Trying to start Outlook and getting this message “Microsoft Office Outlook has Encountered a Problem and Needs to Close”? If yes, then in this article we are going to explain how it occurs and how to fix it.


It is not easy to understand exactly why this error occurred, the user can get this error due to multiple known and unknown issues. Various reasons behind this error are:

  • Corrupt emails, items or attachments
  • Virus/Malware Attack
  • Application failure
  • Insufficient system resource allocation for Outlook
  • PST or OST file header corruption
  • Bugs in Outlook Application

How to Fix Microsoft Outlook has encountered a problem Error?

There are manual methods which you can apply to solve the problem you are facing.

Perform Updates

This is not actually a method, but yes, this may help. Try installing all the latest updates of Windows and Microsoft Office. For Business Contact Manager, install the service pack.

Remove Outlook Account

You can also try checking your email account setup in Outlook; maybe the error is related to that. Try deleting it for once, for this, go to File and click on Account Settings. Again, click on Account Settings, select the account and click on Remove.

For older version, go to Tools select E-mail Accounts, click on the email account and finally, click on Remove or Delete. Now, create the email account again and operate Outlook to see if the problem is solved.

Remove Outlook Account

Uninstall Add-ins

Try uninstalling all the add-ins you have installed recently or since when your Outlook is showing that error. For example, if you have installed Adobe, Adobe tends to install a PDF add-in to Office programs. Try to run Outlook in safe mode and check if it works; if it does work well in safe mode, then there is a problem with those add-ons. Try uninstalling them and see if the problem is solved. There are few Outlook connector adds, if they are installed in your system. Uninstall them.

    • Click on File option in Outlook, then select Options.
    • Now, select Add-ins category from the list in Outlook options and click on the GO button.

Uninstall Add-ins

  • Now select the relevant add-in you want to remove and click on the Remove button.

remove add-in

Try Compatibility Mode

Try compatibility mode check to see if your Outlook runs in Compatibility mode. This issue happens when your Outlook is configured to run in Compatibility mode but is actually running in Windows XP. For this, you need to click on Start Menu and type outlook.exe. After the search results click right on outlook.exe and select Properties. In the Properties dialogue box, you will see a compatibility tab, click on it and check whether the compatibility mode option ‘Run this program in compatibility mode for:’ is checked or not. If Outlook isn’t running in compatibility mode, then try it, and if still, it is not making any difference, then you better try another method.

Compatibility Mode

Try Safe Mode

Try running Outlook in Safe Mode. For this, go to the Start menu, and type ‘Outlook.exe/safe’. After the search results, double-click on the program to run Outlook in safe mode. By this, you will get to know that whether the problem is with Outlook or add-ins are the main culprit to blame. If you start Outlook in safe mode and it runs well, then you need to disable add-ins to solve the problem. For this, click on File option, then got to Options, click on Add-ins and then click on Go button. In the dialogue box ‘COM Add-Ins’ remove all the external Add-Ins and leave Microsoft Add-Ins as it is. Now, try starting Outlook again.

Try Scanpst.exe

You can try repairing inbox with the help of Inbox repairing tool; you can find this program in the MS Office folder in Program files. Open and start Inbox Repair tool (ScanPST.exe), click on the Browse button and select the PST file which needs repair. Click Start and the repairing process will start, you will get a display on the screen where you can see the progress. Then the software will show you the errors it has found, click on Repair to fix those errors. It is recommended that you should check the box ‘making a backup of the scanned file before repairing’. This will help you to recover data from the backup in case of data loss.


Try Kernel for Outlook PST Recovery tool

In this case, if the manual methods don’t work, you can take help from a third-party software like Kernel for Outlook PST recovery tool. For this, you need to install the software from the website and run it in your system.

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  1. Start with clicking on the Browse button and select the PST file which you want to repair and click on Open.

  1. Click on Next to proceed.

  1. Select the desired folders for a preview and click on Save.

  1. Select the desired format; here we are recovering a PST file to PST format so select PST file (MS Outlook) option and click Next.

  1. In this step, you need to apply desired filters, apply them according to your preference and click on Next.

  1. Provide a destination to your repaired PST file. Click on Browse, select the destination, check Saving Preferences and click on Finish.

  1. The process will start. Once the process is over, click on Ok.


This blog is dedicated to solve the ‘Microsoft Outlook has encountered a problem’ error. We have discussed several methods for the same which includes manual and automated method. You can try either of them to fix this problem, but if you do not want to invest a lot of time, then I would recommend you go for Kernel for Outlook PST Recovery tool. The tool is very effective and provides assured results without doing any harm to data integrity.

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