Outlook Won’t Open – How To Fix
There are many reasons why Microsoft Outlook won’t open, such as add-in issues, navigation pane problems, and damaged or corrupted files.
Depending on the device you’re using and the nature of the problem, you can take different steps to fix the issue and get Outlook to work properly. In this article, you’ll see several solutions for each major device and platform. Let’s start with Microsoft’s own operating system.
Outlook Won’t Open in Windows 11
If the Outlook app on your Windows 11 device won’t work, here are the most effective ways to fix it.
1. Restart Outlook
First is a quick and simple solution that works more often than you’d think. Restarting Outlook can fix some temporary software bugs and get the email client up and running.
All you have to do is follow these steps.
- Right-click Windows and go to Task Manager.
- Under Apps, find and click Microsoft Outlook.
- Click the End Task button in the upper-right corner.
This way, you’ll completely close Outlook and all its processes. Try opening it again, and see if it works now.
2. Open Outlook in Safe Mode
Extensions and add-ins can make you more productive and help get the most out of Outlook. However, they can also be why it’s not working properly. In this case, you should run the program in Safe Mode. Here’s how.
- Hold the “Windows + R” key together to open the Run menu. You can also go to Start > Run.
- Enter outlook /safe and click OK.
- Click Yes when prompted to confirm.
Another way to open Outlook in safe mode is by clicking on its icon while holding the Ctrl button, so you can also try that if the Run option doesn’t work.
If Outlook opens in Safe Mode, you’ll want to disable problematic add-ins so it can open normally. Just follow these steps.
- Click File in the upper-left corner of the app’s window.
- Go to Options.
- Click Add-ins.
- Click Go next to Manage COM Add-ins.
- Uncheck the boxes next to the add-ins you want to disable and click Remove.
- Click OK to confirm the changes.
After disabling the add-ins that might be causing the issue, restart Outlook. If you need some add-ins, you can enable them again by following the above steps and checking the boxes next to them.
3. Update Outlook
Updating an app is a surefire way to deal with bugs and ensure it works properly. The problem is that you need to access Outlook to update it, which you may not be able to do.
In this case, you should first open Outlook in Safe Mode and then update it by following these steps.
- Click the File button in the upper-left corner of the window.
- Go to Office Account > Office Updates.
- Expand the Update Options drop-down menu, and click Update Now.
The program might not update instantly, but it will work in the background, so you can minimize it and keep doing other work in the meantime.
4. Repair MS Office
As Outlook comes with the Office package, repairing Office should solve any issues with Outlook or other services. You can repair Office in a few clicks.
- Hold the Windows + I keys together to open the Settings menu.
- Go to Apps.
- Click “Installed Apps.”
- Find Microsoft 365 by scrolling down, and then click the vertical three-dot button next to it.
- Click Modify > Quick Repair.
You can also choose Online Repair if you have a stable Internet connection and a bit more time. One of the two repair options should do the trick.
5. Delete Data Files
The more you use any program, the more data it accumulates. Outlook is no different, and too many data files can cause the program to malfunction. Moreover, some of those files might be corrupted, causing Outlook to be unresponsive.
Either way, here’s how to remove data files.
Close Outlook from the Task Manager (as seen in the first method) and restart the app.
Outlook Won’t Open in Windows 10
If you still haven’t updated to Windows 11, it would be best to do it. That way, you can ensure all your programs have the latest updates and are properly integrated into the OS. Windows 10 still gets all the relevant updates, but Outlook can still bug from time to time.
When this happens, you can use the same methods for fixing it as you would on Windows 11, so all the steps you saw above apply here.
The main difference is that some commands or menus might have slightly different names. For instance, when repairing Outlook in Windows 10, you’ll go to Control Panel > Programs and Features instead of Apps > Apps and Features as you wouldon Windows 11.
One thing you can try if the above methods aren’t working is to disable compatibility mode, especially if you recently updated to Windows 10. Here’s what you need to do.
- Right-click on the Outlook icon and go to Properties.
- Go to the Compatibility tab.
- Uncheck the box next to Run this program in compatibility mode for:
- Click Apply, and then OK.
Outlook Won’t Open on an iPhone
If your iOS Outlook app isn’t working, it could be due to a bug with the app itself or an OS issue. Let’s see some options for dealing with this, again starting with the simplest one.
1. Reinstall Outlook
Reinstalling the app lets it refresh all data and fix any temporary bugs. Here’s how to do it.
- On your home screen, tap and hold the Outlook app until a pop-up menu appears.
- Tap Remove App.
- You’ll be prompted to either delete the app or just remove it from the home screen. Tap Delete App.
- Go to the “App Store”, search for Outlook, and tap the cloud icon to install it.
- When the download is done, open Outlook and sign in.
