Your MS Office Outlook application may crash at any point in time, i.e. while starting, while executing a few tasks, or when closing the email client. There could be myriad reasons for this weird behavior, including a corrupt mail message in your Inbox or a corrupt entry in your Outlook calendar. If the problem is specific to an item, try to delete that item from your email database. You can also use another email client to view that item, in case deletion is not an option. Sometimes, when the application is restarted after a crash, you receive the following message on your screen:
‘Outlook failed to start correctly last time. Starting Outlook in safe mode will help you correct or isolate a startup problem in order to successfully start the program. Some functionality may be disabled in this mode. Do you want to start Outlook in safe mode?’
Starting Outlook in Safe Mode is an easy way to troubleshoot problems. This option allows you to start Outlook with default settings and remove customizations. Further, you cannot enable COM add-ins and Exchange Client Extensions in safe mode. This prevents loading of a number of dynamic link libraries (DLLs) that interact with both data and the application. You may notice the following changes after starting MS Outlook in safe mode:
- The Reading Pane doesn’t appear.
- Customized toolbars are not loaded.
- Ribbon customizations and Quick Access Toolbar customizations are not loaded.
- The Instant Search functionality cannot be accessed.
- To-Do bar customizations are not loaded.
There are a number of other temporary changes that take place when Outlook is opened in safe mode. Once the application has started, you need to do certain things in order to remove inconsistencies from Outlook:
- Verify the list of items disabled in safe mode and try to remember the actions that forced the Outlook to crash.
- Check if there are still any third-party add-ins or extensions enabled in Outlook. In order to check and disable them, follow the given procedures:
- Disable COM add-ins:
1. Go to ‘Tools’ and select ‘Trust Center’.
2. Click ‘Add-ins’ and then choose ‘COM Add-ins’ in the ‘Manage’ box. Click ‘Go’.
3. Deselect the checkboxes corresponding to all add-ins that you need to disable.
4. Click ‘OK’ and restart Outlook.
- Disable Exchange Client Extensions:
1. Navigate to ‘Tools’ and then click ‘Trust Center’.
2. Click ‘Add-ins’.
3. In the ‘Manage’ box, click ‘Exchange Client Extensions’ and then ‘Go’.
4. Deselect the checkboxes for the extensions you need to disable.
5. Click ‘OK’ and restart Outlook.
- Ensure that there are no third-party LLs running under the Outlook.exe Process by running the Process Explorer. If you find any such DLLs, remove them by uninstalling their parent software.
- Follow the given steps to create a new ‘Outlook’ registry having default settings:
- Quit Outlook, if running.
- Open Registry Editor and switch to the following key:
- Rename ‘Outlook’ to ‘Outlook-1’.
- Restart MS Outlook.
After restarting the application, a new registry key is created with default settings and you can start working with your Outlook effortlessly.