook 2007 on your Windows computer. If it does not launch Outlook attempt to do so manually after this command is done running. Below is what the Start Menu looks like before clicking Enter.

Outlook Repair Navigation Pane Command: Outlook.exe /resetnavpane

outlook.exe /resetnavpane

After running the above command Outlook did not launch automatically so I initially thought the Microsoft Outlook 2007 issue was not resolved on my Windows 7 laptop. I went ahead and attempted to launch Outlook manually and to my surprise it finally launched without issue. I have been able to launch it numerous times now since resolving the problem without issue.


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Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2007 Inside Out (Paperback)

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22 Responses to “Cannot Start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot Open The Outlook Window.”
  1. FearWorks Media says:

    Life saver!! Thank you – the very same final step solved my problem and got Outlook working all over again! Such a simple thing, and you’d think Microsoft might have built that into the program to happen automatically!

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello FearWorks Media,

    No problem at all. No kidding about Microsoft adding this into the troubleshooting. You would definitely think they would either build this in or provide a tool, including some documentation, that would let you know how to reset the navigation pane. Anyway you would at least hope that in their documentation they would even have a list of helpful commands that have been known to resolve common Microsoft Outlook 2007 issues but for me it took awhile to find this resolution. Anyway it is nice to know that someone else found this information useful so thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  2. dan says:

    I had the same problem. I was at a total loss as what to do about it. The PST file had errors and I repaired them. This did not correct the issue though. It was the Outlook.exe /resetnavpane that did it! Thank you!

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello dan,

    No problem at all. Glad the article helped you out. Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  3. alexinTEXAS says:

    Outlook.exe /resetnavpane to the rescue

    Thanks for the info.

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello alexinTEXAS,

    You have such a cool name! :) Thanks for leaving feedback!

    Thanks.
    alexinKENTUCKY

    [Reply]

  4. ray clark says:

    Hi
    Great fix and instantaneous when you do one more thing – for ifyou don’t it does not work.

    REMEMBER TO PUT A “SPACE” BETWEEN THE OUTLOOK.EXE AND /RESETNAVPANE

    for if you don’t and I did not for quite some time it simply does not work.

    I was going loopy reading the all success stories from everyone else, always seems to be me I thought that it won’t work for.
    SYNTAX MY FRIEND IS THE KEY

    Alex TIKAS my friend and life saver

    Ray

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello ray clark,

    Thanks for leaving feedback. Does it look like there is not a space in the examples provided in the article? If so what browser are you using? I wanted to make sure that others don’t have the same issue you did when reading the article.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

    ray clark Reply:

    Hi Alex,

    Internet explorer 8 under windows 7 pro.
    Could just be me, spaces are quite tiny really.
    Once again many thanks for your solution
    Regards
    Ray Clark

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Ray,

    Awesome. Thanks for the response. If you were just visualizing it then I can definitely see how the space was missed. I am also running Windows 7 and was able to verify if using copy/paste that the space is there.

    No problem on the solution. I am really glad to see that you found it useful.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  5. Drewski says:

    I’ve had my new workstation for 4 days now, and recently upgraded to Office 2007. Nobody else in the office has Win7, so I’m on my own for troubleshooting & IT for the most part.

    Thanks a bunch for the tutorial. I ran Outlook.exe /resetnavpane first, but Outlook said I had file errors in my *.pst’s. I followed your instructions with the scanpst program, re-ran Outlook.exe /resetnavpane, and now my Outlook is working again.

    BTW: I use Firefox, and the space between …exe /… looked smallish to me too.

    Thanks again!

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Drewski,

    Great to hear you got your Outlook 2007 working on Windows 7 again. We appreciate you taking the time to leave feedback.

    Regarding the space between “.exe” and “/”… Yeah it is really small and definitely hard for people to read. We have gotten a couple messages regarding the same scenario on a couple other posts as well. It is hard for us to balance ease of read versus being able to fit as much information as possible in the smallest possible areas. Our hope is on items like the “Outlook.exe /resetnavpane” command that people will copy it directly from the site so when they actually use the command the space will be included from the copy/paste from the site. We are definitely keeping this and the other comments in our minds though as we move forward and if we do any major redesign of the site one of the goals will be to fit the same amount of information on pages while providing a larger font.

    Thanks again.
    alex

    [Reply]

    Drewski Reply:

    Actually, I should know by now that you need a space between a program call and the switch. I was just in a hurry to get the problem resolved.

    Keep up the good work!

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Drewski,

    Yeah but not everyone would know that at all. Regardless we are glad you were able to use the solution and appreciate the positive feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  6. Simon W says:

    Thank you for this very useful, and well explained, tip – sorted my Outlook problem Any idea what would have caused the problem in the first place?
    Thanks again,
    Simon W

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Simon W,

    No problem at all. It could have been various items that initially caused the issue such as the Outlook profile becoming corrupt, favorites issues, or some type of shortcut issue. Below is the definition of the Outlook resetnavpane switch.

    /resetnavpane
    Clears and regenerates the Navigation Pane for the current profile. Removes all Shortcuts and Favorite Folders. Has the same effect as deleting profilename.xml in your user directory.

    Thanks for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  7. Patty says:

    Still unable to open microsoft office outlook . Still getting the message ” cannot start office outlook etc ” Tried outlook.exe/ resetnavpane .. all to no avail ! Help !

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Patty,

    We would need more details before we could even make any suggestions.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  8. amanda says:

    Alex
    thanks heaps. your story printed many months ago is the same as mine today. Its the end of the day and i went searching again for solutions. Thanks for explaining it so well ( i actually skipped the ‘lead up’ steps and this worked straight away.
    amanda

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello amanda,

    No problem. Thank you for taking the time to leave feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

  9. Janez says:

    I have exactly teh same problem on PC, type in Search programs and files and NOW IT WORKS. THANKS A LOT FROM SLOVENIA

    [Reply]

    alex Reply:

    Hello Janez,

    No problem. Glad the article helped you out. Thanks for taking the time to post feedback.

    Thanks.
    alex

    [Reply]

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