Are you experiencing frequent issues with Outlook not responding on your device? Usually, this problem is caused due to your add-ins, outdated Outlook app, corrupted data files, and more. But thankfully, there are some effective fixes for this issue.
So, let us dive into learning more about the causes and how to fix Outlook not responding.
Why is Outlook Not Responding?
Here are some potential reasons your Outlook application might be freezing or not responding:
- Outdated Outlook Application
- Outlook is in use by another process
- Add-ins interfering with Outlook
- Corrupted Outlook Data Files
- Antivirus Software
- Corrupted User Profile
- The mailbox is too large
- Microsoft Office Programs needs repair
How to Fix Outlook Not Responding?
Firstly, check if other tasks are running in the status bar on the Outlook application. While using Outlook, Microsoft recommends that you finish one process before starting another. If the still issue persists, you can follow these below methods.
Force End Application
In this method, we shut down the application completely, re-run Outlook again, and see if it works. Please go through the description and steps depending on your device.
- Use the Shortcut command Ctrl + Alt + Delete to open your Task Manager.
- Under the Process tab, select the Outlook application from the list.
- Right-click on it and click on the End Task option.
- Go to the Start icon and ensure you run the application as Administrator.
- Press the Shortcut command Ctrl + Option + Esc to Force Quit Applications.
- From the dialog box, select the Outlook App.
- Click on the Force Quit button.
Disable Add-ins on Device
Sometimes, the add-ins installed on your device might cause hindrances on Outlook to not function properly. Here is a step-by-step guide on how you disable it.
- Open your Outlook App.
- From the File menu, click on Options.
- Select Add-ins from the left-side panel.
- Under the Manage section, choose COM Add-ins and hit Go.
- Uncheck the boxes for all the add-ins.
- Click on Ok.
- Close Outlook and re-open it again to see if it works.
Use Safe Mode on Windows
Alternatively, you can also browse Outlook through the Safe Mode. This mode allows you to temporarily disable all your additional add-ins and revert to the default settings of Outlook.
To browse through Safe Mode, search for your Outlook application. Press and hold the Ctrl key. A pop-up box will appear asking if you want to start Outlook in safe mode. Click on the Yes button to confirm.
This method works for all Windows and its Outlook versions.
Disable Automatic Download of External Content
In some instances, automatically loading external media such as images and videos might create lags and crashes on Outlook. To avoid such issues, you can disable this function.
Here is how you can do it.
- Launch your Outlook app.
- Go to the File menu and click on Options.
- From the left panel, click on Trust Center.
- Then, go to Trust Center Settings.
- Click on the Automatic Download option.
- Tick the box for these options.
- Don’t download pictures or other content automatically standard HTML email messages or RSS items.
- Warn me before downloading content when editing, forwarding, or replying e-mail.
We would also suggest avoiding sending emails to external sources for a while.
Disable redirection of the AppData directory
Outlook’s Appdata Folder stores data like your email signature and spelling checker dictionary onto its folder. But, if the local network is slow, Outlook will have to wait until basic operations from your AppData directory is complete.
So, to disable redirection of the AppData directory, here is what you can do.
- Close and exit out of your Outlook application.
- Use the shortcut command Windows+ R to open up the run command.
- Type in regedit.exe and hit OK.
- From the Registry Editor, find and choose this subkey:
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
- Locate and then double-click the AppData value.
- From the pop-up window, type in
- Hit OK.
Repair Outlook Data Files
Outlook saves your data file in two formats, .pst and .ost depending on the account. In some rare cases, these files can get corrupted and ultimately cause issues with your Outlook application. To fix it,
- Go to the Start icon and search for the Control Panel.
- Navigate and select the User Accounts.
- Select the Mail option.
- On the Mail Setup window, click on the Show Profiles button.
- Select on the Profile you want to fix and go to properties.
- Under the Data Files tab, click on the damaged Outlook account.
- Click on Open File location.
- Select and right-click on the OST file and click on Delete.
- Now, Restart your Outlook to restore your OST files.
Create a New Profile
If clearing and repairing your corrupt files seems too tedious for you, then you can just create a new profile.
