How to Fix Outlook Not Responding Error?

Siddharth Rawat Siddharth Rawat Published On - 06 Aug 2019

If you have used Outlook before, at some point you must have come across issues like Outlook not responding, stuck at “processing,” stopped working. Also, it may freeze or hang. This might become overwhelmingly frustrating for some users and can also affect corporations enormously. In this post, we will discuss the causes and solutions to resolve these issues. According to Microsoft, these issues could be due to one or more of the following reasons:

  • You haven’t installed the latest updates
  • MS Outlook is trying to add an attachment to a user’s mail
  • MS Outlook is in use by some other process or a program
  • A recently installed add-in is interfering with Outlook (see snippet below)
  • Your mailbox has reached the maximum capacity
  • Your Outlook data files are either damaged or have become corrupt
  • Interference due to an antivirus program
  • Your user profile has become corrupt
  • A conflict between Outlook and another program

Home Screen

Following are some of the ways to resolve these issues related to MS Outlook:
  • Safe termination of Outlook in case of software hang
  • Sometimes when you try to close Outlook it doesn’t shut off in the first attempt; hence you persistently try to quit the program several times which causes the hang. In this scenario, you can run the ‘Task Manager’ and select Outlook and hit ‘End process.’

    run the ‘Task Manager’ and select Outlook

  • Opening Outlook in safe mode
  • There is a high chance that the Add-ins are causing the Outlook to run abnormally. It is then recommended to run Outlook in safe mode. To access safe mode, you should hold the CTRL key and left-click the Outlook icon. When you open the Outlook in safe mode, you will see the safe mode mentioned in the title bar in parenthesis (see below).

    run Outlook in safe mode

  • Disable your Outlook Add-ins
  • In the earlier method, running Outlook in the safe mode might solve the hang issue, but it also disables all the Add-ins at the same time. So, disabling the Add-ins one-by-one might help you to catch the culprit. In this way, you can pinpoint the Add-in which is responsible for these issues. Click File > Options. This will open the Outlook Options Dialog box. In Manage, click Add-ins > Go. This opens another dialog box, which has a list of all the add-ins. You can uncheck/ check the Add-ins one by one to find which add-in is causing the problem.

     Disable Outlook Add-ins

  • Close all other memory-intensive programs
  • Out of all, MS Outlook is the most complex and memory-intensive program. Due to this constraint, it sometimes freezes or hangs. It is therefore advisable to terminate all the memory-intensive programs before running Outlook on your machine. You can adequately terminate the required program by ending it via Task Manager, as explained earlier.

  • Repair Outlook data files
  • Outlook comes with an inbuilt repair tool called as Scanpst.exe to repair your Outlook data files (.PST or .OST) if damaged. In order to run this repair tool, you need to close the Outlook first. For Office 356Outlook, 2019 and 2016 Scanpst.exe can be found here-

    (Any version) C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\office16\

    For Outlook 2019 and 2016, it can be found here-

    • (32 bit) C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\
    • (64 bit) C:\Program Files (x86) \Microsoft Office\Office15\

    After launching the Scanpst.exe application, you will be asked to choose the Outlook data file which needs to be repaired.

    Inbox Repair Tool

    Next, a popup box will show you the status of the repair process.

    PST Repair Process Complete

  • Disable your anti-virus program
  • Most of the times, it is the conflict between the anti-virus program and add-ins, which causes Outlook to freeze or hang. You can try updating your anti-virus program. If this too doesn’t solve this issue, then try disabling the anti-virus program and check whether Outlook works without any interruptions.

  • Repair your MS office suite
  • If you tried all the above methods with no luck, then you should consider this method. In Control panel, click Programs and Features. Select the MS Office suite and click Change.

    To Repair MS office suite

    Clicking on Change will open a Dialog box. Choose the appropriate option accordingly.

    Check options for reparing

  • Kernel for Outlook PST Repair
  • If you tried all the above methods with no luck, as a last resort, you should consider using a reliable third-party software such as Kernel for Outlook PST Repair. It can repair large sized PST files as it not limited by file size. You can later save the retrieved PST files in various formats such as DBX, MBOX, etc. User can also Export the recovered PST files to Office 365, web-enabled email services, and Exchange Server. Moreover, it can also recover meta properties of emails such as To, Cc, Bcc, From, Subject, Date, Time, Contacts, Tasks, Calendars, and Journals.

Conclusion

We have discussed various techniques to resolve the ‘Freeze and Hang’ issues associated with Outlook. Traditional methods might not work in this case; hence, it is advised to try using PST repair tools such as Microsoft’s Scanpst.exe or a reliable third-party tool such as Kernel for Outlook PST Repair. In many ways Kernel for Outlook PST Repair tool is far superior to the Scanpst.exe.