Outlook not responding, stopped working, freezes or hangs

If you receive an Outlook not responding error or Outlook hangs, freezes or stops working when opening the file or sending email. Follow the provided methods in this article in order. If you have previously tried one of these methods and it did not help, go to another method from the list below

Install the latest Windows and Office Updates

You might need to set Windows Update to automatically download and install recommended updates. Installing any important, recommended, and optional updates can often correct problems by replacing out-of-date files and fixing vulnerabilities. To install the latest Windows and Office updates, click the link below.

Keep Windows up to date with the latest Updates

If installing the latest updates did not resolve your issue, please continue on to the next method.

Check to make sure Outlook is not in use by another process

Performance may be reduced if you use the Outlook AutoArchive feature or sync to Outlook with a mobile device, because these processes may use large amounts of resources.

If Outlook is in use by another process, this information will be displayed in the horizontal status bar at the bottom of the screen, If you try to perform other actions while Outlook is in use, Outlook may not respond. Let the task in process finish its job before attempting other actions.

If Outlook is not in use by another process, please continue on to the next method.

Investigate possible issues with add-ins

While add-ins can enhance your experience, they can occasionally interfere or conflict with Outlook. Try starting Outlook without add-ins to see if the problem goes away, Here’s how:

  1. Do one of the following:

    If you are running Windows 7, click Start.
    If you are running Windows 8, click Run from the Apps menu.
  2. Type Outlook /safe, in the Search programs and files (Windows 7) or Run window (Windows 8) and then click OK.
  3. Close and re-open Outlook.
  4. If the issue is resolved, open the File menu, click Options, then click Add-ins.
  5. Select COM Add-ins and click Go.
  6. Clear all the check boxes in the list to disable the Add-ins and click OK.
  7. Restart Outlook.
  8. If the issue does not occur, go back to the COMM Add-ins screen and enable them one at a time until the error occurs. (Be sure to close and restart Outlook after each Add-in is enabled.)

If disabling the add-ins did not resolve your issue, please continue on to the next method.

Check to see if your mailbox is oversized

As your mailbox size increases, more resources are needed to open each folder. If you have a large number of items in any single folder, you may experience issues during certain operations. We recommend moving several items in your larger folders to separate folders or archive them using the AutoArchive feature.

Here’s how to create a folder:

  1. On the Folder tab, in the New group, click New Folder.
  2. In the Name box, enter a name for the folder.
  3. In the Select where to place the folder list, click the location for the new folder. The new folder will become a sub folder of the folder you select.
  4. Click OK.

To manage the size of your mailbox, see: You may experience application pauses if you have a large Outlook data file

If reducing the size of your mailbox did not resolve your issue, please continue to the next method.

Repair your Office 2013 programs

Repairing your Office 2013 programs can resolve issues with Outlook not responding, hanging, or freezing by automatically repairing errors in Office files.

  1. Quit any Office programs that are running.
  2. Open the Control Panel and select Programs and Features.
  3. In the list of installed programs, right click Microsoft Office 2013, then click Change.
  • If you installed Office from a DVD or .msi file you will only have 1 Repair option (Full Repair.).
  • If you are running Office Click to Run you will have 2 Repair options.

 Note    If you are using Office Click to Run, please see the following Microsoft Office article and follow the steps to Repair Office Click to Run: Update, repair, or uninstall Office Click-to-Run products

If repairing your Office programs did not resolve your issue, please continue on to the next method.

Repair your Outlook data file

When you install Outlook 2013, an inbox repair tool (scanpst.exe) is also installed on your PC. The Inbox repair tool can resolve issues by scanning your Outlook data files, and repairing errors. To use the Inbox repair tool, exit Outlook and click the link below and follow the steps in the article.

Repair Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost)

If repairing your Outlook Data files did not resolve your issue, please continue on to the next method.

Check to see if your antivirus software is up-to-date or conflicting with Outlook

If your antivirus software is not up-to-date, Outlook may not function properly.

Check to see whether your antivirus software is up-to-date

To keep up with new viruses that are created, antivirus vendors periodically provide updates that you can download from the Internet. Download the latest updates by visiting your antivirus software vendor’s website.

For a list of antivirus vendors, see: Consumer security software providers.

Check to see whether your antivirus software is conflicting with Outlook

If your antivirus software includes integration with Outlook, you may experience performance issues. In this case, you can disable all Outlook integration within the antivirus software. Or, you can disable and antivirus software add-ins that are installed in Outlook.

 Important    Changing your antivirus settings may make your PC vulnerable to viral, fraudulent, or malicious attacks. Microsoft does not recommend that you attempt to change your antivirus settings. Use this workaround at your own risk.

You may have to contact your antivirus software vendor to determine how to configure your software to exclude any integration with Outlook or to exclude scanning in Outlook.

 Note    Additionally, if you plan to perform file-level virus scanning of .pst, .ost, Offline Address Book (.oab) or other Outlook files while Outlook is in use, read the following Microsoft TechNet Library article: Plan antivirus scanning for Outlook 2010

If updating your antivirus software, and excluding it from integrating with Outlook did not resolve your issue, please continue to the next method.

Create a new user profile

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If you’re using Windows 7

  1. Open Mail items by selecting: Start > Control Panel > Programs > User Accounts then Mail.
  2. Click Show Profiles.
  3. Select the profile you want to remove, click Remove.
  4. Click Add.
  5. In the Profile Name box, enter a name for your new profile.
  6. Specify the user name, the primary SMTP address and password, click Next.
  7. You may receive the following prompt:
  • Allow this website to configure <Yourusername@domain> server settings?

In this prompt, select the Don’t ask me about this again checkbox and click Allow.

If you’re using Windows 8

  1. Open the Apps menu and select: Control Panel > Mail > Show Profiles.
  2. Select the profile you want to remove and click Remove.
  3. Click Add.
  4. In the Profile Name box, enter a name for your new profile.
  5. Specify the user name, the primary SMTP address and password, click Next.
  6. You may receive the following prompt:
  • Allow this website to configure <Yourusername@domain> server settings?

In this prompt, select the Don’t ask me about this again checkbox and click Allow.

 
 
Applies to:
Outlook 2013