Why does Outlook take several minutes to start on my machine?

A. Several factors can delay Outlook's start time. To troubleshoot this problem, begin by starting Outlook in Safe mode. Go to Start, Run, then type

outlook /safe

If Outlook starts quickly in Safe mode, the problem is most likely one of the following:

  • The outcmd.dat file in the application data\microsoft\outlook folder is corrupt. Rename or delete this file while Outlook is closed. When you restart Outlook, the folder will be recreated.
  • The view is corrupt. Start Outlook from the command prompt by typing
    outlook /cleanview
    to fix this problem.
  • A message in the Inbox is corrupt. Start Outlook in Safe mode, then move the Inbox messages to another folder. Be aware that you will lose your mailbox contents.
  • An Outlook add-in is causing the problem. Open the Tools menu; select Options, Other, Advanced Options; click COM Add-Ins; click Add-In Manager; then clear all add-in check boxes.

If Outlook doesn't start quickly in Safe mode, you can also try to disable Windows Messenger integration. To do so, open the Tools menu; select Options, Other; then clear the "Enable Instant Messaging in Microsoft Outlook" check box.

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