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How To Enter Outlook Safe Mode To Fix Issues

If you have any problems with Outlook on your computer, it is best to try using Outlook Safe Mode. You will be familiar with this type of mode if you have used any Microsoft products, as most of them have Safe Mode.

There are several ways to open Outlook in Safe Mode, and you can use this mode to start Outlook in a more controlled environment.

What is Outlook Safe Mode

Outlook Safe Mode is not a standalone application, tool, or anything like that. This is a mode in which you can open Outlook with certain restrictions as to what features you can use while it is active.

In safe mode, when you open Outlook, only important files are downloaded to your computer. That way, if there are any problems with, say, third-party add-ons, they can be fixed and you can use the app to test solutions to those problems.

When to use Outlook Safe Mode

If you have no problem with the application, you will never need to use Outlook Safe Mode. Some of the scenarios in which you might want to use it include Outlook crashing unexpectedly, some functionality not working as expected, or you are unable to access your mailboxes and email.

Basically, if Outlook doesn’t work as expected and starts working abnormally, then you should enable Safe Mode.

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How to start Outlook in Safe Mode

There are several ways to open Outlook in Safe Mode. Depending on how you normally launch your application, you can use any of the following methods.

Use the keyboard button

  1. Find the Outlook shortcut on your desktop or in the Start menu.
  2. Press and hold the Ctrl key on your keyboard.
  3. Ctrl-click the application icon.

  1. You will see a message asking if you want to enter Safe Mode. Click Yes and you will enter Outlook Safe Mode.

Using the Run window

  1. Press Windows + R at the same time to open the Run window.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter.

    outlook.exe / safe

  1. The application will open in Safe Mode asking you to select a default profile.

Using the Command Prompt

  1. Open a Command Prompt window using your preferred method on your computer.

  1. Enter the full path to the Outlook executable file. Be sure to enclose the path in double quotes. Don’t press Enter yet.

    “C: Program Files Microsoft Office root Office16 Outlook.exe”

  2. Press Space, type / safely and press Enter.

  1. Outlook will open in safe mode.

Use Cortana Search

  1. Place your cursor in the Cortana search box.
  2. Type the following command into it and press Enter.

    outlook.exe / safe

  1. Outlook will open in safe mode.

Change Desktop Shortcut

  1. Right-click the Outlook Desktop Shortcut icon and select Properties.

  1. Click on the tab labeled “Shortcut” if you’re not already there.
  2. You will see a text box next to the label labeled Target. It contains the full path to the Outlook executable file. What you need to do is add the following parameter after the path so that the application opens in safe mode.

    / safe

  1. Click Apply and then OK to save your changes.
  2. Now, every time you double-click a shortcut, Outlook starts in Safe Mode. If you ever need to change it to work properly again, just remove the / safe option.

Create a shortcut on the desktop

  1. Right-click on the desktop and select New, then Shortcut.

  1. Click Browse and select the Outlook executable file. It should be located in the Program Files folder on drive C on your system. Then add / safe at the end of the path.

  1. Enter a name for the shortcut and click Finish.

  1. Double-click the shortcut and your application will open in safe mode.

How to Fix Problems in Outlook Safe Mode

There are various ways to fix problems in Outlook Safe Mode.

Reopen Outlook to fix the “Processing” error

If Outlook shows a “Processing” error and remains there every time you open it, you can restart Outlook in Safe Mode to fix the problem.

  1. Close Outlook on your computer.
  2. Start Outlook in Safe Mode using any of the above methods.
  3. Click the File menu at the top and select Exit to exit the application.

  1. Open the application as usual.

Disable add-ins in Outlook

Add-ins allow you to extend the capabilities of Outlook. However, at the same time, they can cause problems with the application if they are not fully compatible. If you’ve installed any add-ons recently, you can try disabling them and see if that solves the problem.

  1. Start Outlook in Safe Mode using your preferred method.
  2. Click the File menu at the top and select Options in the left sidebar.

  1. Select Add-Ins in the left sidebar to see a list of Outlook add-ins.
  2. At the bottom of the screen, you will find a drop-down menu labeled “Control”. Select COM add-ins from there and click Go to view your add-ins.

  1. Use this screen to enable or disable add-ins for Outlook. Uncheck all add-ons in the list and click OK. You disable all add-ons because you don’t know which one is causing the problem.

  1. Close Outlook on your computer.
  2. Start Outlook normally and it should open without problems.
  3. Open the Add-ons screen and enable one add-on at a time. This will help you find the culprit. Then you can get rid of the problematic add-in from Outlook completely.

Outlook Safe Mode is one way to access email and other application features when normal mode is not working. It ignores anything that can cause the application to crash and allows you to access your email and other items.

Are the Outlook Safe Mode issues fixed? What was your experience? We’d love to hear about this and please let us know in the comments below.

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