Microsoft Outlook Not Responding – Fix Outlook Stuck at Startup (8 Ways)

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Outlook is a widely used and convenient email service, but some users report an issue where it gets stuck on the “Outlook stuck on processing” screen, which can be really frustrating. Are you encountering the same problem? If so, please carry on with the reading. The solutions we provide in this article work for all versions of Outlook, including Outlook 2010 and 2013.

There are several causes of Outlook freezing on startup, including out-of-date software, faulty installation files, and problems with other applications. Sometimes, issues with the user profile can also lead to Outlook not opening properly.

Although Outlook may be stopped at the “Starting” screen for a number of reasons, we have highlighted a few solutions that can help you fix the problem quickly.

TRY IT NOW: Quick and Easy Ways to Fix Outlook Not Responding

Let’s quickly review the simple fixes.

  • Start Outlook in Safe Mode to identify the issue.
  • Disable or remove add-ins to avoid conflicts
  • Create a new Outlook profile to fix startup problems and reset preferences.
  • Update Windows and MS Office to resolve compatibility issues
Microsoft Outlook Not Responding

4 Easy Solutions to Fix Outlook Stuck at Startup in Windows

Outlook freezing on startup is typically the result of minor issues that can be easily resolved. We’ve gathered quick solutions for the common problems in Outlook.

1. Start Outlook in Safe Mode

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Starting Outlook in Safe Mode helps identify the potential sources of problems. Here’s how you can do it:

  • In order to open the “Run” dialog, press ‘Win + R’.
  • Type outlook.exe /safe then press ‘Enter’. If Outlook opens, the problem can be with add-ins.
Type outlook.exe /safe
  • So, in the next solution, we will try disabling every add-in and restarting “Outlook” normally to see if that fixes the issue.

2. Turn off Outlook Add-Ins

Outlook might not respond properly due to conflicts with add-ins when it starts. To ensure a smooth startup, identify and fix compatibility issues by disabling or removing unwanted add-ins.

  • Close “Outlook” and open it in “Safe Mode”.
  • Go to “File” > “Options” after opening “Outlook”.
  • Choose “Add-Ins” from the menu on the left.
  • Select “COM Add-ins” from the “Manage” dropdown menu, then click “Go”.
Select COM add ins
  • To disable any add-ins, just uncheck the boxes next to them or select them and choose “OK”.
Turn off Add-Ins in Outlook
  • To see if the problem still exists, click “OK” to save the modifications and restart “Outlook”.

3. Make a Fresh Outlook Profile

Startup problems are often caused by a faulty Outlook profile. Starting from scratch when creating a new profile will help remove any underlying problems related to profiles and give Outlook a fresh start.

  • Close “Outlook”.
  • To open the ‘Search’ window, press the ‘Windows and S keys.’
  • Type “control panel” and open it.
  • Click “Add” after selecting “User Accounts” > “Mail” > “Show Profiles”.
Click Show Profiles
  • After entering a new profile name‘, click “OK”.
Enter a New Profile Name
  • Then, to finish the process, adhere to the on-screen directions.
  • Go back to “Mail” > “Display Profiles”.
  • Then select “Prompt for a profile to be used” after selecting the just generated profile. Click “OK” after that.
Prompt for a profile to be used
  • After that, launch “Outlook” and carry on working using the newly created profile. You can remove the previous profile from Outlook if it doesn’t open the new one.

4. Upgrade Windows and Microsoft Office

You could easily get into the “Outlook stuck on processing” issue if your computer is running an outdated version of Windows or Microsoft Office. To resolve this issue in this instance, try updating them to the most recent version.

To update Microsoft Office, take the actions listed below:

  • Launch any ‘Microsoft Office program’, such as “Excel” or “Word”.
  • Click the Office logo in the upper-left corner or select the “File” menu.
  • From the list of options, choose “Account” or “Office Account”.
  • To browse for and install updates, click “Update Options” and select “Update Now”.
  • To finish the upgrade procedure, adhere to the instructions.
Update Office

To update the Windows, take the actions listed below:

  • Navigate to “Settings” on your Windows computer after updating Office.
  • Select “Check for updates” after going to “Update & Security”.
Click Check for Updates
  • Install any Windows updates that are available.
  • After installing the updates, restart your computer to see if Outlook launches without any problems.

