(12) Microsoft Outlook Common Errors and Solutions: [Expert Guide]

Last Updated on August 6, 2023 by Amit Bansal

Microsoft Outlook is a widely used email client and personal information manager that offers various features for seamless communication and organization.

However, like any complex software, users may encounter common errors that can disrupt their productivity and workflow.

In this guide, we will explore some of the most common errors users face while using Microsoft Outlook and provide effective solutions to resolve them.

Whether it’s issues related to sending or receiving emails, synchronization problems, or unexpected crashes, understanding these common errors and their solutions can help you overcome challenges and optimize your Outlook experience.

Let’s dive into the troubleshooting journey and equip you with the knowledge to tackle Microsoft Outlook’s common errors like a pro!

Fundamentals of Microsoft Outlook

As an essential part of the Microsoft 365 suite, Microsoft Outlook is a powerful email client used by millions of professionals and individuals worldwide.

With its user-friendly interface and advanced features, Outlook enables us to streamline our email and calendar management, enhancing productivity and organization.

Outlook allows us to connect to multiple email accounts, making it a versatile choice for managing both personal and business emails.

With the integration of Microsoft 365, we can access various applications and services from within our inbox, allowing us to create and edit Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files while collaborating with our team members in real time.

Email organization is a primary feature of Outlook, offering us several ways to categorize, flag, and filter messages to ensure our inbox stays clutter-free.

We can even create custom rules to automate email management, saving us considerable time and effort.

Additionally, Outlook’s calendar feature enables us to schedule and manage appointments, set reminders, invite attendees, and share our availability with others.

Security is of utmost importance in Outlook, and Microsoft has implemented several measures to protect our data and privacy.

Outlook guards against spam, phishing, and malware through built-in filters, and the available settings allow us to further enhance the security measures as per our needs.

By protecting our information and ensuring the safety of our Microsoft 365 account, we can confidently use Outlook for our daily communication needs.

Although Outlook is a reliable email client, we may encounter some common errors at times.

Understanding the fundamentals of Microsoft Outlook will help us troubleshoot these issues effectively and continue benefiting from its powerful features.

And as always, Microsoft Support is there to provide assistance and solutions for any technical problems we may experience.

Outlook Versions and Their Common Errors

Outlook 2019

In Outlook 2019, users often experience issues such as “This set of folders could not be opened” and problems related to performance, like freezing.

These errors might be caused by poor network connection, firewall settings, or a corrupt or oversized Outlook data file (OST/PST).

To address these errors, ensure correct configuration settings and a stable connection with the mail server. Using the built-in Repair option might also be helpful.

Outlook 2016

Similar to Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016 users might face errors due to network connection, firewall settings, or corrupt data files.

It’s essential to check these settings and keep the Outlook data file size under control. Additionally, using the Repair option in Account Settings can prove helpful in fixing some issues.

Outlook 2013

For Outlook 2013, users might experience issues like “Outlook not responding” or freezing. In such cases, it is advisable to:

  1. Exit Outlook
  2. Open Registry Editor
  3. Follow the steps to edit the registry

Please remember to be cautious while editing the registry and create a backup beforehand.

Outlook 2010

Outlook 2010 errors might also arise due to network connection problems, firewall issues, or corrupt data files.

To fix these, ensure proper network connectivity, adjust firewall settings, and verify the integrity of the data files. The Repair option in Account Settings can also provide resolutions for some problems.

Outlook 2021

Outlook 2021 shares similar issues with its predecessors, such as network-related, firewall, or data file corruption errors.

As with earlier versions, it’s crucial to maintain a stable network connection, use appropriate firewall settings, and check the data file’s integrity. For more advanced troubleshooting, consult the dedicated support articles.


Outlook.com users might face issues like receiving an error message “Your message can’t be displayed right now” or frequent sign-ins being required on the iOS mail app. To address these errors, refer to the workarounds provided by Microsoft.

Error Categories and Their Causes

In this section, we will discuss the main categories of errors that Microsoft Outlook users often encounter, along with their causes and possible solutions.

Mail Send or Receive Issues

Mail send or receive issues are common in Outlook, and they often arise when there are connectivity problems, incorrect email account settings, or issues with the email server.

To resolve these errors, we recommend checking your internet connection, verifying that the email account settings are correct, and confirming that the email server is working properly.

Outlook Not Responding

Outlook not responding errors can occur when the application becomes overloaded with tasks or encounters an issue with an add-in.

If you’re facing this problem, try closing any unnecessary programs that may be consuming your system’s resources, starting Outlook in safe mode, or disabling any incompatible add-ins.

Performance Issues

Performance issues, such as slow loading times or lagging, often stem from large mailbox sizes, a lack of system resources, or outdated Outlook software.

