Outlook problems and possible solutions

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This was taken from an email I sent to a user regarding their Outlook issues that they insisted were a server issue. Basically Outlook can have hangs for just about any reason. I'm not going to try and keep these links current so if you find a broken one and a new link, please update this page!

- Jake

Do you have Office SP2 installed?


If you have, are you also connecting to an Exchange server? There's some conditions that can cause messages to hang in an outbox (there's actually several problems where messages in the outbox can hang that are like this - if you have a tabby cat and a blue chair in your house while Jay Leno is on and sending a message your outbox can hang.... There is a long list if you search Yahoo on it):


There's even one where if you have a VB6 program installed into Outlook (extra software, like a Dynamo label printer tied into Outlook or any other application that ties into Outlook) and also have iTunes installed it can caused Outlook to hang and/or crash (it hangs during a transfer between process threads where a deadlock is involved). If no VB6 program/script is installed, Outlook can become unstable and hang at a later date:


Here's a checklist for Outlook to resolve these issues (Microsoft keeps pointing the finger at firewall/virus software, but it even ranges to damages Outlook profiles and damaged messages in Outlook itself):


And I know of one where you boot your computer and with Outlook closed, use "scanpst.exe" (you'll have to use the Start -> Search feature to find it) and then scan your PST files that is supposed to fix damages PST files and/or messages in the PST files that has been known to fix a problem or two. You can also just compact your PST file (doable within Outlook) and this will sometimes solve issues.

This hotfix has also been known to solve some issues like this:


If you use a PDA with Outlook it has been known to hang, and even after closing Outlook it keeps "hidden" programs running so that when you reopen Outlook the same problem persists. Reboots of course resolve this.

Basically there are hundreds of reported problems with this, most with different causes and solutions. They are reported happening with any and all mail servers (even Hotmail and Exchange, which are Microsoft's own products) so it's not a mail-server specific problem.

A lot of them do seem to revolve around spam software installed on the user's end - the programs basically wedge themselves between Outlook and the network connection to scan messages there, and they can cause problems. Not sure if you're running any software of this type, but it may be worth looking into.

If problem still persists, contact computer repair fix to assist and help you trouble shooting PC problems.