ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Technology»
  • Computers & Software»
  • Computer Software»
  • Office Software Suites»
  • Microsoft Office

7 Tricks to Troubleshoot Outlook without Installing another Program

Updated on March 24, 2014

Outlook is one of the programs most commonly used in offices and businesses to manage email, calendar, contacts and tasks. It has become the standard program for centrally managing different accounts of postal and business of almost all providers like Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo, AOL, and custom domain POP and IMAP accounts among others.

But like all programs that are widely used, Outlook sometimes has flaws that can become a headache even for advanced users. That is why today we will discuss 7 very simple and useful tips to solve various problems that can prevent this powerful email client from functioning normally.

1. Scan PST

When accounts are configured as POP or IMAP in Outlook, items of mail are stored in a file called PST or the Personal Storage Table. As the number of emails and data grows, this file becomes heavier and can start to rot. If this file becomes corrupted, Outlook stop processing the flow of new mails, therefore the solution is to repair the PST file so that everything returns to normal. Luckily Outlook integrates a native tool called scanpst.exe to help with this.

To find scanpst.exe you have to navigate to the folder where Outlook is installed, which varies depending on the version. Or use a simpler way: go to disk C and write scanpst.exe in the search box.

When you open the file, a small window will appear where you have to click the browse button and select the PST file you want to repair. Then click the start button to begin the process. The recovery process duration depends on the size of the PST file.

Find Scanpst.exe
Find Scanpst.exe

2. Archive old Items

As mentioned earlier, when the PST file starts growing the risk of corruption also increases. Therefore, to avoid major problems, we must ensure that this file does not grow more than some specified size. You can archive old mail items elsewhere to make the PST remains balanced. The simplest way to do this is to make a copy of the whole PST file or export the mail items as CSV file, save the CSV file to a different location where you feel it will be safe. However, the best is to save it on cloud like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive or Dropbox. Thereafter you can delete the items in archive folder to free up the PST file.

Another method: To archive old mails you must click on file menu, then click on Cleanup Tools and select the Archive from dropdown.

It will open a window that will ask us to select the folder where you want the file to be saved. In addition to selecting the folder here you have to select the old date, i.e., we can select all emails older than one month for example, to be stored into archive.

Archive Old Items
Archive Old Items
Export E-mails to CSV
Export E-mails to CSV

3. Rename the OST file

When accounts are not configured as POP or IMAP is because they are Exchange accounts and the exchange server serves users all the features of e-mail communication. In this case, emails are stored in a file called OST. If the OST file is damaged this will start to have problems and mail will not work as expected. To solve this problem, first the Outlook must be closed. Then find the file and change the extension from .OST to something other as .ABC. Next time you open the Outlook it will create a new file and download all your mail items from exchange server.

4. Remove the profile and create a new one

If the steps explained above do not solve the problems you can choose a little more drastic option: delete the profile and recreate it. Before doing this, note that if the email is configured as POP you have to save the PST file and then import some items. On the other hand, if the account is configured as IMAP or Exchange account you will not have to save any files because all emails are automatically loaded from the server. To delete the profile, go to File>Account Settings.

In the window that appears next, select the profile and click the remove button to delete that particular profile. To add new email, click the new button and follow the wizard.

Remove and Create a New Profile
Remove and Create a New Profile

5. Temporarily disable the antivirus

Many antivirus include a dedicated tool for Outlook that scans incoming and outgoing mails. Sometimes this scanning process can make Outlook run slower or even fail. To check, disable the antivirus program temporarily and open the Outlook. If the problem is resolved then it was by the antivirus itself. Enable it again and update to the latest version, it can solve the problems you are having.

6. Open Outlook in safe mode

Open Outlook in safe mode will not always be enough to solve the problem, but it will help to know the origin. When you run Outlook in safe mode it opens with the minimum requirements, so several tools may not work. Safe mode will only run with the basic things that you need to run Outlook. To start this program in safe mode open the Run tool, write the command outlook.exe /safe in the Start Search field on the Start menu then press Enter in Windows Vista or 7.

Open MS Outlook in Safe Mode
Open MS Outlook in Safe Mode

7. Reset the changes

Many users customize the Outlook by adding or removing items in the navigation pane. Generally these changes do not affect the operation of Outlook, but there are cases where this causes the program to crash. To reverse these changes Outlook has a tool called Outlook resetnav to reset all settings to their original form. To reset all the changes we have to type the command Outlook.exe /resetnavpane in the Start Search field on the Start menu then press Enter in Windows Vista or 7.

However in most cases the PST file is damaged and Outlook doesn’t perform well and if all the tricks above doesn’t work for you, find an Outlook PST recovery tool to get all your e-mails, contacts, tasks & other items back from the damaged or corrupted PST file. OR if you use exchange server, then an OST to PST converter software might be of better use.

All programs and systems that are widely used may have many errors because there are a lot of different ways of using these. Outlook is no exception, but with these simple tricks one can solve almost all the problems that occurs with this program.

Reset MS Outlook Settings
Reset MS Outlook Settings


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.