GIVE ME MY OUTLOOK BACK!
Are you running Outlook 2007, maybe with Vista, but something happened and the only way you can boot Outlook back to a working condition is by running it in safe mode? Well I might have just the bit of information you’ve been searching for!
First, let me highlight some search queries that might help others find this post, because I’ve been running in safe mode for almost ONE YEAR and I just figured it out. I’ve taken the year of periodic searching, reading, testing, uninstalling / reinstalling, cussing, complaining and frustration due to this Microsoft Outlook 2007 issue, and decided to put it all to use in helping others going through the same thing.
If any of these peak your interest, read below:
> Outlook will only start in safe mode
> My Microsoft Outlook 2007 freezes at spash screen and will not start
> I have to end outlook task and restart in safe mode to get it to start
> I can’t open my Microsoft Outlook 2007 run on Vista
There are probably a ton other search queries, so if you find this post useful, please comment below and leave the search query you used to find this page. That way others can get the same help. Why do I want to help? Well, like I said above, it’s going on almost 1 full year that I have been looking for a page that helps me figure out this damn bug. I have yet to find one, but I got lucky today knowing what I’ve read before and then stumbling on something by chance.
This is what I’ve been doing for the last year (this isn’t the fix, but if the fix doesn’t work, this is how I’ve gotten around it):
- Start my computer, or simply login if it’s already on
- I click my Outlook icon to start my mail and it opens the splash screen, sometimes the program window will appear behind it, but not always.
- At this stage, everything just comes to a screeching halt. Something just prevents it from loading about halfway through.
- I then press CTRL + ALT + DEL and get to my task manager window, then click the tab at the top that says “Processes”, which will show all of the current running processes.
- Find the Outlook.exe process, or processes (mine always shows two outlook) and highlight each one, right click, press “End Task”. Click Ok to confirm ending the process. (Don’t close the taskbar window, just in case you need to do it again)
- Once you see no more Outlook processes running, go back to your Outlook icon and open your mail again. You should get a window appear that states Outlook did not shut down properly, or something to this effect and ask if you would like to start it in “SAFE MODE”. On this screen click “YES” to start in safe mode.
- This will open Outlook in its basic form without any plugins or any of your previous saved settings, which really sucks if you do it on a daily basis. Once it is loaded up, you have your mail and can work almost as normal as before.
Obviously I try to leave my computer on as long as possible since it’s a good thing to practice anyway, rather than restarting it daily, but it also allowed me to not have to go through all those steps above. Makes me want to throw my computer out the window…especially if you’re in the middle of getting an important email out and something happens that shuts Outlook down. Ugggh! Enough ranting, but I hope you understand I’m actually happy right now. Now to how I fixed this horrible bug that Microsoft seemed to never be able to figure out what was causing it.
The problem seemed to be due to “Add-Ins” for Outlook. Something was preventing the Add-Ins to load. I was able to get to the Add-Ins and disable what I could disable, but some things wouldn’t disable. I tried going into the registry to disable there, but I’m not too confident, so I didn’t want to screw things up. I read on one site where Vista has added search indexing to the mix and once it is enabled, all kinds of things can go wrong. I concluded this was my problem to prevent Outlook, but all of my attempts to disable it fell short. I’ll go through two things here. I recommend doing the first one first, give it a shot loading in normal mode, if it still doesn’t work, then go through the second step.
STEP 1 – Disable Outlook 2007 Add-Ins
- Open Outlook into safe-mode as mentioned above.
- Go to your toolbar menu and click >>TOOLS >>TRUST CENTER
- The Trust Center window will open, look for and click the option “ADD-INS”
- In the Add-Ins screen verify that you see “Windows Search Email Indexer” under the Active Application Add-Ins
- At the bottom of the Add-Ins screen look for the MANAGE: drop down menu and select: COM Add-Ins and click GO
- A smaller window will appear labeled “COM Add-Ins”. You’ll see all of the add-ins in a list with checkboxes next to them
- Scroll to the “Windows Search Email Indexer” and try to uncheck the checkbox.
- If it unchecks, click “OK”, then shut Outlook down and try to restart Outlook in normal mode to see if it is successful. If you get into Outlook with normal mode, then you are good to go.
- If you cannot uncheck due to an error saying “The connected state of Office Add-Ins registered in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE cannot be changed.” or if you unchecked but still couldn’t start in normal mode, then you’ll need to follow my STEP 2 list below.
If the Add-Ins STEP 1 didn’t do the job, this definitely should get it resolved.
STEP 2 – DISABLE THE WINDOWS SEARCH SERVICE
- Press the Windows START button in bottom left of window
- Open the CONTROL PANEL
- Open the ADMINISTRATIVE TOOLS
- Open the SERVICES
- Once the SERVICES window opens, scroll down and find the service named “WINDOWS SEARCH”, double click to open
- Once the Windows Search Properties open, make sure you are on the GENERAL tab at the top of the window
- Look for “Startup Type:” and click the drop down and select “DISABLED”
- Look for “Service status:” and click the “STOP” button and wait for the service to stop
- After the service status says “Stopped”, click APPLY, then click OK.
- Verify in the Services window that the Windows Search service has no status listed and the startup type is “disabled”.
- Now try and open Outlook in normal mode. If Outlook is open, close it and restart it in normal mode. You should see Outlook open and get past the splash screen quickly.
When getting in through normal mode, you will see a message saying your windows search has been disabled. Just click the checkbox stating you don’t want to see that message any longer, then OK. You’re back in Outlook and running with everything as before…well, except for the windows search.
If you have a lot of emails, like me, I would recommend the Google Desktop Search application. It’s free and it indexes your entire computer, including emails, for easy searching. The search results are returned in a fraction of what Windows Search returns. That and it doesn’t cause your Outlook to not load.
Hope this helps someone! Please leave a comment and let me know.