To improve Outlook’s performance, consider archiving old emails, freeing up system resources, or updating Outlook to the latest version.

Connectivity Issues

Connectivity issues in Outlook can be caused by temporary internet disruptions, firewall settings, or problems with your email server.

If you’re experiencing connectivity problems, we suggest that you check your internet connection, verify that your firewall settings aren’t blocking Outlook, or contact your email service provider to resolve any server issues.

Search Not Working

Search not working in Outlook can happen when the indexing feature is incomplete or corrupted.

To fix this error, try rebuilding the search index or running the Inbox Repair Tool to repair any corrupted data files.

Outlook Profile and Data Files

Creating New Profile

There are times when the Outlook profile or data files may become corrupt or cause issues with its functionality.

In such cases, creating a new profile can help resolve the problem. To create a new Outlook profile, follow these steps:

  1. Close Outlook, if it is open.
  2. Open the Control Panel and choose “Mail (Microsoft Outlook)”.
  3. In the Mail Setup dialog box, click on “Show Profiles”.
  4. Click “Add” to start creating a new profile.
  5. Enter a descriptive name for the new profile, then click “OK”.
  6. Follow the on-screen prompts to configure your email account with the new profile.

Once the new profile is set up, you should select the option to always use the new profile when starting Outlook.

This can be achieved by going to the “Show Profiles” window, selecting the newly created profile, and choosing “Always use this profile” from the dropdown menu.

Repairing Outlook Data Files

Sometimes, Outlook data files – particularly Personal Folders File (PST) and Offline Outlook Data File (OST) – might become damaged, leading to errors or issues with the software.

In such cases, repairing the Outlook data files can help. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Close Outlook if it is open.
  2. Locate the Inbox repair tool (scanpst.exe) on your computer. This tool is usually found in the Microsoft Office installation folder.
  3. Start the Inbox repair tool and click “Browse” to locate the damaged Outlook data file (PST or OST).
  4. Click “Start” to begin the repair process. The tool will scan the file and display the results.
  5. If errors are found, click “Repair” to fix the issues.
  6. Once the repair process is complete, restart Outlook to check if the issues have been resolved.

Please note that it is recommended to back up your existing Outlook data file before starting the repair process.

We hope these solutions help improve your experience with Microsoft Outlook.

Remember to always keep your software up-to-date and maintain regular backups of your data files to avoid potential issues in the future.

Microsoft Tools for Troubleshooting

In this section, we will discuss three essential Microsoft tools for troubleshooting common Outlook errors: Inbox Repair Tool, Microsoft Support, and Recovery Assistant, and Calendar Checking Tool for Outlook.

Inbox Repair Tool

The Inbox Repair Tool, also known as SCANPST.EXE, is a built-in utility for repairing corrupted or damaged Outlook data files, such as the Personal Folders File (.pst) and the Offline Folder file (.ost).

To use the Inbox Repair Tool, follow these steps:

  1. Close Outlook.
  2. Locate the SCANPST.EXE executable in your Outlook installation folder.
  3. Double-click SCANPST.EXE to launch the Inbox Repair Tool.
  4. Click Browse, and locate the damaged Outlook data file.
  5. Click Start to start the repair process. The tool will scan the file for errors and repair them as needed.

If the Inbox Repair Tool is unable to repair the damaged file, you might need to consider creating a new Outlook profile or using a third-party repair tool.

Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant

The Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant is an automated troubleshooting tool that can help diagnose and fix common Outlook issues.

This tool can address various problems like email delivery issues, account setup, password issues, and more. To use the Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant:

  1. Download and install the tool from the Microsoft website.
  2. Launch the tool and sign in with your Microsoft account.
  3. Select the issue you’re experiencing from the list of options.
  4. Follow the guided steps provided by the tool to troubleshoot and resolve the issue.

If the tool is unable to resolve the problem, it might direct you to additional resources or suggest contacting Microsoft support for further help.

Calendar Checking Tool for Outlook

The Calendar Checking Tool for Outlook (CalCheck) is a useful utility for identifying and fixing issues related to your Outlook calendar.

CalCheck performs various checks on general settings, permissions, free/busy publishing, delegate configuration, and automatic booking.

To use CalCheck:

  1. Download and install the tool from the Microsoft website.
  2. Close Outlook.
  3. Launch CalCheck from your applications list.
  4. Select the desired options and click Run to start the analysis process.
  5. Review the results and follow any provided instructions to fix the identified issues.

By utilizing these three Microsoft tools, we can efficiently troubleshoot and resolve many common Outlook errors.

Microsoft Outlook Has Stopped Working

Sometimes, we may encounter a situation where Microsoft Outlook suddenly stops working or becomes unresponsive.