- Go to the search box and type in Control Panel.
- Click on View By, and select Large icons from the drop-down menu.
- Navigate and select Mail.
- On the dialog box, choose the Show Profiles option.
- From the General tab, click on Add.
- Type in the Profile name and click on OK.
- Add in your Name, Email address, and password credentials.
- Click on Next > Apply.
- Open your Finder and head over to the Go menu.
- Select Applications.
- Navigate to the Microsoft Outlook app.
- Right-click on it and choose “Show Package Contents”.
- Click on Contents > Shared support > Outlook Profile Manager.
- Click on the “+” icon on the bottom to create a new profile.
- Give a Name to the profile.
- Right-click on the profile and select the Set Default option.
Reduce Outlook Data File Size
If you only use a single folder for all your emails, then it might be the reason why your Outlook is not responding. With your mailbox increasing in size, more resources are required to open the folder. Here is a list of methods you can try to reduce the Outlook Data File size.
Create New Folders
Instead of condensing all your email messages into one main folder (Inbox), we recommend that you use multiple folders. It will allow both you and Outlook to have better visibility and reduce crashes on the app.
To create a new Folder, here is what you can do.
- Head over to your Inbox on the left side panel.
- Right-click on it and select the New Folder option.
- Choose and locate the location for the new folder.
Compact Data File
Another simple yet effective method you can try is compacting your data files. Here is how you can do it.
- Delete all unnecessary files and remove them from your Deleted Items Folder.
- Head over to the File menu.
- Click on Account Settings and head over the Data Files Tab.
- Select your folder.
- Click on the Compact Now button.
Emails can be automatically archived through the Auto-Archive feature on Outlook. This feature allows your email folders to not grow exponentially. To set up auto-archive for emails, here is what you need to do.
- Open your Outlook app.
- Click on the File Menu and select Options.
- From the left-side panel, click on Advanced.
- Under the Auto-Archive section, select the Auto Archive Settings button.
- Check the box for Run AutoArchive every option.
- Now, configure the settings according to your preferences.
Update or Disable Antivirus Software
Your outdated antivirus software might be the reason behind the frequent crashes and lags on the Outlook App. So, to fix this issue, we recommend that you regularly keep your software up-to-date. Also, please make sure that the antivirus software is compatible with your Microsoft Office applications.
A quick fix for this problem is to disable your antivirus software. However, disabling it will increase the risk of threats and viruses. An alternative method you can use is to add the outlook application to the antivirus’s exclusion list.
If you know that the software is the issue, you can contact your vendor for further assistance or use different software.
Update Microsoft Outlook App
In many instances, an outdated Outlook application might cause frequent errors. We suggest that you regularly update Outlook to avoid such issues.
Here is a step-by-step guide on how you can do it.
- Launch your Outlook app.
- Head over to the File menu and click on the Office Accounts option.
- Click on Update Options.
- From the drop-down menu, choose the Update Now option.
- Try restarting your device to make changes.
- Open up your Micrsoft Outlook App
- Navigate to the Help menu.
- Click on the Check for Updates option.
- Download the updates if they are available.
- If you have downloaded your Microsoft apps from the App Store, search for Microsoft apps on the store and click on the Update button.
Repair Microsoft Office
If the issue is within the Microsoft Office application, you can perform a quick repair from your device settings. Here is how you can do it.
- Navigate to the Search box and type in Control Panel.
- Click on Programs and Features from the options.
- Select the Microsoft Office application.
- Click on Change from the menu bar.
- Choose the Quick Repair option.
- Once the repair is complete, please make sure you restart your computer devices.
In some instances, performing a quick reboot of your device can fix minor issues as it refreshes the entire system and removes all temporary files.
Update System Software
Your outdated operating software can also affect the performance of your system and maybe the reason behind Outlook not responding. To update your Windows and Mac to the latest versions, you can follow these steps.
- Go to the start icon and select the Settings option.
- Click on the Update and Security option.
- Go to Windows Update.
- Click on Updates if there are any available.
- Navigate to the menu bar and click on the Apple Logo.
- Click on System Preferences
- Select the Software Update option.
- Finally, follow the on-screen instructions.