On older iOS versions, you might not get a pop-up when holding an icon. Instead, the apps will start jiggling and get a “–” icon in the upper-right corner. The same will happen on the latest iOS if you hold for longer. If you see this, tap the “–” icon, and then tap Delete App.
2. Update to a Newer iOS Version
As mentioned, Outlook issues might not necessarily stem from a problem with the app. Maybe you’re using an older version of iOS, in which case, some apps might not work as they should.
There’s an easy fix for this.
- Open the Settings menu.
- Go to General > Software update.
- Your iPhone will automatically check for a new version. If there is one, tap Download and Install.
Your iPhone will start updating and might turn off a few times during the process. This is normal, so just wait it out, and your iPhone should power on soon. When it does, check if the Outlook app is working.
3. Perform a System Recovery
If other apps on your iPhone have issues launching, maybe your firmware needs updating. For this, you’ll need third-party software like Fixppo. Here’s how to use it.
- Launch the program and go to Standard Mode.
- Connect your iPhone and put it in recovery mode by holding the volume down and power buttons at the same time. If your iPhone has a home button, hold it along with the power button.
- You’ll see the firmware version of your iPhone. Click Download to install it.
- Once the process is finished, click Done and disconnect your iPhone.
Outlook Won’t Open on a Mac
While we’re on the topic of Apple devices, what if Outlook doesn’t work on your Mac? Your options are slightly more limited than if you’re using a Windows device, as Outlook is Microsoft’s native email client. Still, there are some things you can do to get Outlook to work on your Mac.
1. Force-Quit Outlook
Force-quitting is a macOS version of ending a task in Windows. It completely shuts down the app, allowing you to give it a fresh restart. Here are the steps to follow.
- Click the Apple icon in the upper-left corner and go to Force Quit.
- Go to Applications and find Microsoft Outlook.
- Click Force Quit.
All of Outlook’s processes will stop, so you can restart it to see if the issue is gone.
2. Update Outlook
As mentioned, updating Outlook can fix temporary software bugs and the issue of Outlook not opening. Here’s how to do it on a Mac.
- Open the App Store. You can find it among your apps or press Command + space and type App Store in the Spotlight Search.
- Click on Updates on the left side of the menu.
- If an update is available, you’ll see the Update button next to the icon, so click it.
- Install the update and open Outlook.
3. Run First Aid
First Aid is an option within Mac’s Disk Utility. It checks for and repairs any storage issues that might cause an app to malfunction. Here’s how to run it.
- Press Command + space, and type in Disk Utility.
- Click First Aid on the top menu.
- Click Run, and then Continue to confirm the action.
Once your disk is repaired, open Outlook to see if the issue is gone.
Outlook Won’t Open on an Android Device
If the Outlook app on your Android phone isn’t working, there are three main ways to fix it.
1. Clear Outlook Cache
Cache files don’t just fill up your store, they can also be why an app won’t work. Here’s how to delete them.
- Open the Settings menu.
- Go to Apps, and find Outlook.
- In the app’s menu, go to Storage & Cache > Clear Cache.
Clearing cache won’t remove any personal data from Outlook, so feel free to delete it whenever you’re low on storage or need to fix Outlook.
2. Force-Close Outlook
If Outlook is frozen or won’t open, force-closing may be a good option. Here’s how.
- Find Outlook in Apps (following the process from the above method).
- In the menu, tap Force Stop.
Go back to the home screen or app drawer and try relaunching Outlook.
3. Reinstall Outlook
Like clearing cache, reinstalling an app won’t remove any data from it, so there’s no risk. It’s a common solution to the issue of Outlook not opening, so just follow these steps.
- Hold the Outlook icon on your home screen and app drawer.
- Tap Uninstall.
- Go to the Play Store and look for Outlook.
- Tap the Install button and then Open once it’s installed.
Outlook Won’t Open in Safe Mode
Although it rarely happens, it’s possible that a program won’t open even in Safe Mode. Microsoft hasn’t offered any explanation on how to fix this issue, so you can try some of the other options you saw here in the Windows 10 and 11 sections.
Some users found that turning off their PC or laptop overnight fixed the problem, so you can also try that.
Outlook Won’t Open No Error Message
If you’re on a desktop or laptop and Outlook won’t open without a specific error message, it can be hard to understand the root cause of the issue.
In this case, the best methods to try are repairing Office or deleting data files. When all else fails, you might want to think about reinstalling Windows/macOS.
Get Your Emails Back
As you can see, there’s a lot you can do if Outlook won’t open, regardless of your device. It’s always best to start with the simplest options, like force-closing the app or reinstalling it. This should work in many cases, but if it doesn’t, you can use the more involved methods.
Have you ever had this issue happen? If so, how did you get Outlook to reopen? Share your thoughts and methods in the comments section below.