This could be due to various reasons, such as a corrupted installation, unwanted add-ins, or compatibility issues.

In this section, we will provide a few solutions to help you resolve the issue and get Outlook running smoothly again.

Update Microsoft Outlook

First, ensure that your Microsoft Outlook installation is up to date. Microsoft regularly releases bug fixes, new features, and performance enhancements.

To install the latest Windows and Office updates, visit the Install Office updates page.

Disable Add-ins

Add-ins can sometimes cause Outlook to stop working. To disable add-ins:

  • Open Outlook and click on the File menu
  • Click on Options, then Add-ins
  • In the Manage drop-down, select COM Add-ins, and click Go
  • Clear all the checkboxes to disable the Add-ins, and click OK
  • Restart Outlook and verify if the issue is resolved

Repair Microsoft Outlook Installation

If updating and disabling add-ins do not resolve the issue, you may need to repair your Outlook installation:

  • Close all Office applications
  • Open the Control Panel and select Programs and Features
  • Find and select your Microsoft Office installation, then click Change
  • Choose Quick Repair or Online Repair and follow the on-screen instructions
  • Once the repair is complete, restart Outlook

Create a New Outlook Profile

Sometimes, the issue may be related to a corrupted Outlook profile. To create a new profile:

  • Close Outlook
  • Open the Control Panel and select Mail
  • Click on Show Profiles and then Add to create a new profile
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to configure your email account in the new profile
  • Set the new profile as the default and restart Outlook

These are some of the common solutions to help resolve the “Microsoft Outlook Has Stopped Working” issue.

Depending on the specific cause of the problem, one or more of these solutions should help get Outlook running smoothly again.

Remember always to keep your software up-to-date and regularly check for any compatibility issues with add-ins and other software.

Advanced Solutions for Outlook Errors

Safe Mode

Sometimes, Microsoft Outlook can encounter issues that prevent it from starting normally.

In these cases, we recommend using Safe mode to diagnose and fix the problem.

To start Outlook in Safe mode, click the Start menu in Windows 10, type “Outlook /safe” in the Search programs and files bar, and click OK.

Safe mode disables add-ins and custom settings, allowing you to determine if these are the cause of the problems.

Fixing DLL Files and Bad Sectors

DLL files and hard drive bad sectors can also lead to Outlook errors. To fix any corrupted DLL files, we can use the System File Checker tool.

Open Command Prompt as administrator and run the command sfc /scannow. This command scans all protected system files and replaces incorrect versions with correct ones.

For bad sectors on your hard drive, we can use the Chkdsk utility. Open Command Prompt as administrator and run chkdsk /f /r.

This command identifies and repairs bad sectors on your hard drive and recovers readable information. Keep in mind that both these processes may take some time to complete.

Investigating Add-Ins

Add-ins can provide additional functionality to Outlook but can also be a source of errors. To investigate if an add-in is causing problems, we can start by disabling them.

In Outlook, go to File >> Options >> Add-ins. At the bottom of the window, select “COM Add-ins” from the drop-down menu and click “Go.”

In the dialog box, clear the checkboxes for all add-ins and click OK. If this resolves the issue, enable add-ins one by one to identify the problematic add-in.

Once found, you can either remove it or check for updates from the add-in’s manufacturer to fix the problem.

Other Errors and Solutions

In this section, we’ll discuss common Microsoft Outlook errors and their respective solutions.

For each error, we’ll provide a brief explanation and offer guidance on how to resolve the issue.

Error 0x800ccc0f

The Error 0x800ccc0f typically appears while sending or receiving emails in Microsoft Outlook.

This error may be caused by a poor network connection, firewall settings, or a corrupt/oversized Outlook data file (OST or PST). To resolve this issue, please:

  • Check your internet connection
  • Disable any firewalls or antivirus temporarily
  • Repair or truncate your PST file, if necessary

Error 0x80040154

The Error 0x80040154 may occur when your Outlook installation is incomplete or there are missing files. To fix this issue, you can:

  • Reinstall or repair the Microsoft Outlook installation
  • Update your Windows system and Office suite

Error 0x800CCC13

This error usually appears when sending messages in Microsoft Outlook and is often caused by an incomplete Windows update. To resolve Error 0x800CCC13, please:

  • Ensure your Windows system is up to date
  • Run the Windows System File Checker (SFC)
  • Repair your Outlook installation, if necessary

Error 0x8004210A

The Error 0x8004210A is commonly caused by improperly configured server time-out settings in Outlook or connectivity issues. To fix this error, please:

  • Adjust the server time-out settings in Microsoft Outlook
  • Check and troubleshoot any network connectivity problems

Error 0x80040600

This error is usually related to a corrupt or damaged Outlook data file (PST). To resolve Error 0x80040600, please:

  • Use the Inbox Repair Tool (SCANPST.EXE) to repair the PST file
  • Re-create or restore the PST file from a backup, if available

Microsoft Outlook Not Responding Error

A common issue users may experience is the “Microsoft Outlook Not Responding” error.

