Microsoft has recently updated Outlook to add a new function that allows the email client to open emails automatically after a crash, restart or unexpected closure event. The automatic setup is similar to those found in modern web browser applications, which typically reopen their tabs after crashes.
What if Outlook reopens emails after a crash?
For power users, the new function is certainly a good addition – since they will no longer have to waste time reopening the emails that were open before a crash – and this translates into a boost in productivity (even if it is relatively small). For other categories of users, the new function is likely to improve experiences with the email client too.
Some years ago, when apps – especially web browsers – went down with crashes, users were usually left frustrated with having to start certain things all over again. The capability that allowed web browsers to retain their browsing sessions was quickly welcomed. We suspect the same (or similar) events will play out for the Outlook automatic email reopening function.
Why is Outlook reopening automatically in Windows 10?
Many people open multiple emails in different tabs or windows. This way, they get to multitask more efficiently and manage their tasks easily – for example, they get to remember the email in a specific tab to which they have to reply later and so on.
In Microsoft’s release notes for the Office Insider beta channel, their engineers wrote this:
We added an option to quickly reopen items from a previous Outlook session. Whether Outlook crashes or you close it, you’ll now be able to quickly relaunch items when you reopen the app.
As you may have come to expect with new functions for Microsoft apps (or even the Windows operating system), only a few users get to use the new things first. For the Outlook automatic reopening function, only Windows insiders – in the Beta Channel Version 2006 (Build 13001.20002) – get to enjoy the new stuff – for now, at least.
Microsoft will roll out the new function – which will be implemented in an update for Outlook – to computers running regular builds or versions of Windows in the future. We cannot provide information on a specific release date.
How to prevent Outlook from reopening after crashes
If the Outlook app on your computer already has the function that allows it to reopen email sessions automatically after a crash, then you may want to disable it – especially if you have good reasons for wanting to do so. For one, the feature is turned on by default, so if you want to turn it off, you must act.
If you use Outlook on your personal computer, then you probably have no worries with Outlook bringing up your email stuff after a crash or restart event – since you are always going to be the one with your PC.
However, if you use Outlook on other computers that do not belong to you or if you use the email client on machines that you share with other people, then you may not see reasons for which the feature should be enabled for use in the first place. It should be off – and things are probably better this way for everyone (you and other people).
In any case, if you want to disable Outlook’s automatic reopening function, these are the instructions you must follow to do the job:
- First, you must open the Outlook app. You can double-click on the Outlook shortcut, which should be on your desktop.
- Once the Outlook window appears, you have to click on File (in the top-left corner of the window).
- Click on Options.
Your computer will bring up the Outlook Options dialog or window now.
- Now, on the General tab (the default location), you must look at the right pane and then scroll down a bit to see Startup options.
- Click on the drop-down menu for the When Outlook reopens parameter (to see the available options).
The current option (the one in use) is likely to be Always restore previous items.
- Select Never restore previous items.
If you want to decide whether Outlook should reopen your email sessions after a crash or restart event, then you have to choose the Ask me if I want to restore previous items option. Nevertheless, we are against you choosing this option if you use Outlook on any device that is not your personal computer.
- Click on the OK button to save Outlook’s new configuration.
That will be all.
- You can now close the Outlook app – if you feel like it.
If you have performed the task above correctly, then Outlook will no longer bring up email tabs or windows automatically after a crash (or restart or unexpected closure event).
How to resolve Outlook crashing on a Windows 10 PC
If the Outlook app on your computer constantly goes down with crashes, then it makes sense for you to apply a fix to improve the stability outcomes for the application. Getting the email client to stop crashing might even be more important than your quest to determine what happens after the program crashes.
For efficiency purposes, we recommend you go through the fixes in the order they appear below:
- Check all the add-ons in Outlook:
Here, we want you to consider the possibility that Outlook crashes are down to issues with add-ons. A specific add-on (or a group of add-ons) may be malfunctioning or misbehaving. An add-on may be interfering with other add-ons or disrupting Outlook operations.
There is no simple procedure that allows you to figure out the add-on (or group of add-ons) responsible for your troubles, so you must investigate the problem with the assumption that all the installed add-ons are bad or faulty. To this effect, you must disable all the add-ons.
