Troubleshoot Microsoft Outlook issues with command-line switches

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If you are a devoted reader of this blog you'll already know that we're definitely not the Outlook biggest fans you can find. However, we're often called by private and public companies to setup and fix Outlook and/or Exchange configurations that force us to face the most common issues of that dreadful e-mail client.

In this post we'll share some basic knowledge that can be very useful when troubleshooting some of the most common Outlook issues:  a set of command-line switches that can be used to reset/restore some settings to their default values.

To use them, open a Command Prompt with administrative rights, navigate to the Outlook installation folder (if you don't know where it is, read here) and type the following:

  • outlook /safe  - to launch Outlook in Safe mode.
  • outlook /resetnavpane  - to reset the Outlook Navigation Pane: it will solve some common issues, such as the one explained in this post.
  • outlook /resetfolders  - to restore missing folders for the default delivery location.
  • outlook /cleanreminders  - to remove all alarms and events from the Outlook calendar: it can be useful to un-freeze Outlook during its startup in most cases.

All of these switches should work for any Outlook version from 2003 to 2016.

That's it for now.

(I should be saying "happy Outlook" now, yet I just can't).


About Alice

Layout designer, SEO & marketing analyst. Since 2010 is also a junior developer, working on the web site back-end infrastructure of some italian press companies. She also actively manages a number of social pages (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn) for some IT companies and press agencies.

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