Cannot open Outlook

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Posts: 6   +0

Please can someone help?

My ISP is AOL & I have been using Outlook without difficulty for about three months but yesterday when I double clicked on the icon I got this message:


"Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Unable to open Outlook window. The set of folders could not be opened. The server is not available. Contact your administrator if this condition persists."

While error message is still showing, Outlook icon will appear on bottom 'information' bar. When I double click on this icon, this message appears:

"Outlook is not responding. If you are using an Exchange Server E-mail account, you can cancel pending server requests by clicking on the Outlook icon in the notifications area and then clicking Cancel Server Request on the short cut menu."

Has anyone had this problem & has managed to solve it & if so, how did you do it?!

Me too....same error message

I got the same error message this morning after using outlook with no problems for ages. Please somebody help
If you still have your office CD, try doing a repair installation. Run the CD, select Repair Office, then select Detect And Repair Errors In My Office Installation. See if this helps

Well this is a problem everybody is facing. The best way I suggest is to disable any software that shares Outlook Address book like WIN-fax. They may help you. Or alternatively you have to reinstall the whole software once again, but remember to back up the pst file.
Best of luck
Hi y'all

Well, I finally got a microsoft assistant to email me back, so here are his recommendations. The third option allowed me to open outlook, but as yet I can't access any of my calendars from the origional outlook profile, and I'll keep you posted about any further developments. Thanks for your concern guys.

Dear Michelle,

Thank you for contacting Microsoft Office Online Support Service. My name is Bob, and I will be helping you with this service request.

After reviewing the case log, I understand this issue is: You are currently experiencing an Outlook problem, when you open Outlook, you had an error message saying “cannot find server”. You are unable to use Outlook.

If I misunderstand your concerns, please let me know.

Based on my research, the problem may be related to many factors, please try following steps to narrow down the problem.

Step 1: Disable Anti-Virus programs or some other third party program


Please disable any Anti-Virus, firewalls, spy, Anti-Spam programs and check whether you have installed any third party program related to Outlook on your computer. If so, please temporarily disable it.

Does the problem still persist? If so, please go on to the next step:

Step 2: Start Outlook in Safe Mode

1. Quit Outlook.

2. Choose Start menu -> Run

3. Type "Outlook.exe /safe" and click OK. (Without quotation marks but there is a space in front of "/")

Please perform a test in Outlook Safe Mode.

If the problem persists in Outlook Safe Mode, Please try next step.

Step 3: Create a new profile

Please create a new profile to see if the problem is caused by the corrupt profile

1. Close Outlook.

2. Click Start, and click Control Panel. Click Mail icon.

3. Click Show Profiles.

4. In the "When starting Microsoft Office Outlook, use this profile:" area, please select "Prompt for a profile to be used"

5. Click Add and type the new profile name as you like in the Profile name box.

Note: Please don't choose the same name of your original profile.

6. Choose "Add a new e-mail account" and click Next.

7. Choose your email type and type the necessary information. (You can gain information of the email account from the ISP)

8. Click Next and click Finish.

9. Reopen Outlook. Choose the new profile in the profile list and click OK.

For more information, please refer to the following Knowledge Base article:

287072 OL2002: How to Create a New E-mail Profile for Outlook

Note: This article also applies to Outlook 2003

Is the problem resolved in the new profile? If yes, you could import your data from the original profile. You can refer to the following Knowledge Base article on how to import Outlook data:

Q287070 OL2002: How to Back Up, Restore, or Move Outlook Data;en-us;287070

Note: This article also applies to Outlook 2003

If the problem persists after you tired above steps, would you please send a screenshot of the exact error to me?

To save the screenshots, please follow the steps below:

(a) When the error appears, press the Print Screen key several times (the Print Screen key is located to the right of the F12 key on the keyboard)

(b) Open Paint or Microsoft Word or WordPad.

(c) Click Edit (menu) -> Paste or press Ctrl + V.

(d) Click File (menu) -> Save. Save it to a file and attach it in email to send it to me.

Please try the suggestions and update me with the result at your earliest convenience. If there is anything unclear in my email, please feel free to let me know. I look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards,

Bob Zhu

Microsoft Office Setup/Outlook Team
Microsoft Product Support Services
After 3 days looking for solution, I followed this advice on
and it worked perfectly for me.
Hope it helps
fyi: Outlook has some very nice features -- but Outlook is a lousy and unsafe email client.

The Calendar and Contacts are great, especially where the user is connected to
a Domain Controller and can share these with other users.

HOWEVER, Outlook and its little brother Outlook Express are quite nasty when
it comes to Internet security. They both share components owned by the Ms Internet Explorer
and as such, are no more secure than IE itself. The culprit here is the VB scripting and HTML.

Many users will recommend ANY OTHER Email Client in preference to Outlook/Outlook Express.
By moving your Email away from Outlook, your .PST files will not corrupt so easily
and you will increase your system security.

Caveat Emptor.
Outlook Already Open

I encountered this problem today and found that the user had opened the outlook.pst file on another computer. Simply shutting down the first instance allowed the second to open without the error message. I am sure this is not the root of everyone's problem on this post, but the ambiguous error message did not make it clear that this could be the case. Just wanted to save someone the repair steps if it was not truly necessary.
very kind of you!

However, the outlook.pst should have been in the private area of the user and
not shared.
The error was likely to have been generated by a programming lock on the PST
to avoid corrupting it.
shared .pst file

Just wanted to be clear on my prior post. The .pst file was in a private area but on the network. The user has access to this folder via multiple computers, thus tried to open outlook on (2) computers at the same time using the same private network folder. I hope that helps.
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