5 Advanced Ways to Fix Outlook Being Stuck at Startup

With the help of simple solutions, users resolve Outlook startup problems with ease, however, if the problem isn’t solved, move to the advanced solutions below: 

1. Fix Corrupted System Files

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Outlook may not start properly due to underlying system problems that can be fixed by using SFC and DISM.

  • In ‘Windows Search’, type “cmd”.
  • Click on “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator”.
  • Press “Yes” to accept when UAC asks if you wish to make changes.
  • Next, duplicate and insert the subsequent commands, hitting ‘Enter’ each time:
    sfc /scannow
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

(Note: try again after adding /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess if you receive an error when attempting to run the previous command.)

  • Restart your computer

2. Fix or Reset MS Outlook

Outlook-specific problems, like corrupted data or settings, can be resolved by repairing or resetting the program.

  • Open “Control Panel”.
  • Navigate to “Programs” > “Programs and Features”.
Select Programs and Features in Control Panel
  • From the list of installed programs, find and select “Microsoft Office”.
  • Select the “Change” button located at the window’s top.
  • You can select “Repair” or “Reset” based on your own preference.
Change Microsoft under Programs and Features
  • To finish the repair or reset procedure, adhere to the on-screen instructions.
  • After you’re done, try restarting your computer and opening “Outlook” to see if the problem has been fixed.

3. Reduce the size of the Mailbox by Archiving Older Items

Outlook performance may suffer if it has a huge mailbox. Outlook runs faster if you reduce the size of the mailbox by archiving old items.

  • Open “Outlook” and navigate to the “File” tab.
  • Click on “Mailbox Cleanup” in the menu.
  • Choose “AutoArchive” and specify archiving preferences.
  • Decide which folders or items to archive. Customize additional archiving settings as needed.
Reduce the size of the Mailbox by Archiving Older Items
  • Review and save your settings.
  • After finishing, try restarting Outlook to see if the problem with the startup has been fixed.

4. Install MS Office again

If all else fails, a clean reinstallation of Microsoft Office can fix Outlook and its dependencies. This guarantees a new installation free from corruption or bugs from the past.

  • Right-click on “Start” and select “Applications and Features”.
  • Scroll down and find the “Microsoft Office”.
  • Click “Uninstall” and then confirm.
  • To thoroughly uninstall the software, adhere to the on-screen directions.
Uninstall Microsoft Office from Apps & Features
  • To access “File Explorer”, press ‘Win + E’.
  • Select the following location and remove its contents: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office
Delete contents of Microsoft Office in Program Files folder
  • Next, use ‘Windows search’ to type “regedit” and hit ‘Enter’.
  • Use the “Registry Editor” to navigate to the following location and remove these items:
    Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\AppVISV Computer\HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\ClickToRun Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office
Delete files of Microsoft Office in RegEdit
  • After restarting your computer, reinstall “Microsoft Office”.

5. Repair Your Outlook Data Files

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To repair Outlook data files (PST/OST files), you can also utilize the “Inbox Repair Tool”. Here are some steps you can try:

To repair Outlook using the Inbox Repair Tool (SCANPST.EXE), follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the “Outlook” shortcut and select “Properties” to open the Properties window.
  • In the “Shortcut” tab, click on “Open File Location” to access the installation directory.
  • Locate “SCANPST.EXE” and open it. This launches the “Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool”.
Open Scanpst exe
  • The tool will prompt you to select a file to scan and repair. Click on “Browse” and navigate to the following directory:
    (Replace *username* with your own username.)
  • Select the profile you want to repair (stored as OST files), then click “Start” to begin the scanning process.
Repair Your Outlook Data Files
  • Once SCANPST finishes scanning and repairing, click “OK”.
  • Launch “Outlook” to check if the issue has been resolved.

To Wrap Up

Although solving Outlook startup issues can be difficult, if you know the right solutions, you can solve them easily. We truly hope that you resolved the error by following the instructions provided in this guide.

In case you’re still getting issues — don’t hesitate to share it in the comments below and consider downloading an auto-fix software offered at the beginning and the end of this guide.

Good luck!

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About the author
Sage-Michael Brown
Sage-Michael Brown - Author

Sage is another team member and writer at Windows Fix Hub.

His experience includes computer repair, IT consulting, computer networking, data recovery, and home networking.

These qualities enables him to provide top-notch information for our readers and guide them through pretty much any issue.