Cannot start microsoft office outlook. Cannot open the outlook window

Back from a week's leave and all ready to go when I get ...

"Cannot start microsoft office outlook. Cannot open the outlook window"

 Nice error message hey:)!

I tried a pile of the obvious stuff to no avail when I finally found the following forum entry from a guy called Dan Thomas (on the third search page!)

Run outlook.exe /resetnavpane

I guess it was obvious that the error would be to do with a navigation pane on the outloook UI - for goodness sakes!

Anyway, thanks Dan - wherever you are!!!

Comments (101)

  1. Heinrich says:

    Thanks man, this should be the only solution on the web! Took me 30min to get your solution šŸ™‚

  2. Dave says:

    Thanks Mate, worked a treat. This type of information sharing is great for useless people like me. Thankyou again

  3. Peter says:

    Wow…. where has this solution been all my life. It works… it’s simple and it’s fixed the problem in all of 5 seconds….. never mind the hour trwling through webpages with long winded solutions.  

    Well done on finding this.

  4. johnny5 says:

    thank you so much!!!

    good job!

  5. JohnO says:

    Brilliant, that worked a treat. I too found various solutions to do with reconfiguring Outlook, reinstallation and then importing settings and so on, then I stumbled across this entry, gave it a try and I’m up and running.

  6. Al says:

    This work pefectly. Thanks Again

  7. Younus says:

    Nice and simple solution.

    Thanks Mate to share useful information.

  8. Younus says:

    Nice and simple solution.

    Thanks Mate to share useful information.

  9. Vett says:

    3 days, 4 IT ‘experts’, and the solution takes 2 seconds.

    Just one question….what have I actually done?  

    reset navpane makes me suspicious whatever problem is still there, I’ve just ‘navigated’ away from it.

  10. Mike says:

    Thanks for saving me a lot of work. Great solution on here. And thanks to Dan!

  11. James says:

    Thanks mate, you legend!! Nothing else worked!!!

  12. Izzy says:

    Sweet.  This did the Trick. I was just about ready to Re-Install! šŸ™

    Thanks šŸ™‚

  13. Chris says:

    Thanks! Worked well for me as well, just had a user with the same problem and I’d never encountered that error message before.

  14. Michele says:

    Thank you so much for posting this fix. I have looked for hours and days on end and was amazed that this took 2 seconds to fix the problem. You are my hero. Thank you, thank you.

  15. Andrius says:

    Thanks. This soluttion saved my day šŸ™‚

  16. tom says:

    you’re the man, wish i’d found this soooo much sooner!  worked great, a few seconds and am up and running again.  

  17. Steph says:

    Just another thanks for posting this information.  The error popped up out of the blue so I hadn’t a clue what caused it.  Found your blog post straight away and fixed it right up.

    Thanks much! šŸ˜€

  18. Malec1984 says:

    Thanks mate I’ve saved my time by using your great simple solution. šŸ™‚

  19. Lesley says:

    Fixed my problem in less than 2 mins – thank you so much!

  20. Bryan Powell says:

    If only I had found this first, rather than running the Microsoft fix and having to rebuild all my accounts and rules.

    Fantastic work, many thanks

  21. Tim says:

    All I can say is !!! Thank You !!!

  22. Ben says:

    Thanks guys, amazing. I thought it was my Windows 7 RC killing my outlook. Super!  

  23. Simon Hudson says:

    This fault cost me a days work and it was my birthday). Finally found this solution (having tried various other switches) and finally got my Outlook open again at 5 to eleven at night.

    Sainthood awaits thee.

  24. Chris says:

    Ditto on the above comments – THANK YOU!

  25. Jason says:

    Anyone have any idea as to what may cause this error? I had never seen it before this week, but suddenly half a dozen laptops have gotten it in the past few days.

  26. Christian says:

    AAA+++ would Start-Run-outlook.exe /resetnavpane again.

