As a technician, there are several programs I cannot do my job successfully without. Within that list, Microsoft Outlook is hard to beat out of the top spot. Many see Outlook as just a way to view your emails, but it is so much more than that. Outlook has the ability to send and receive emails, but it can also schedule reminders, tasks, and plan your day/week/year using the calendar. It is a wonderful tool that millions of people utilize daily, and as Microsoft provides more updates, we receive even more features and greater stability. However, like all programs, every once in a while Outlook doesn’t function as efficiently as we expect. Here are four common ways that Outlook breaks, and more importantly, simple steps to troubleshoot and fix the problems!
1. The Break: Outlook Stuck in “Processing”
This Outlook issue is common; it has even happened to me a few times in 2018 already. This typically is not a frequent issue; however, Outlook is extremely difficult to open without the following steps if you are running into this.
The Fix: In order to open Outlook properly, close the “Processing” window using the “x” in the top right corner.
Then, on your keyboard, click the “Windows” key and “R” at the same time, or click the Start menu and type “Run”.
Then, type “Outlook.exe /safe” and click “OK.”
This will launch Outlook in safe mode. When it asks for a profile, just click “OK” on whichever option is selected.
Outlook will then most likely prompt you for your credentials. When it does, enter them, and make sure Outlook shows “Connected to Microsoft Exchange” in the bottom right corner.
Once this happens, close Outlook, and click on your regular Outlook icon to launch again. You may need to enter your password once more, but it should launch correctly this time!
2. The Break: Outlook shows Offline
This problem occurs randomly, and generally infrequently. You may open Outlook and it will show “Working Offline” in the bottom right corner, and you will not receive any of your recent emails. There is also usually a red “X” over your Outlook icon.
The Fix: This fix should be pretty simple, but if it doesn’t stick, you may need to take some extra steps.
On the top of your Outlook window, there should be five tabs: File, Home, Send / Receive, Folder, and View.
Click on Send / Receive. On the new section that pops up, there is a spot called “Preferences.” In this spot is a button that says “Work Offline.”
Click this button. Outlook should then attempt to connect to the Mail server and should allow you to receive emails once more.
If you do this, but the issue comes back next time you open Outlook, try running Outlook as Administrator and applying this fix. Click the start menu, type in Outlook, and right click the proper results. Then click “Run as Administrator.” Then apply the fix as you did earlier.
3. The Break: Searching ALL Outlook Files (including PST’s)
This one is less of a problem and more of an Outlook trick. You may have run into a few issues searching in Outlook, only to find that our search parameters were off! If you were looking for files in your deleted folder, or within an archived mailbox, no results would pop up in search, even if you knew where the email was.
The fix: The solution to this one is simple! On the inbox search, click where it says “Current Mailbox,” and select “All Outlook Items.”
This will search the entire application for keywords in emails, reminders, and other messages. This may take a bit longer to search, as it is going to scan the entire database, but it will get you all the results you are looking for across Outlook.
4. The Break: Outlook Running Slow (and Other General Outlook Issues)
This may be one of the most difficult Outlook issues to diagnose—there are a plethora of factors that may be causing Outlook to run slow. Depending on how big your mailbox is, and the hardware in your computer, there are sometimes limits to the fixes that can be attempted on your computer. Some of the main symptoms of Outlook running slow are the following: Outlook showing “Not Responding,” force closing, errors stating there isn’t enough memory to complete tasks, and any other unusual performance issues.
The fix: While there are many fixes to try, one of the best to start with is an Office Repair. An Office Repair takes place in “Programs and Features,” and will require all Office applications (Word, Powerpoint, Skype for Business, Outlook, etc.) to be shut down while it runs.
In order to run an Office Repair, click the Start menu, and type in “programs and features”. Then, find and select Microsoft Office.
Click “repair.” An Office Repair window should pop up. You will have two options, a Quick Repair or an Online Repair.
A Quick Repair does a reset of your local Office system files, while an Online Repair essentially reinstalls Office. I generally run the Quick Repair, and it helps my Outlook run better. This will usually take 15-20 minutes to complete but can take longer depending on computer performance. After the repair completes, launch Outlook again and test it out!
Outlook is a wonderful tool, but just like any other tool that you depend on, it needs to work properly for the most efficient use. Sometimes software quits working, and it takes a bit of magic to get it working again. These fixes may help with some of the smaller issues, but if you are running into larger issues with Outlook, or any other applications, feel free to reach out to your JMARK support team! If you don’t have a JMARK support team, find out why you should by visiting our website, or calling 844-44JMARK.