There is no doubt that Outlook is the most versatile email application ever. Today it is immensely popular with email users around the world. From the interactive user interface to smart features, you get almost everything in this email application. Unfortunately, sometimes what happens that Outlook starts working abnormally. It starts crashing down every time you try to open it. Outlook keeps hanging or freezing when you are using it. This could be very annoying for any Outlook user. Have you ever faced a situation where Outlook keeps crashing down and shows an error something like this, “Microsoft Outlook has stopped working”? If you ever face this Outlook error, how would you fix it? If you have no idea and looking for the right solution, you have come to the right place. Keep reading the article.
Microsoft Outlook Has Stopped Working
While using Microsoft Outlook, it is very common to encounter error messages. Just like any other software program, Outlook also has some internal bugs issues and other problems. For any particular Outlook error you receive, there is a reason behind it. If you think that it is always easy to diagnose the real cause behind the Outlook error message, you are wrong. The one Outlook error we are going to discuss here is very common, but there might be various reasons due to which it may occur. I am talking about this common Outlook error message: “Microsoft Outlook has stopped working”.
Let us suppose that you are in the middle of a conversation with one of your potential clients. Suddenly the Outlook application hangs and crashes down after a few seconds. Or you are doing very important work, and suddenly Outlook freezes and stops working. And when you click anywhere on the Outlook window, you notice that the screen has become translucent with an error, “Microsoft Outlook has stopped working”. This is the most frustrating situation you can ever face. But there is no need to worry. There are a few easy manual solutions that can help you fix this Outlook error.
Reasons Behind “Microsoft Outlook has stopped working”
Before sharing the solutions, I would like to discuss the most common reasons behind this Outlook error. Because it might be difficult for you to resolve this Outlook error without knowing the root cause. The error “Microsoft Outlook has stopped working” may occur due to any of these following reasons:
- Maybe your Microsoft Outlook is being used by any other process.
- You have not updated the Microsoft Office suite.
- It may happen that a previously installed add-in is interfering with your Outlook application.
- Microsoft Outlook is loading the external content.
- You are most likely to face the above Outlook error if your mailbox is too large.
- Any other application is conflicting with Microsoft Outlook.
- Maybe your AppData folder has been redirected to a network location.
- There are some issues with your Microsoft Office suite, and you need to repair it.
- Maybe the problem is associated with the Antivirus you are using.
- The user profile is corrupted.
- The Outlook data file (PST) is not valid.
So these are the most common reasons due to which Microsoft Outlook hangs or freezes constantly.
How to Resolve “Microsoft Outlook has stopped working” Error?
As you can see there are multiple reasons behind this particular Outlook error, you have to check everything one by one. And if anything is found problematic, you have to fix it. Before you can try the below solutions to resolve Outlook error, make sure that your computer meets the requirements of Microsoft Outlook, any version you are using.
#1 – Install the Latest Updates
Make sure that you have installed the latest updates of the Microsoft Office suite. If the Office installation is not up-to-date, you may receive the Outlook error – Microsoft Outlook has stopped working. Make sure you have configured Windows Update on your computer so that the recommended updates can be downloaded and updated automatically. Never forget to install the important, recommended, and optional updates to replace the outdated files. By doing this, you can resolve the problems and fix other vulnerabilities.
#2 – Outlook Should Note be Used by Any Other Process
Keep in mind that if you are using the Outlook AutoArchive feature or trying to sync Outlook with a mobile device, this may hamper the performance of Outlook. Why? Because these processes use a large number of resources. If your Outlook application is being used by any other process, the information will be displayed in the status bar on the bottom of the screen. Remember, Outlook may fail to respond if you try to execute other actions while it is already in use. Make sure the task running in the process finishes its job before you try any other action.
#3 – Prevent Outlook from Downloading External Content
If Microsoft Outlook is loading the external content, such as images in email, you may receive the above Outlook error. In order to resolve the problem, you should never let Outlook download any external content. To do that, click the File tab on the taskbar, and select Options > Trust Center > Automatic Download. Now select any of the following two options:
- Don’t download pictures or other content automatically in HTML email option.
- Warn me before downloading content when editing, forwarding, or replying to an email.
Also, make sure you never send an email containing an external source.
#4 – Disable Outlook Add-ins
Generally, Outlook add-ins are used to enhance your user experience. If there is a faulty add-in, it may make cause some internal issues due to which Outlook keeps crashing down or hanging. To diagnose whether the problem is really associated with the Outlook add-ins, you should start Microsoft Outlook in the safe mode. To do that, type outlook.exe /safe on the run dialog box, and click OK. If you do not face any problem while using Outlook in the safe mode, this means the problem is occurring due to any of the add-ins you are using.
