Microsoft Outlook (MS Outlook) is a desktop-based application, developed by Microsoft in 1996, providing email facility to clients with an additional feature of personal information management. Since its introduction, many versions have been developed and latest updated version is Outlook 2016. MS Outlook stores the account data in the form of PST File (i.e., Personal Storage Table File) with an extension of .pst, which is a binary type file and stores entire Outlook data like emails, contacts, calendars, etc.
Sometimes, Microsoft Outlook may consist of some emails which when accessed, may crash Outlook. These mails actually are emails that have gone corrupted. Major problem with such mails is that user cannot delete such message, because as soon as these mails are accessed, Outlook crashes instantly.
Causes for Outlook Crashing
Outlook crashes lead to very frustrating situation, because the problem usually occurs randomly and sometimes it gets difficult to determine the cause of the crash. Microsoft Outlook crashes due to following causes:
- Corrupted Outlook PST File:- The most genuine reason for Outlook corruption, instability and unexplained weird behavior is a corrupted PST file.
- Corrupted Outlook Profile:- Sometimes an Outlook profile might get corrupted leading to crashing of MS Outlook.
- Corrupted Configuration File:- In addition to PST, OST and profiles, Outlook has several other files like Outlook Configuration Files, which may also be corrupted.
- Corrupted Outlook Emails:- Emails with or without attachments can also be corrupted which causes crashing in MS Outlook.
Causes for Email Corruption
Following are the reasons for the cause:
- Viruses or other Malicious Software:- In computer system, many viruses can infect and damage the emails and makes them inaccessible.
- Terminating System Abnormally:- If system/application is quit abnormally, then emails are prone to get corrupted or damaged.
- Faults within Networking Device:- Emails reside on the network server and we access them in system. If network devices like routers, gateway, etc. have, defects in them, email may be corrupted.
- Improper Mapping of Emails:- Mails of Outlook may not be properly matched with the preexisting folders of it.
Solution To Deal With This Trouble
To deal with such problem, users can to delete the corrupted message without crashing MS Outlook by disabling the reading pane in Outlook. There are different conditions for this:
Condition 1: When MS Outlook Cannot Open
To work around with this issue, Open MS Outlook in Safe Mode because this will enable users to disable the Reading Pane. The procedure to open Reading pane varies according to the Windows version that is being currently used:
- For Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8
Start >> Type: outlook.exe/safe
- For Windows XP
Condition 2: When MS Outlook Can Open
In such condition, open Outlook and then perform following steps:
- For Outlook 2002 and previous: View>>Preview Pane>>Off
- For Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007: View>> Reading Pane>> Off
- For Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2003: In tab Select View>> Reading Panel>> Off
Conclusion: Even after performing the above-mentioned procedures, if MS Outlook still crashes upon selecting such emails, then it means that the PST file of Outlook is damaged. To recover data from such corrupt PST files, users are advised to use MS Outlook's inbuilt tool called SCANPST.exe or a third party application.