I Cannot Open Outlook Express Mail

By Katherine Harder

If you can't open your Outlook Express Mail, you aren't the only one. A general Web search shows many people on forums wondering why their Outlook Express won't open. Outlook sometimes freezes during opening, and it could be due to any number of causes, including corrupted files, Outlook still running in the background or an outdated version of Outlook Express. Troubleshoot the problem, addressing possible problems, to get your Outlook Express Mail up and running smoothly again.

Resetnavpanes Fix

Step 1

Click "Start" and type "Run" in the Search box.

Step 2

Click on the blue and white Run icon that appears in your search results.

Step 3

Type "outlook.exe/resetnavpanes" in the Open field and hit "Enter." This action often works to quickly fix the problem.

Registry Key Fix

Step 1

Click "Start" and type "regedit" into the Search field. Click on the regedit icon once it appears.

Step 2

Find the registry key titled "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Windows Messaging Subsystem."

Step 3

Delete the "Profiles" key found in that folder.

Outlook Express Files Fix

Step 1

Click "Start."

Step 2

Select "My Computer." Navigate to "C:\Documents and Settings\Your-User\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\outlook." Your logon name should replace "Your-User" in the path.

Step 3

Use the keyboard shortcut of "Ctrl" and "A" to select all the files inside this folder.

Step 4

Right-click on your selected files and click "Properties."

Step 5

Uncheck the check box that says "Read-Only."

Tips & Warnings

  • If all else fails, use System Restore to restore your system to a time when Outlook Express worked. Search for "System Restore" in your Start menu search box. Follow the prompts to complete the process, making sure you select an early enough date.