Every time I start Outlook 2007 SP2 on my Windows 7 box Outlook will look like its loading fine, then I get this error message:

cannot start microsoft office outlook. cannot open the outlook window

and outlook will close. I was able to get outlook to start by using

outlook.exe /resetnavpane

in the Start->Search box, a nice tip which I got from this social.microsoft.com page. But it didn't fix the problem since outlook is still complaining when it starts after a reboot.

What can I do to get outlook to startup normally?

  • Have you tried uninstalling and reinstalling Office/Outlook? I've had zero problems on Win7 myself...so perhaps it just needs a good "reset"? – TheCleaner Sep 15 '09 at 14:17
  • I was really hoping not to have to re-install: it's a freshly paved machine but it looks like it's either that or append /resetnavpane to my outlook shortcut :D – Jared Sep 15 '09 at 17:18
  • Did you get this fixed? I was going to suggest a answer but I saw you wrote this in Sept – thegreyspot Jan 13 '10 at 5:22
  • never did fix this, I just changed my taskbar shortcut to outlook.exe /resetnavpane – Jared Jan 17 '10 at 23:15

That error can be related to your Outlook.OST file been corrupted.

How to force Outlook to create a new .OST file:

  1. Close Outlook
  2. Make sure you are able to see file extensions
  3. Go to the folder where Outlook.OST is saved

• Windows 7/Vista: C:\users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
• Windows XP: C:\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

  1. Rename Outlook.OST to Outlook.OLD
  2. Relaunch Outlook
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Sometimes it'll give that error if it's already running processes related to Outlook.

Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to get the task manager and check for outlook.exe and End Task then try to run it again.

If it's not running, look for WINWORD.exe (even if it's not running on your taskbar) and End Task on that as well.

If neither are running, then I don't know what the problem would be.

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Had that error a lot of times in the past on customer machines.

Finally I always ended up creating a new profile.

To do that go to open "Mail" inside the control panel, then "Profiles" and create a new one and set that as default. (I have a german operating system so the item names may vary ;)

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If the problem not fixed by running outlook.exe /resetnavpane command it means, it's not a navigation panel issue then you can try this- Run the Inbox Repair tool(Scanpst.exe) in Outlook- included in the Office CD and is a tool to repair issues with Inbox personal folder files.

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