This can be caused by various factors, such as a heavy mailbox, add-ins, or background processes.

To fix this error, you can:

  • Start Outlook in Safe mode
  • Disable unnecessary add-ins
  • Compact or archive your mailbox
  • Repair your PST file, if necessary

Error 0x80040115

The Error 0x80040115 is often related to connectivity or sync issues between Outlook and your mail server. To resolve this error, please:

  • Check your internet connection and server settings
  • Update your Outlook settings
  • Repair your PST file, if necessary.

By carefully following these solutions, you can address and resolve these common Microsoft Outlook errors to maintain a smooth and efficient emailing experience.


In this guide, we have explored some of the most common errors that users may encounter while using Microsoft Outlook and provided effective solutions to overcome them.

By understanding and troubleshooting these issues, you can enhance your Outlook experience and maintain seamless communication and organization.

Remember to keep your Microsoft Outlook updated with the latest patches and updates, as many errors are often resolved through software updates.

Additionally, regularly backing up your Outlook data can help safeguard against data loss in case of unexpected issues.

If you encounter an error that is persistent and challenging to resolve, don’t hesitate to seek help from Microsoft support or online communities.

The vast user base and support resources for Microsoft Outlook can be valuable in finding solutions to complex problems.

By staying proactive in managing common errors and implementing the solutions provided in this guide, you can optimize your productivity and make the most out of Microsoft Outlook’s powerful features.

Happy emailing and organizing!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) – Microsoft Outlook Common Errors and Solutions:

Why is my Microsoft Outlook not opening?

There could be several reasons for Outlook not opening, such as corrupt data files, conflicts with add-ins, or issues with the Outlook profile.

To troubleshoot, try running Outlook in safe mode, repairing Office installation, or creating a new Outlook profile.

How do I fix the “Outlook is not responding” error?

The “Outlook is not responding” error may occur due to large email attachments, add-in conflicts, or corrupt Outlook data files.

Try disabling add-ins, running the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe), or starting Outlook in safe mode to resolve the issue.

Why are my emails not sent from Outlook?

Email-sending issues can be caused by incorrect SMTP settings, firewall or antivirus interference, or exceeding the email provider’s sending limits.

Verify your email account settings, temporarily disable antivirus and ensure you are connected to the internet to address this problem.

How can I resolve synchronization problems in Outlook?

Synchronization problems can be fixed by updating Outlook to the latest version, repairing the Outlook data file, or resetting the offline cache.

Also, ensure that you have a stable internet connection and verify the synchronization settings.

What to do when Outlook keeps asking for the password repeatedly?

If Outlook prompts for the password repeatedly, check your password, verify the email account settings, and update the Windows credentials.

Additionally, try recreating the Outlook profile or clearing the cached credentials to resolve the issue.

How do I recover deleted items in Microsoft Outlook?

To recover deleted items, check the “Deleted Items” folder.

If the items are not there, you can try restoring them from the “Recoverable Items” folder (available for a limited time) or use the “Recover Deleted Items” feature to retrieve permanently deleted items.

Why are my emails going to the Junk Email folder in Outlook?

Emails may end up in the Junk Email folder due to the spam filter’s sensitivity settings. Marking legitimate emails as “Not Junk” or adding senders to your safe sender’s list can help prevent this issue.

How can I fix the “Outlook data file cannot be accessed” error?

The “Outlook data file cannot be accessed” error may occur due to corruption in the data file or incorrect file permissions.

Use the Inbox Repair Tool (scanpst.exe) to repair the data file or check the file’s permissions to resolve the error.

Why are attachments not opening in Outlook?

If attachments are not opening, it could be due to security settings or issues with the associated application.

Ensure that the file type is not blocked by Outlook’s security settings, and try opening the attachment directly from the application it belongs to.

How do I fix the “Outlook has stopped working” error?

The “Outlook has stopped working” error can be resolved by updating Office to the latest version, disabling add-ins, or repairing the Office installation.

Additionally, running Outlook in safe mode can help identify and address the cause of the error.

Remember, while these solutions can address common issues, more complex problems may require assistance from Microsoft support or IT professionals.

Stay proactive with regular backups and updates to maintain a smooth experience with Microsoft Outlook.

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Amit Bansal

Hello, my name is Amit Kumar Bansal, and I am the founder of MailSmartly.com. Through this blog, I focus on Microsoft Outlook, offering insightful and informative content. Additionally, I produce educational videos on YouTube to further enhance the understanding of my audience. visit my YouTube Channel

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