First, we will walk you through a simple procedure to check for errors in Outlook. Then, you will disable all add-ons in Outlook. These instructions cover everything:
- First, you have to close the Outlook application. You must close the email client process correctly (to ensure that none of its instances remain active).
You may want to open the Task Manager app and check things there to confirm that Outlook is down.
- Now, you have to open the Run app. The Windows button + letter I keyboard shortcut is typically useful here.
- Once the Run dialog or window appears, you have to type Outlook /safe into the text box here.
- Click on the OK button on the Run window (or tap Enter on your keyboard).
- Follow the on-screen instructions to check for errors in Outlook.
Now, you must open Outlook (as you do normally), go to the Add-ons screen or menu, and then disable all the add-ons you added to the email client.
- Assuming you are on the Outlook window, you must click on the File menu bar and then choose Options.
- Select Add-ons.
- Now, you must select COM Add-ons and then click on Go.
- Here, you must clear the ticks for all the checkboxes on the list and then click on the OK button.
Your work is done.
- Finally, you must close the Microsoft Outlook app and then reopen it.
- Try using Outlook for as long as you can. We recommend you recreate the crash – if you know how to go about it. Do whatever you can do to test Outlook to see what happens.
If Outlook fails to crash, then you can take this turn of events as confirmation that add-ons were involved in the issues that caused the problems.
Now, you can start enabling the add-ons individually (one add-on at a time, one add-on after the other) to figure out the add-on responsible for the crash. If you use many add-ons in Outlook, then you may benefit from placing the add-ons into groups and then testing the groups for problems.
Once you determine the add-on responsible for the crashes, then you can set up things to keep it disabled forever, or you can simply uninstall it to ensure it never starts working again to cause problems for you.
If a group of add-ons turns out to be the culprit, then you have to test all the add-ons in the group until you figure out the bad add-on (or combination of problem-causing add-ons). The same recommendation on getting rid of add-ons applies here.
- Repair Outlook:
Perhaps something in Outlook’s code, packages, or settings is broken – and hence the crashes. If the assumption here holds true, then the Outlook app on your computer is likely to stop crashing after you run the repair operation for it. Outlook is bundled with Office, so to repair Outlook, you have to repair Office (in its entirety).
To repair Office, you have to go to the Programs and Features screen in the Control Panel, locate Office, and then initiate the repair task for it. These instructions cover everything:
- First, you must open the Run app. You can use the Windows button + letter R keyboard combination here.
- This time, after the Run dialog gets brought up, you must type Appwiz.cpl into the text box available.
- Run the code. Tap Enter (on your keyboard) or click on OK (on the Run window).
Your computer will take you to the Uninstall or change a program screen under Programs and Features.
- Now, you must locate Office, right-click on it to see its menu, and then select Repair.
Windows is likely to bring up an installer or installation wizard window for Office.
- Here, you must follow on-screen instructions, affirm prompts, and perform tasks (where necessary).
- Once everything gets done, you must close the Control Panel app and also put down other active programs.
- Restart your computer.
- Now, you must run Outlook and use the email client for as long as you can to see whether it goes down with crashes like before.
- Create a new Outlook profile and use it:
Here, we are considering the possibility that Outlook crashes have something to do with your user profile (the one in use) being corrupted or broken. There is no procedure that allows you to repair a bad profile, so you have to find other ways of dealing with the issue – if our assumption holds true. We recommend you create a new user profile, which you can then use to test things in Outlook.
These are the instructions you must follow to create a new user profile in Outlook and use it:
- First, you must open Outlook (through whatever means you prefer) and then go to its Profiles menu or screen.
Here, you have to delete your current profile to make space for a new one. We must warn you that you will lose the data files and settings associated with the profile. Ideally, you should back up all important data items first.
- Locate your current profile and then remove it.
- Click on the Add option.
- Fill in the box for Name. Provide all the requested details or credentials, such as username, primary SMTP address, password, and so on.
- Click on the Next button.
- When the prompt comes up, you must provide your login credentials.
Outlook will now work to complete the setup tasks for the new profile.
- Click on the Finish button.
Your work is done. Outlook should no longer crash.
Well, if Outlook continues to crash on your PC, then you will do well to reinstall the application (uninstall Outlook correctly and then install the newest Outlook version).
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