You should disable Outlook add-ins one by one and try to open Microsoft Outlook in the normal mode to determine which add-in is actually causing the problem. And once you find it, you can either update it or remove it if there is no update available.
#5 – Reduce Outlook Mailbox Size
FYI, the Outlook data file has a specific size limit. Whenever the mailbox reaches its maximum size or crosses it, you are likely to face performance issues. You may also face corruption in the Outlook mailbox. So it is better to keep the Outlook mailbox size small and handy. There are two different ways to do that:
- You can use the built-in “Compact Now” feature of Microsoft Outlook. This will reduce the PST file size. First, you have to remove all the unwanted emails and other data from the mailbox, and then you can use the “Compact Now” feature.
- There is one more thing you can try in this situation. If you have a large PST file, you can split it into two or multiple smaller parts. It is better to have multiple small PST files instead of a large one.
In order to handle a large Outlook data file, you can use the AutoArchive feature of Outlook. Also, you can manage the PST file size by removing duplicate items from it.
#6 – Disable Redirection of the AppData Directory
Microsoft Outlook creates an AppData folder to store certain types of data such as signatures and spelling checker dictionary. In case of slow Internet connection, Microsft Outlook has to wait to perform read and write operations to the AppData directory to finish. So it is better to disable the redirection of the AppData directory. To do that, follow the simple steps given below:
- First, close the Microsoft Outlook application.
- Then start the Registry Editor. Type regedit.exe on the run dialog box, and click OK.
- On Registry Editor window, you need to locate and click the following subkey:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
- Now locate and double-click this value – AppData.
- On the Edit String dialog, enter %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Roaming in the Value data box, and then click OK.
- Now close the Registry Editor.
#7 – Repair Microsoft Office Installation
Due to some internal issues, Microsoft Office programs including Outlook may start working abnormally. The best way to troubleshoot this problem is by repairing Microsoft Office installation. To do that, follow the simple steps given below:
- First of all, make sure that no Microsoft Office program is running on your system.
- After that, you need to open the Control Panel > Program and Features.
- Find Microsoft Office in the list of the installed programs. Right-click it and select Change.
- On the Microsoft Office Professional window, select Repair and click Continue to repair Microsoft Office installation.
This process may take some time so please wait until it is successfully completed.
#8 – Update Your Antivirus Program
To check whether the problem is associated with your Antivirus software or not, turn it off and then restart Microsoft Outlook. If you face no problem while opening and using Outlook, this means the Antivirus software you are using is causing the problem. Maybe you are using an outdated Antivirus software. You need to update it as soon as possible. Generally, Antivirus software vendors provide regular updates that can be downloaded from the Internet. Being a smart user, it is your job to keep your Antivirus software up-to-date.
There is one more thing you should be aware of. If the Antivirus software includes integration with Microsoft Outlook, you are likely to face performance issues. So it is better to disable all the Outlook integration within your Antivirus software. If you have installed any Antivirus software add-ins with Outlook, you should disable them because they may conflict with Outlook.
#9 – Create New Outlook Profile
Sometimes it may happen that the profile through which you are using Microsoft Outlook has some issues. So you should create new Outlook profile. To do that, you need to follow the simple steps given below:
- First of all, make sure that no Microsoft Office program is running on your system.
- Now go the Control Panel, and click Programs > User Accounts > Mail.
- On the Mail Setup – Outlook window, click the Show Profiles tab.
- You can remove the old profile by selecting it and clicking the Remove tab.
- Now click the Add tab to add a new profile in Outlook.
- On the New Profile dialog box, type a name for this new profile, and click OK.
- Now you need to set up an email account for this profile. On the Add Account dialog box, fill in the required fields and click Next to continue the process.
Within a couple of minutes, the new Outlook profile will be created. Now you can open Microsoft Outlook and see if everything is fine.
#10 – Repair Outlook Data File
If any of the above solutions have not worked for you, maybe the problem is associated with the Outlook data file. This would be the last solution. I understand that the error message “Microsoft Outlook has stopped working” has no relation with Outlook data file corruption. However, if the Outlook data file has any fault or if it is corrupt, you are likely to face errors and other issues. You should try to repair Outlook data file by using the Inbox Repair tool aka scanpst utility.
It is a built-in tool provided by Microsoft to scan the corrupt Outlook data file and repair it. If the corruption is severe, the Inbox repair tool may not work as expected. In such a situation, you should consider using a professional PST Repair tool to repair Outlook data file.
The article has briefly explained one of the most common Outlook error messages, “Microsoft Outlook has stopped working”. The most common reasons behind this Outlook error have been discussed in the article. To resolve the problem, you should try the solutions shared above.