|Note: This article applies to Outlook for Windows.|
Did you get an Outlook not responding error? Is Outlook stuck on a screen that simply says 'Processing'? Or does Outlook freeze or stop working when you're opening a file or sending an email message?
There are several reasons for Outlook to behave this way. Some potential solutions in order from quickest to most time consuming are below.
Start Outlook in safe mode to fix 'processing' screen
If Outlook stops responding at a screen that says 'Processing,' you can close Outlook, start it in safe mode, then close it and open it normally to fix the problem.
- Close Outlook.
- Launch Outlook in safe mode by clicking Start, type Outlook.exe /safe, and press Enter.
- Close Outlook, and then open it normally.
If Outlook isn't stuck at a screen that says 'Processing,' or this didn't resolve your issue, continue to the steps below.
Step 1: Is there a dialog box open?
Some things you do in Outlook ask for confirmation. For example, the first time you try to Dismiss All on a list of reminders, Outlook asks you if you're sure you want to do that. If you don't choose an option on that dialog box, Outlook won't let you do anything else.
Check for open dialog boxes. Pressing Alt+Tab will help you switch from window to window and help you see what dialog boxes might be stopping Outlook from responding.
If you can't find a dialog box open, move on to the next step.
Step 2: Make sure Outlook isn't working on a large or long process
If you try to delete or move many messages at once, Outlook can appear to freeze, but really, it's working behind the scenes.
Check the status bar at the bottom of the screen. If Outlook is performing some operation on hundreds or thousands of messages at once, it might appear to be stuck. Give Outlook a few minutes to finish the process and it should start to work again.
If Outlook isn't working on a large or lengthy process, move on to the next step.
Step 3: Install the latest Windows and Office updates
Outlook works best when it's up to date. We recommend setting Windows Update to automatically download and install recommended updates. Bug fixes, new features, and performance enhancements are released regularly.
To install the latest Windows updates, open Settings, click Windows Update and install any pending updates. If there are no updates, click Check to see if there are new ones to install.
- To install the latest Office updates, open an installed Office App. In the Office App home page, click Account to see the User and Product Information page. In the Office Updates section, click Update Options and choose Update Now.
If installing the latest updates didn't resolve your issue, move on to the next step.
Step 4: Repair your Office programs
Repairing your Office programs can resolve issues with Outlook not responding or freezing. Errors in Office files are repaired automatically.
Quit any Office programs that are running.
In Control Panel, choose Programs then Programs and Features.
In the list of installed programs, locate and right-click your installed Microsoft Office Apps version and then choose Change. The App Name may be listed as Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, Microsoft 365 Apps for business or Microsoft Office 2019.
- At the How would you like to repair your Office programs? screen, choose Quick Repair, then click Repair.
This will perform a check of your Office App settings and correct any issue it may find.
If issues still occur, repeat the steps trying Online Repair instead of Quick Repair listed above. This will perform a check of your Office App settings and search for missing files or dependencies to reinstall.
If repairing your Office programs didn't resolve your issue, move on to the next step.
Step 6: Create a new user profile
Your profile stores a variety of settings that control how Outlook looks and feels. You can create a new profile and then add your email accounts to the new profile.
In Windows 10, click Start. Type Control Panel and press Enter. Choose User Accounts > Mail > Show Profiles.
- Choose Add, and in the Profile Name box, type a profile name, and then choose OK.
Enter an email address and a password for the primary email account you use in Outlook and then walk through the steps to create the profile.
Once the profile is created, on the Show Profiles dialog, choose Prompt for a profile to be used.
Start Outlook and choose your new profile.
Additional Outlook profiles can consume your computers free disk space. If a new profile has corrected the issue - and after confirming that all mail content is available in the new profile - you may consider removing the older profile.
If you continue to experience issues with Outlook, please submit a support request for Real World Technology Solutions support team to investigate further. Be sure to include as much detail as possible about Outlook's issue including if the issue consistently occurs, the times the issues tend to occur, the size of your mailbox and information about your internet connection and usage.
If unsure about the steps to perform or would like Real World Technology Solutions support team members to assist and perform - please submit a support request for remote support session.