    What a simple fix; would be handy to add to the error message.

    I’m leaving for a business trip at 6am and was close to tears thinking about using OWA for 5 days.

  27. Mitchell says:

    Great fix and much appreciated.  It saved my sanity because have to get on the phone with Microsoft tech support.  Thank you.

  28. Mike says:

    Thanks Matt & Dan, your comments were spot on for the error message that cma up on Microsoft outlook (outlook.exe /resetnavpane)in the ‘RUN’ pane



  29. Mike says:

    A 5 second fix……you are AWESOME

  30. John says:

    I had this same problem a month ago and had to restore a backup of my PST file because I couldn’t find a solution. So when it happened again today I was so happy to find your post!!

  31. John says:

    Saved my bacon!!!

    Thank you so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. Chris says:

    After an hour or two undating, restarting etc, pulling hair out – I found this which did the job – many thanks!

  33. Dave says:

    This worked perfectly for me too.  Thanks for the tip!

  34. Miso says:

    Fixed it in less than a minute…Great find for a non-tech geek…Thanks!

  35. audrey says:

    Wonderful solution — worked like a charm!

  36. Simon says:

    Spot on. You and the original source. Thanks.

  37. Tracy says:

    Thank you.  I purchased some software in desperation for S39 dollars.  And it didn’t work.  And I don’t think it works either.  But your solution did work.  Major thanks.  Cape Town. south Africa

  38. Wiley says:

    Thanks for posting this solution. I would have never found it!

  39. Joburg, South Africa says:

    Thanks – after 5 hours of trying to uninstall and reinstall office / outlook and system restores back and forth – this was a lifesaver.

    I’m disappointed with Microsoft.  This problem appears to be fairly recent and happened to me after I ran a set of Windows updates one of which included an Outlook update.

  40. John - Stafford UK says:

    Great fix – after hours of trying to resolve… error happened again after a reboot tho…

  41. John says:

    Adding to this because it saved my life.  Ok, not my physical one but certainly my professional one.  Thanks again.

  42. Neil says:

    awesome, on a business trip, and you helped me fix it! Lots of Karma points to you.

  43. David says:


    After several hours of reinstalling, repairing Outlook I found this article

    What a stupid error message. Descriptive value =0

  44. Osmar Bell says:

    Thanks for this lifesaver post outstanding JOB


  45. Jessica says:

    Great solution.  Just don’t forget the space – outlook.exe/(space)resetnavpane

  46. Niravesh Srikalra says:

    Thanks alot for the gr8 tip.

    save my day

  47. Steve says:

    this looks promising, I did all the normal stuff with no effect short or uninstall / reinstall outlook or re-imaging the hard drive.  I should have googled the problem first !  probably a hangover of the simpler days when I knew CPM and could fix just about anything myself…..

  48. Rob from arkansas says:

    i dont know if anyone has realized this, but it might be a problem with shutting down the computer while office is still open, I’ve had to do this a couple of times now because of power outages….just a thought

  49. Daniel says:





  50. Kirk says:

    When I try your,I get "Windows cannot find "outlook.exe/resetnavpane’. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again."

    I’m using Vista. Is that why?

  51. Michael Cichon says:

    Thanks men. Worked as promised but will investigate why when I am in need of some trivial pursuits. Although, I am surprised your site was not the first one on the google search list(made it to #3) given the number of satisfied respondents.

  52. Christian says:


    I’d like to break it again and run it again šŸ™‚


  53. Henry Grace says:

    Wow, this worked great.  Will it be permanent fix?  Henry

  54. Stuart Goold says:

    Worked first time. Many thanks. The Microsoft response was incomprehensible to me!

  55. Ray says:

    Was just about to unistall/reinstall Office 2007.  It seems as though the problem in my case had to do with the Windows Live Office and the WIndows Outlook Connector. Microsoft needs to fix this bug.  Thanks for your help with this solution, it worked.

