How to Fix Microsoft Outlook Not Responding?

Last Updated: Feb 13, 2024 by

Microsoft Outlook is a popular email client used by millions of people around the world. It offers a variety of features and functions that make it a go-to choice for managing emails, calendars, and contacts. However, like any other software, Outlook can also encounter issues and stop responding. This can be frustrating, especially if you rely on Outlook for your daily communication and work. In this article, we will discuss some common reasons why Outlook may stop responding and how to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

Why is Outlook Not Responding?

There can be several reasons why Outlook may stop responding. Some of the most common causes include:

  • Large mailbox size: If your mailbox is too large, it can cause Outlook to slow down or stop responding.
  • Corrupted Outlook data files: If your Outlook data files, such as PST or OST, are corrupted, it can lead to issues with Outlook.
  • Outdated Outlook version: Using an outdated version of Outlook can cause compatibility issues and lead to Outlook not responding.
  • Add-ins conflict: Add-ins are third-party programs that integrate with Outlook to provide additional features. If there is a conflict between add-ins, it can cause Outlook to stop responding.
  • Antivirus software: Sometimes, antivirus software can interfere with Outlook and cause it to stop responding.
  • Hardware issues: If your computer or hard drive is experiencing hardware issues, it can affect the performance of Outlook.

Now that we know some of the common causes of Outlook not responding, let’s look at how to troubleshoot and fix the issue.

Troubleshooting Microsoft Outlook Not Responding

Check Your Internet Connection

The first step in troubleshooting Outlook not responding is to check your internet connection. If your internet is not working, Outlook will not be able to connect to the server and will stop responding. Make sure your internet is working properly and try restarting your router if necessary.

Close Unnecessary Programs

Having too many programs open at once can cause your computer to slow down and affect the performance of Outlook. Close any unnecessary programs and try using Outlook again.

Restart Outlook in Safe Mode

Outlook has a built-in safe mode that can help troubleshoot issues. To start Outlook in safe mode, follow these steps:

  1. Press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard and double-click on the Outlook icon.
  2. A prompt will appear asking if you want to start Outlook in safe mode. Click Yes.

If Outlook opens in safe mode, it means that an add-in is causing the issue. You can disable add-ins one by one to identify the problematic one. To disable add-ins, follow these steps:

  1. Click on File in the top left corner of Outlook.
  2. Click on Options and then select Add-ins.
  3. In the Manage dropdown menu, select COM Add-ins and click Go.
  4. Uncheck the add-ins you want to disable and click OK.

Repair Outlook Data Files

If your Outlook data files are corrupted, it can cause Outlook to stop responding. To repair Outlook data files, follow these steps:

  1. Close Outlook and open the Control Panel.
  2. Click on Programs and then select Programs and Features.
  3. Find Microsoft Office in the list of programs and click on it.
  4. Click on Change and then select Repair.
  5. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the repair process.

Update Outlook

Using an outdated version of Outlook can cause compatibility issues and lead to Outlook not responding. Make sure you have the latest version of Outlook installed. To check for updates, follow these steps:

  1. Open Outlook and click on File in the top left corner.
  2. Click on Office Account and then select Update Options.
  3. Click on Update Now.

Disable Antivirus Software

Sometimes, antivirus software can interfere with Outlook and cause it to stop responding. Temporarily disable your antivirus software and check if Outlook is working properly. If it is, you may need to add an exception for Outlook in your antivirus settings.

Check for Hardware Issues

If none of the above solutions work, there may be a hardware issue with your computer or hard drive. Run a diagnostic test on your computer and hard drive to identify any potential issues.

Preventing Outlook Not Responding in the Future

Now that you have fixed the issue of Outlook not responding, it’s important to take steps to prevent it from happening again in the future. Here are some tips to help you prevent Outlook from not responding:

  • Keep your mailbox size under control by regularly archiving old emails.
  • Make sure you have enough storage space on your computer for Outlook to function properly.
  • Keep your Outlook data files backed up in case of corruption.
  • Keep your Outlook and other software up to date.
  • Use reputable antivirus software and keep it updated.
  • Limit the number of add-ins you have installed in Outlook.


Outlook not responding can be a frustrating issue, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can fix the issue and prevent it from happening in the future. By keeping your Outlook and other software up to date, regularly backing up your data, and being mindful of your mailbox size, you can ensure that Outlook runs smoothly and efficiently. If you continue to experience issues with Outlook not responding, it may be worth seeking professional help to identify and fix the underlying issue.

Gulrukh Ch

About the Author: Gulrukh Ch

Gulrukh Chaudhary, an accomplished digital marketer and technology writer with a passion for exploring the frontiers of innovation. Armed with a Master's degree in Information Technology, Gulrukh seamlessly blends her technical prowess with her creative flair, resulting in captivating insights into the world of emerging technologies. Discover more about her on her LinkedIn profile.