Cannot open the Outlook window – what sort of error message is that?

I’m actually enjoying Outlook 2007 on my desktop, especially since applying the February patch. It opens in a couple of seconds even from cold. I’m running on Vista 64-bit, and not using cached Exchange mode.

Until today, that is. Started Outlook and got this bewildering message:

This Microsoft article suggested I might not have a default gateway. That was nonsense; so I opened Mail setup (I can get to this through the Properties of the Outlook shortcut), clicked Show Profiles, added a new profile and set the new one as default.

Outlook works fine now. I’m not impressed with the error message though.


While using a new profile works, there is an easier fix as noted in many of the comments to this post. You can run Outlook with the /resetnavpane argument. Here’s the step by step:

1. Press Windows key and R together to open the Run dialog.

2. In the Open field, type:

outlook.exe /resetnavpane


Note: there is a space between outlook.exe and /resetnavpane. There are no other spaces in what you have to type.

3. Click OK. Outlook should open.

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  4. Why Outlook rules copy a message when you asked for it to be moved
  5. Elementary error breaks Outlook 2007 POP3 mail, say users

404 comments on this post.
  1. Tulga:

    Hi Charlie,

    I am facing exactly the same problem as you are! And in case if you manage to fix it please let me know as well. Which repair utilities did you use etc….? Hope Tim can help us and fingers crossed.

  2. Thorsten:

    Great, thanks much for this …
    It works.

  3. tim:

    @Tulga the first thing to check is whether the hard drive is failing. Check the Event Viewer for errors in the Disk category. You can also usually obtain a utility from the drive manufacturer to verify that it is working OK. If it is not, you are in a recovery situation, get a new drive and restore from backup.

    There is a repair tool that sometimes works on a PST, though I highly recommend you make a copy of it first. Find it here:

    If you delete your profile, yes, you could lose emails.

    I’m sorry, I can’t do detailed troubleshooting here. You could try the Outlook forums.


  4. Raj:


    Thanks a lot , i was facing this problem since morning read a lot of post , nothing worked ,

    your solution worked like charm. worked well


  5. Tulga:

    Hi Tim,

    Thank you for your reply. It looks like my pst. folder is erased. In outlook folder there are no personal folder at all. It seems nothing can recover my archive hence the PST is not there.


  6. tim:


    Always worth searching the entire drive for *.pst, perhaps it is elsewhere.

    In the worst case, you can try an undelete utility, it might not work but if you have critical info there worth a try.


  7. NA:

    This worked great. thanks
    outlook.exe /resetnavpane

  8. Nathalia:

    worked perfectly!!! thank you sooooo soooo much!!!!

  9. JulieF:

    Thank you – just copied and pasted outlook.exe /resetnavpane and problem solved!

  10. matthew:

    it work it is all good

  11. mark:

    worked great … thanks

    outlook.exe /resetnavpane

    especially afer reparing outlook doing the scanpst didnt work.

  12. Sandy:

    I was perplexed when I could not open my outlook. I found this website and thanks to outlook.exe /resetnavpane I can get to my e-mail again. Thanks guys.

  13. Johan:

    thank you so much for this, outlook.exe /resetnavpane it works

  14. pardes:

    You saved my email problem too. Thanks!

  15. Marcus:

    Thanks very much toptip 100% on the money fixed it right away THANKS

  16. Roxana:


  17. Helen:

    Perfect fix – worked like a charm. thanks

  18. Igortheugly:

    Wish I had found you an hour ago. Does what it says on the tin, nice work fella!

  19. Andrew Green:

    Worked a treat Thank You so much

  20. Matt:

    Worked a charm, thanks. Bloody Windows.

  21. kat:

    youve been very helpful.. im losing hope for i cant open my outlook, im freakin out thinking that a virus caused the problem.. thank you for the tip .. you save my work and make my day so bright… thanks a million!!!

  22. dsheets1:

    It worked, but you are the only one that said to put a space after exe. Thanks

  23. dragonman87:

    You So ROCK!!

    thanks for all the help.

  24. kt:

    Thank you so much! I am an office manager and I swear Microsoft causes more problems for our office everyday and, in the fine tradition of giant corporations everywhere, Microsoft offers little to no real support for their products. I don’t know what I would do without troubleshooting forums like these!

  25. RB:

    works great thanks for your help

  26. Boni:

    outlook.exe /resetnavpane worked like a charm
    thanks a lot

  27. Geoff Boulden:

    thank you. worked great

  28. Rajesh:

    thank you…it works well..

  29. Gwyneth Tweats:

    I had read this fix and tried it several times with no success, then I read that there is a space between exe and / (something that the other sites had failed to point out, and it worked first time! Thank you so much!

  30. Razvan:

    it works. thanks a lot .

  31. Valeria:

    This posting was very helpful, a lot more helpful than the Microsoft Support web site!!! Thank you Valeria

  32. nishit:

    I am getting msg “Cannot start Microsoft offfice outlook.Cannot open the outlook window.the set of folders cannot be opened.The information store could not be opened ”
    Please tell me how to fix.i have done outlook.exe /safe and outlook.exe /resetnavepane alos but nothing happened.Its my company account . please help!!

  33. guylise2:

    Thank you, it works out great; but don’t forget the space or it won’t work.

  34. steve:

    man it works like hot cakes

  35. Farid:

    it opened, thanks a lot

  36. MOverheul:

    just got this same message but the “trick” is not working for me!

  37. zelda:

    This was the greatest help I’ve received so far this month! Thanx a million

  38. Asi:

    thank you very much its working great

  39. Connie:

    I got the same thing. NOTHING is working for me. No clue how to change the profile tho. Can someone please email me at

    I would greatly appreciate it.

  40. Flybarb:

    I tried the same things and nothing worked. Tried outlook.exe/resernavpane with space, without space, downloaded the program twice and nothing happened. I’ve been like this for months now and can’t get any help from microsoft unless I pay them bucko money. Anyone knows anything else to do??? I looked for scanpst.exe and can’t find the file either. I have carbonite so I hope the file is there but without being able to open Outlook I believe it doesn’t matter even if I find the file. Help!!!!!

  41. Chris Try:

    Thanks for the pointers but NOTHING worked for me until I started Outlook in Safe:3 mode.

    This still gave me an error message about about OUTLBAR.INF, but at least it now runs and I was able to import from my old pst file

  42. Huge goal:

    Well very helpfull tanXs

  43. beauty:

    It worked 🙂 Thank you so much 🙂

  44. Thierry:

    That worked for me too! THANK YOU so much!

  45. richard:

    I am in the same boat as Connie and a few others where the outlook.exe /safe and or outlook.exe /resetnavpane isn’t working.. my issue stated when tech serv loaded a new MD Security patch and crashed the exch server. When that was back up the solution to resync was to delete the ost file and the profile.. when that fif not work for resyncing I just deleted the exchange profile thinking to reinstall.. not I cannot open outlook even when I restore to an earlier version (from backup) .. HELP!!!!

  46. Cannot Start Outlook:

    i actually have a whole website didicated to cannot start outlook problem

  47. Matej:

    Thank you! It worked!

  48. Lee:

    Worked like a CHAMP! thank you!

  49. Judy:

    Amazing! Had the same problem and now solved! Save us the hassle of going to any IT Shop where they will charge you to perform such simple task. Thank you for the being soo generous!

  50. Jorge:

    It worked. Thank you!