Cannot Open Outlook and Outlook Errors

Microsoft Outlook is an excellent program for managing email, your calendar and even tasks that you need to complete on a daily basis. Outlook is used by millions of people around the world and a large number of people have been using the program for many years to manage their core daily activities. The program is part of the Microsoft Office Software Suite although it has been developed in recent years and now exists in several different forms.When most people refer to Microsoft Outlook they are referring to the desktop email client that is part of Microsoft Office. However, there is also an online version available at and a newer version of the program is included with the Office 365 Suite. There are advantages and disadvantages to each version of Outlook, but the desktop email client has a very loyal customer base for several reasons.

The desktop version of Outlook offers functionality that you just cannot duplicate with an online program. The ability to access your calendar, tasks and even limited functions within email without connecting to the internet can be very convenient and save time. Additionally, it is much easier and many times faster to work with a program that is stored locally on your machine as opposed to an online version.

One of the big trends in the last couple of years has been everything moving to cloud-based storage and more programs being accessed online. However, loyal users of the Microsoft Outlook desktop email client continue to go against the trend and still like Outlook in its “old” form, right on their local machine. 

In spite of its popularity, Outlook is not perfect and still has errors from time to time. Some of these errors can be quite frustrating and Outlook is not the most user-friendly program when it comes to troubleshooting and trying to solve problems. The errors that commonly occur cover a wide range from messages that state “cannot open Outlook” to only certain emails not opening and even connectivity issues.

Cannot Open Outlook & Other Common Outlook Errors

Cannot Open Outlook Default Folders

If you receive an error message that refers to a problem opening Outlook’s default folders, then most of the time this will prevent you from accessing all of your information stored in Outlook. This means you won’t be able to work with email, your calendars or tasks. This issue is often related to a problem with the settings of the Outlook.exe file. There are several possibilities for the source of the problem and several potential solutions, but a good place to start is reviewing the default settings of Outlook.exe to see if anything looks out of place. Sometimes, default settings of the executable Outlook file can get changed for one reason or another and you will need to reset them back to how you configured the program at original setup.

Microsoft Exchange Server Issues

When you setup Outlook for the first time, you will configure the program to either use the Microsoft Exchange Server or not use it. If you are an individual home user or have a home office without a local server set up, then chances are you do not use the exchange server. The exchange server is typically used by larger operations that have many users on a single network.

If your default settings somehow got changed, then Outlook may be trying to connect to the exchange server without any of your other settings being compatible. If this happens you will need to review all of your initial default settings and ensure Outlook is properly configured with how you have the rest of your network or system set up.

Cannot Open Outlook Personal Folders

If you receive this error, then there is a problem with the file structure of the .pst and/or .ost files within Outlook. This issue can open up all kinds of problems if it is not handled properly so caution is vital when trying to fix this error. If you delete or change the wrong .pst or .ost file you can end up with a completely unusable Outlook program.

Action Cannot Be Completed

Outlook users can sometimes receive an error that a particular command or action they are trying to perform cannot be completed. It can happen when you are trying to open an email, add an event on the calendar or change Outlook settings. Much like other Outlook issues, there is more than one source that can cause this error and several possible fixes. However, this particular error often requires editing Outlook files in your registry. This should be done very carefully and really should only be attempted by a trained technician.

Cannot Open Outlook-A Serious Error Has Occurred

Outlook will sometimes display a message that says the program cannot be opened because a serious error has occurred and the program needs to close. In spite of the “serious error” term used this message is often much less serious than most of the others we have mentioned. Typically, this message is displayed when Outlook experiences any number of small program glitches. Simply allowing the program to close and restarting the program will many times fix the issue.

It is important to be very careful when trying to fix the Outlook errors mentioned above and all Outlook problems. The .pst and .ost file structure Outlook requires to run properly can be a bit sensitive. If you are not experienced in working with Outlook errors and need help resolving your issue quickly, then give our professional remote computer support service a try.

We provide reliable and qualified computer technicians that help individual users solve their Outlook problems and other computer issues at an affordable rate. Don’t put up with an error message stating “cannot open Outlook” day after day. Contact our professional technicians today and see how easy and affordable quality remote computer support can be.