Dealing with the "Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window." error message


Recently we had a Client who was complaining that Outlook wasn't opening, and that the only message displayed was that Outlook could not open. This was on a brand new machine running Windows 7 on a brand new network.

Cannot Start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window.

Some of the advice on the web pointed towards a system restore as a solution but I was sure that this was unnecessary. After a little more digging I found a few people suggesting resetting the Outlook navigation pane, which worked first time, saving a lot of time and effort in the process. To do this just follow the instructions below

  • Open the start menu
  • Click on run (Windows XP or earlier) or click into the search box (Vista and 7)
  • Type Outlook.exe /resetnavpane
This is a simple fix to a problem that at first looks very serious. Try this before doing anything else, it could save you a lot of time and effort.