Jul 24, 2023 | Email Conversion

Essential Tips to Open Outlook in Safe Mode: A Detailed Guide

By Deepak Singh Bisht

Microsoft Outlook, a widely used email client, offers a multitude of features to facilitate easy and secure communication. However, there can be times when you may encounter an error message stating 'Cannot start Microsoft Outlook'. If you're stuck in such a situation, opening Outlook in Safe Mode could be a feasible solution. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the steps on how to open Outlook in Safe Mode and understand its relevance.

What is Outlook Safe Mode?

Microsoft Outlook Safe Mode is essentially a built-in troubleshooting feature that enables you to run the program with a limited set of functionalities and no add-ins or plug-ins. This mode is particularly useful to troubleshoot and isolate issues hindering the normal operation of Outlook.

Difference between Outlook Safe mode and Normal mode

The primary distinction between Outlook's Safe Mode and Normal Mode is their operational functionality. While Normal Mode allows access to all features, including various plug-ins and add-ons, Safe Mode operates as a diagnostic mode to troubleshoot and rectify issues.

How to Open Outlook in Safe Mode?

Various methods allow users to start Outlook in Safe Mode, each detailed below for your convenience.

Method 1: Open Outlook in Safe Mode using Run Command

  1. Click on Start on your computer and then on Run or use the shortcut Window Key + R.
  2. Type outlook.exe /safe
  3. Click on the OK button to launch safe mode

Method 2: Start Outlook in safe mode by holding the Ctrl Key

  1. Hold down the Ctrl button on your keyboard.
  2. Double-click on the Outlook shortcut on your desktop.
  3. Keep holding the Ctrl key until a pop-up message appears asking if you want to start Outlook in Safe Mode.
  4. Click Yes.

Method 3: Run Outlook in Safe Mode using Outlook Safe Mode Command

If you know where the Outlook program is saved on your computer, you can use the Command Prompt to open it in Safe Mode.

  1. Open Command Prompt
  2. Type Outlook Exe file location
  3. Type /safe after the location

Outlook Safe Mode command for Outlook 2019 and 2016

  • 32-bit: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\outlook.exe" /safe
  • 32-bit (alternative): "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\outlook.exe" /safe
  • 64-bit: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\outlook.exe" /safe

Outlook Safe Mode command for Outlook 2013

  • 32-bit: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\outlook.exe" /safe
  • 64-bit: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\outlook.exe" /safe

Outlook Safe Mode command for Outlook 2010

  • 32-bit: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\outlook.exe" /safe
  • 64-bit: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\outlook.exe" /safe

Method 4: Open Outlook Safe Mode using a New Shortcut

  • Right-click on a space on your desktop and select New -> Shortcut.
  • In the Create Shortcut wizard, input the Outlook executable file path followed by /safe. Click Next.
  • Name the shortcut as you see fit and finish the setup.
  • This new shortcut will directly open Outlook in Safe Mode.

Common Problems When Running Outlook in Safe Mode

Even while running in Safe Mode, you might come across a few challenges. Some typical issues and their potential solutions include:

Issue 1: Cannot Start Outlook in Safe Mode

If you are unable to start Outlook in Safe Mode, it could be due to corrupted Outlook installation files. One possible solution is to repair the installation using the Office Repair Tool found in the Control Panel.

Issue 2: Add-ins Not Working in Safe Mode

Since Safe Mode is a diagnostic mode, most add-ins are automatically disabled. If you need a specific add-in to function, consider starting Outlook in Normal Mode and disabling unnecessary add-ins manually.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start Outlook in safe mode using the command prompt?

To start Outlook in safe mode using the command prompt, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Command Prompt
  2. Type Outlook Exe file location ("C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OfficeXX\outlook.exe")
  3. Type /safe after the location

Note: Replace XX with your Outlook version number.

How do I open Outlook in safe mode for Outlook 2016?

If you are an Outlook 2016 user and want to open Outlook in Safe Mode, type the following command at the command prompt:

  • 32-bit: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\outlook.exe" /safe
  • 64-bit: "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\outlook.exe" /safe

Can I open Outlook in safe mode without using the command prompt?

Yes, you can open Outlook in safe mode by holding the 'Ctrl' key while double-clicking the Outlook shortcut. Continue holding the key until you see a dialogue box asking you whether you'd like to start Outlook in Safe Mode. Click 'Yes' to proceed.

What are the limitations of using Outlook in safe mode?

In safe mode, some features and settings of Outlook might be unavailable. This includes reading pane settings, toolbar customizations, and most add-ins. If an issue doesn't occur in safe mode, it means that the default settings and basic drivers aren't causing the issue.

How do I exit Safe Mode in Outlook?

To exit Safe Mode, simply close the Outlook application and open it again as you normally would. It should now launch in Normal Mode, provided that there are no serious issues that automatically trigger Safe Mode.

The Final Word

Opening Outlook in Safe Mode can serve as a handy troubleshooting method when facing issues with normal operation. This post provided various strategies to open Outlook in Safe Mode along with addressing some common problems encountered. Regularly backing up your data could save you from potential data loss. If the problem persists after trying all methods, consider reaching out to a professional or your organization's IT department.

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