Microsoft Exchange/Office365

How to fix: Outlook Not Responding and Outlook Crashing or freezing

MS Outlook, the Microsoft’s desktop email client app for desktop computers, is the most ‘in-use’ email client in corporate. Based on the popularity and positive feedback emails from consumers, this email client is now available in Outlook 2013 version. In spite of high popularity of Outlook, consumers also face some random issues that lead to Outlook crash sometimes when it is launched, or sometimes while opening or forwarding an email message. With this post, I am going to enlighten you about some common causes of Outlook crashing, freezing, or an issue that says, ‘Outlook Not Responding’.

The computer is virus or malware infected
A hardware issue might be responsible
Corrupt Outlook installation
Corrupt or damaged Outlook data file
Some Outlook add-ins might be causing issues

I do not want you to identify the cause and then choose an appropriate solution out of the ones I am going to provide. I simply want you to follow the below mentioned steps to resolve the issues you have been facing while using Outlook 2013, 2010, 2007, and earlier versions.
Exit hanging Outlook process through Task Manager

It has often seen that while closing Outlook, it creates annoying hanging issues and prompts random messages, like ‘Wait for the program to respond or Close the Program’. Generally, we click ‘Close the Program’ and think that the issues will be resolved. However, when we open Outlook again, it will not launch. In technical terms, the issue is caused because some instance of Outlook is still running.

In order to fix the issue, launch Windows Task Manager (press ‘ALT + CTRL + Del’ keys or right click the taskbar the choose Task Manager) and switch to Processes tab. Select all Outlook.exe programs and click the ‘End Process’ button to kill them forcibly.
Run Outlook in Safe Mode
Running Outlook in Safe mode is quite a better idea, which even Microsoft recommends. In Safe mode, Outlook launches without customization files and add-ins, and you can easily figure out if some issue is there in add-ins and/or customization files.

Booting Outlook in Safe mode:
This requires you click the Outlook icon while holding down the Ctrl key. Or else, type cmd.exe in the Run window and hit the Enter key to open command prompt. Type outlook.exe/safe and hit the Enter key. Click Yes on a confirmation message pop-up. If it starts normally, it confirms the issue with add-ins.

Disable Outlook Add-ins:
In case you have not seen the ‘Outlook Not Responding’ issue before, the problem must be in a recently installed add-in. Therefore, you need to disable the faulty add-in. To disable a faulty add-in in Outlook 2007, navigate to Tools > Trust Center > Add-ins > Go, whilst in Outlook 2010 and 2013, follow File tab > Options > Add-ins > Go.Simply uncheck the add-in you want to disable, and exit the dialog box.

Repair Outlook Data File
MS Outlook has an inbuilt inbox repair tool (Scanpst.exe) to scan the Outlook inbox for errors and repair them instantly. If you run Outlook 2010, follow C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOFFICE14, or in Outlook 2013, follow C:Program FilesMicrosoft OfficeOFFICE15 to launch Scanpst.exe.

To run inbox repair tool, double-click the Scanpst.exe file and click Browse to locate the Outlook.pst file and then continue with the repair process.

Repair MS Office Suite
In case the problem persists even after the aforementioned fixes are done trying, you must try repairing the Office suite installed on your computer. For this, first close all Office programs, and then go to Control Panel. Open ‘Add or Remove Programs’ in Windows XP or ‘Program and Features’ in Windows 7 or Vista or a latest version of Windows. Highlight Office and click Change, and then proceed with the repair process.

If nothing helps you out, back up Outlook.pst file and reinstall Outlook on your computer. Later, import the Outlook.pst file into Outlook.

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