  56. blahstah says:

    mate, thank you so much for this fix!!!!

    This should be the top link in google search for this error!!



  57. BW says:

    WOW,forunately I picked this one first even though it was 5th on page, MS should hire you.

  58. samy says:

    thanks man, my  CEO laptop has got this error, i google it and found ur site and it resolved.

    thanks again

  59. Fernando says:

    Thank you very much for this excelent fix. Microsoft has a very complecate answer for this problem that, in my case, does not work at all.

  60. David says:

    Thank you this solution worked a treat.

  61. NOTYET says:


  62. Rogelio says:

    THis worked lke a charm. Still don’t know what caused it. MAybe if a read more of the posts I’ll finndout. Does anyone know why it happened?

  63. Same here unfortunately – have to use the resetnavpane switch every time outlook is started?   I’m thinking it’s maybe a plugin causing the problem?

  64. GEEEE…..

    Thanx man!

    You just saved me from a heartattack….

  65. sAM v says:

    It hasn’t worked for me :(. I just go back from holiday and downloaded my emails, laptop went off and now cant access outlook šŸ™ Exactly the same happend last time i got back from my last holdiay and i ended up having crate a new profile.  I have masses of emails and reminders and calendar i now cannot access – devasted šŸ™

  66. Matt Deacon says:

    sAM v – if you email me your contact details I’ll try and help further … no promises;)!

  67. Suresh says:

    Wow… Simple but Great solution, the official Microsoft solution to run Program Filesmicrosoft officeOffice12SCANPST.EXE did not do any help.

    Finally the search and the intuition to click on this link helped

  68. Jim M says:

    While /resetnavpane may work, it’s not a satisfactory solution. I’ve read elsewhere that a patch corrupts the XML file that controls the navigation pane, causing the issue; but it’s been 5 months since you started this thread and Microsoft still haven’t acknowledged the problem (at least, I can’t find anything in the kb) let alone fixed it! Do we have the plot for the next Apple commercial?

  69. DB says:

    Thank god for you and Dan Thomas. This solution worked and stopped me from jumping off of a cliff.

  70. joe garcia says:

    i am running MS 2007 and try to run the oulook.exe/resetnavpane file but my computer says it cant find the file??


  71. Matt Deacon says:

    DB – go to the command prompt an dchange directory to your office folder.

    In my case you can find it here …

    cd c:program filesMicrosoft OfficeOffice14

    but I’m on Office 2010 Beta … have search for outlook.exe

    email me directly and I’ll try and help more ..

    Good luck


  72. Whatever you do, DON’T follow Microsoft’s solution found here:

    It wipes out your profile completely and trashes the registry entry so you will loose all email you have without importing.

  73. Paul says:

    THANK YOU!!! I was pulling my hair out trying to figure this out.  2 profiles, both using a single pst file.  One user profile worked, one didn’t

  74. andy flit says:

    Hi Matt

    I’m running Vista and I get the same message as joe garcia when i try the run-outlook.exe/resetnavpane it comes back that it can’t find folder

    Any ideas please



  75. Fiona says:

    ive had this trouble since yesterday, cannot find out how to fix it, i cant access my emails anyother way!!!! PLEASE HELP!!!!

    have tried the resetnavpane but to no avail, i am on vista basic. thank you in advance!!!

  76. Hans says:

    Thanks ā€“ This worked.   Wished Iā€™d looked here before I reinstalled Office plus two  service packs  and got the same problem.    

  77. Richard Mulumba says:

    Man man, this surely made a very bad day great. Thank you guys for this.

  78. Tiffani says:

    Are you serious?? this took two seconds…thanks guy

  79. Anjana says:

    This was brilliant.  Saved me lots of time to go searching for this

  80. Debbie says:

    I’m having no luck with this. I’m getting the dread error message "Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window" I’ve tried the typing "outlook.exe/navpane and outlook/navpane" into run. I then get another error message "Window cannot find … make sure you typed the name correctly and try again." I’ve tried multiple times – restarted and tried again – still no luck. Any other suggestions?

