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

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:


  1. 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:


  1. 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.

Microsoft® Office Outlook® 2007 Inside Out (Paperback)

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