Outlook not responding [How to fix?]

Outlook is used to organize emails, schedule meetings, share files, etc. Its target audience is businesses and professionals. The freezing or not responding of Outlook may create issues which will drag its users in problems.

If your Outlook is not responding or freezes again and again, then this article is for you. We will help you get rid of repetitive freezing of Outlook emails.

Use the following quick links for an easier navigation within the article:

The sudden freezing of Outlook while printing, sending emails, opening calendar, etc. hinders the workflow. Before trying to troubleshoot, you should know the reason behind this issue.

Why is Outlook not responding?

There can be multiple reasons for the unresponsiveness of Outlook.

If your Outlook is not responding while printing, opening calendar, sending emails, or doing some other action, it may happen because it is performing some other process in the background.

On the other hand, if it is very slow and freezes again and again, then the problem might be the low or insufficient memory on your Mac or Windows PC. Your Outlook might also seize to respond if the app data is too large or you don’t have enough RAM free on your device. It makes your Outlook too unresponsive.

Moreover, your Outlook might not open if it gets corrupted or damaged.

How to unfreeze Outlook email?

If Outlook has frozen out of the blue when you are doing your work and cannot even close it. Then, the most effective way to unfreeze the same is to stop it from the task manager and re-start it again.

Use the following steps to stop Outlook from the task manager:

  1. Go to Windows search, search and open Task Manager or press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open the task manager.
    Outlook not responding

  2. Subsequently click Microsoft Outlook from the list of running apps and click End task at the bottom right. If you don’t see the ‘end task’ option in older versions, right click on Microsoft Outlook and click End task.
    Outlook not responding

How do I fix Outlook not responding issue?

There are several methods to fix this Outlook issue depending on the cause. We recommend going through each method if your problem is not solved by a particular method.

Don’t multi-task with Outlook

The Outlook might be processing data in the background from a third party application. You can see when an application is running from the taskbar at the bottom of your screen. Also, when you hover the cursor on the Outlook icon in the taskbar, it will show the number of Windows open at that particular time.

Divide large folders into smaller ones

Opening each folder takes some resources from the system such as memory and processor. Opening larger folders take more resources. Outlook can stop responding because of insufficient resources if your folders are too large.

Make sure to organize your email folders from time to time.

Also, empty your trash and spam folders periodically.

Note: If you are using Outlook on Android, clear the app cache periodically for a smooth experience and avoid the ‘Not Responding’ message.

Look for dialog boxes

Certain clicks and menus open dialog boxes that prevent the user from proceeding without taking action. These dialog boxes can also open in the background, and you might think that Outlook is not responding.

Check your taskbar and edges of the screen if any such dialog box is open. Either close or act according to the dialog box to continue your work on Outlook.

Outlook not responding

Stop unnecessary applications

You probably won’t have infinite memory on your system. To optimize the working of your apps, that is Outlook in our case, end some memory-intensive or unnecessary tasks from the task manager.

Use the following steps to stop an application from the task manager:

  1. Firstly open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.

  2. You will get a list of running tasks or apps. Right click on an app then click End task to stop it.
    Outlook not responding

  3. Repeat the previous step to stop all unnecessarily running apps.

Disable automatic download

Disabling automatic downloads is another way of freeing up the load on the processor or memory. At the same time, it makes the Outlook lighter.

Use the following steps to disable automatic download in Outlook:

  1. Firstly open Outlook and go to the File tab.

  2. Then click on Options from the left panel.

  3. Select Trust Center at the bottom left, then click on Trust Center Settings.

  4. In the Automatic Download section, tick the check boxes shown in the below image to stop auto-downloading. Finally click Ok.
    Outlook not responding

Investigate possible add-in issues

The add-ins interfere with the Outlook app sometimes causing it to stop responding. To check if there is an add-in causing Outlook not responding, run Outlook in safe mode.

If Outlook runs smoothly and you don’t face this issue in safe mode, it means there is/are some problems causing add-ins that you must remove. To find that add-in, you would have to disable each one by one and see if the problem persists.

Use the following steps to open Outlook in safe mode:

  1. Firstly open the Run Command Window by pressing ‘Windows + R’ on the keyboard.

  2. Then type Outlook.exe /safe and hit Ok.
    Outlook not responding

  3. Subsequently follow the on-screen instructions to create a new profile or open an existing one.

If Outlook runs smoothly without the ‘Outlook not responding’ pop-up, disable each add-in one by one and remove the faulty one.

Know how to disable or remove an Outlook add-in.

Turn off or update antivirus software

Antivirus software can lead to Outlook not responding. Keep your antivirus up-to-date to avoid problems caused by its interference. Open the antivirus and check for updates or download the latest update from the internet.

Turn off antivirus if one is active on your PC and check if the problem persists. If it is fixed by just turning it off, its time to configure it or say goodbye to the antivirus

Repair Outlook

If Outlook is not responding, then head to the control panel to repair the same.

Use the following steps to repair Outlook:

  1. Firstly open Control Panel. Make sure it is set to View by category then click on Uninstall a program as shown in the below image.
    Outlook not responding

  2. A list of installed apps will open. If you have installed Outlook as a stand alone application, right-click on Microsoft Outlook, else on the Microsoft Office Suite you have installed then click Change.
    Outlook not responding

  3. Give permission to make changes to the device if it asks.

  4. Then select Repair and click Continue.

Repair Outlook data files

The outlook can also be freeze if it cannot access the data files.

An inbox repair tool, scanpst.exe is also installed on your PC at the same time you install Outlook.

This inbox repair tool can resolve problems by scanning Outlook data files.

Locate Outlook data file and use scanpst.exe to fix damaged and corrupted Outlook data files.

If you cannot access your Outlook data file then kindly click here to repair the same.


After using the methods discussed in this article, Outlook will start responding. If it is not responding and you are unable to close it, you would have to kill the application from the task manager.


Why is Outlook so unresponsive?
The reason behind Outlook being unresponsive is the size of folders. Large folders make it difficult to load quickly, so divide the large folders into smaller ones and organize your inbox.

Why my Outlook is not responding in safe mode?
The Outlook might be damaged because of which it is not responding even in safe mode. Repair either Microsoft Office Suite or Microsoft Outlook standalone application.

Content Writer

Smith Ron, the writer at Assistme360. He has extensive experience in crafting straightforward, step-by-step guides for technical issues. His broad knowledge ensures accurate solutions. Kindly spare a moment to drop a comment down and express your opinions. Your feedback can be valuable in assisting others who may come across similar problems.

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