  81. Matt Deacon says:


    You probably need to change to the correct directory first.

    Type command from the windows search box

    Now type

    cd c:program filesMicrosoft OfficeOffice14

    (or something similar for the office directory)

    this should contain the outlook.exe file and then typing the command should work.

  82. Mike H says:

    Brilliant I have, for a while been running other fixes and this one has solved so many problems.

    BTW, the problem Debbie is having is purely a command line thing, she has missed a space out in the command. It should read:

    outlook.exe /resetnavpane

    Note the space before the forward slash

  83. Matt says:

    You star – once again nothing else worked found this last, just wish it had been first! Worked immediately…LEGEND!!

  84. Eilon says:

    Thanks, the solution worked like a charm. I wonder how many years it will take Microsoft to fix this bug…

  85. Eilon says:

    Thanks, the solution worked like a charm. I wonder how many years it will take Microsoft to fix this bug…

  86. E.S. says:

    Thanks, this solution worked perfectly! I wonder how many years it will take microsoft to fix this bug…

  87. Fargo Flash says:

    Make sure you put a space between the exe and the /.  I kept typing command all together and it wouldn’t work.  

  88. Mike says:

    Seams to you you add up the above hours spent trying to fix this error and it’s a big bill. Why on earth is it occuring..! Why has M$ not fixed it. and do we collectivly have to put up with it!

  89. Ferguson says:

    Great solution. ‘preciate it.

    Warm Regards.

  90. Gavin says:

    Matt you rock!

    been trying to fix my father in law's computer remotely this evening and this is the fix.

    I guess the McAfee internet might have screwed things.

    BTW the windows remote assistance in Windows 7 also rocks.

  91. FCTnet says:

    running Office 2010 beta, tried running Outlook.exe /resetnavpane and Outlook.exe /safe , but still get the Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook err msg.  Tried Office 2010 repair, uninstalled & reinstalled Office 2010, but still no change.  Too bad Office developers can't let us know how to resolve this type of problem.

  92. Brent says:

    I too want to thank you for this post.   The First entries found on the MSDN site said nothing about "Outlook.exe /resetnavpane ".  One even said just restart.

  93. Dave Silva says:


    This was simply a lifesaver! Thanks for bringing the solution to the top of a searchable blog.

    Once I navigated to the Office12 folder in my cmd window,    outlook.exe /resetnavpane  brought Outlook up clean and fully functional.

    Not sure but SLEEPing/WAKEing my laptop while Outlook was launched and on my home wireless network may have lead to file corruption.  I'll be much more careful about having net interactive programs shut down before sleeping my system in the future!

  94. Brian Hurst says:

    Hi Matt tried the Run Outlook.exe/resetnavpane but my computer tells me no such file can I download it or am I missing something here.

    regards Brian Hurst

  95. Brian Hurst says:

    Hi Matt tried Run Outlook.exe/resetnavpane but my computer tells me no such file, I am running Vista.  Can I download the file or am I missing something.


    Brian Hurst

  96. Fiona says:

    Thanks for an answer that worked – much appreciated

  97. Nano Warp says:

    Made me crazy. Found your blog in a TechNet search. Immediate fix. Office 2007 pro plus.

    Thanks to Matt Deacon and Dan Thomas!

    I got a BSOD when Outlook was open and this problem was the result after a reboot. The error was : Reference_By_Pointer

    Bug Check Code: 0x00000018

    caused by ntkrnlpa.exe

    Strange, because I have all Windows Security updates applied.

    Anyway, Outlook is fixed.

  98. CVTCHARLIE says:

    This does not work for windows 7 only XP

  99. Jehu says:

    I'm using win7 and it worked for me

  100. Carole says:

    Thanks, saved me hours of angst, and a pocketful of cash

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