This morning, I received a call from a client who was unable to open Outlook 2016 suddenly following an upgrade to the Windows 10 Creators Update. This problem may or may not have been directly related to that update, but the timing was at the very least coordinated with it.
Each time the client clicked the shortcut to open Outlook, the splash screen opened and Outlook would hang on the “Loading Profile” screen. These sorts of symptoms are actually not all that uncommon, and a range of different solutions exist to rectify them.
The solution this time, however, was not at all obvious. After trying all of the usual fixes:
Checking/disabling compatibility troubleshooter flags on the Outlook shortcut
Resetting the nav pane (outlook.exe /resetnavpane)
Creating a new Outlook profile
Repairing Outlook via an Office 2016 Online Repair
Completely reinstalling Office 2016
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
netsh winsock reset
netsh int ip reset
A complete Windows 10 “network reset”
Nothing corrected the problem. Only one bizarre workaround provoked it to open with the Exchange account attached, and that was to disable all network connectivity (in other words, by invoking, for instance, Airplane Mode). While disconnected, Outlook opened right up.
Now here’s an interesting conundrum. A recent update to Microsoft Office 2013 that’s being pushed out automatically to clients results in some of them being unable to open Outlook 2013. Instead of running normally, the program will hang at the “Loading Profile” stage of launch, as though the profile is corrupt (if you haven’t already checked this, it could actually be the case instead of course). A workaround is to open Outlook using the well-known /safe command line switch; but this is merely a workaround (which in turn disables all add-ons), not a permanent solution.
For a much more reasonable resolution, try this instead:
Run regedit (Start > Run > type regedit and press ENTER)
On Windows 8, Win + R; type regedit and press ENTER
Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Common
Right-click, select New > Key and name it Graphics
Select the Graphics key you just created, right-click in the right panel and choose New > DWORD (32-bit) Value and name it DisableHardwareAcceleration.
Double-click the new value and assign it a value of 1.
Close regedit and try opening Outlook again.
This should fix the problem. I first stumbled upon the solution when I realized that opening my TeamViewer Remote Support program while Outlook was loading kicked it into launching, which suggested either a network- or graphics-related cause (as TV affects both of those when launching). The original solution listed here came from the Microsoft Office 2013 Issues Blog, though the symptoms listed are different from these.
This is a pretty annoying little problem that I’ve seen at least a couple of times over the past several months.
It occurs when you attempt to sync within Outlook, normally following a data transfer or other procedure that involves bringing an existing .PST file into play without jumping through the hoops of importing the data into a new .PST shell.
The solution is actually easy, though it’s not necessarily easy to discover. All you have to do to solve the problem is select the folder to deliver mail to (Inbox) for each email account. Under the Account Settings dialog box within Outlook, there is a Change Folder button near the bottom. This is where the setting is changed.
But what if you can’t even open Outlook? You can still access the mail settings without running the program. The easiest way to do this is to click Start > Start Search > type mail and then open the Mail shortcut that appears under the Control Panel heading in the search results. This opens the standard Outlook mail dialog box as if you were running Outlook.