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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404 thoughts on “Cannot open the Outlook window – what sort of error message is that?”

  1. Outlook.exe /resetnavpane worked great for me. I’ve been trying to figure this one out for an hour now. Thanks for the post Mark.

  2. outlook.exe /resetnavpane does the trick. Don’t forget to leave a space between exe and /. You saved me untold time trying to figure this one out. Thanks!!!

  3. Dear Tim, can you help? I just used your suggestion to restore my outlook express, however, I have lost over 4000 emails which were there 4 days ago. Is it possible to have them restored from my computer?

    I would really appreciate any help


  4. If you are running Windows 7 the solution is very simple. Open the windows program pane by clicking the icon at the bottom left of your screen. Type outlook.exe /resetnavpane into the “search programs and files” box at the bottom and click. The search will find the outlook.exe /resetnavpane file. When it does, double click it and hey presto, problem solved1

  5. Hi,

    I see that more people are having the same problems. Mine is a little more complex:

    This is what I get when starting Outlook 2007:

    “Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. The information store could not be opened.”

    I have tried using scanpst.exe with no luck. Also with regedit deleting the Profiles did not work. Also reimporting the Profiles did not work. Setting outlook.exe to run in compatibility mode with Windows XP SP2 did not work.

    PLEASE let me know if you know of any options to fix the(se) problems with Outlook 2007.

    Kind regards,

  6. Saved my backside. Thank you so very much!

    Last time I did the profile ‘solution’ and it meant everything was default… lost all my profile settings!

    Reset navpane worked wonders! I’d hug you!

  7. could i please get how to do the original solution on this…i have looked quite a bit, and have not been able to find the first post with the solution….
    Thanks a lot.

  8. Many thanks to Mark!
    His solution worked 100%!
    I can´t understand why Microsoft systematically gives useless/complex/damaging advice…
    Now I also would like to know why such a thing happens.

  9. Thanks so much. It took 4 tries with the Outlook.exe /resetnavpane but finally it worked. I was terrified I would loose all my business contacts.

  10. I am the latest to suffer from this “cannot openthe outlook window” glitch. I am wary of using the fix going in through the properties, as I cannot afford to loose my emails.

    I want to use the Run Outlook.exe /resetnavpane solution, but I cannot figure out where to type it. Where have MS hidden the command prompt?

  11. Outstanding fix!!! Back-up and running in less than 10 minutes following that awful outlook error. The power of Google search and knowledgeable people. Thanks a million!

  12. Thanks so much. I just copied the command into search and clicked in it and it worked! Does anyone know why it happens – I’ve never had it before!

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