Outlook is the backbone of business communications, and experiencing difficulties with it—such as it being stuck at the loading profile screen—can be quite problematic. This issue can occur on any version of Outlook and on any variant (predominantly on Windows, though rarely on macOS). Interestingly, all other Office applications (except Outlook) tend to work correctly on the same machine.
When this issue occurs, Outlook continually displays the loading profile screen and must be forcibly closed. This can happen after adding a new profile for the first time or with an existing one. Occasionally, the addition of a new profile causes the problem. Sometimes, even an update to Outlook or the system’s operating system (OS) can trigger this issue.
- Check the Status of Microsoft Services, especially those related to Outlook and Exchange, if you are an Office 365 user.
- Ensure that the system’s OS and Office versions are up to date.
- Verify that the OWA (Outlook Web App) is functioning properly.
- Restart your system and router. If you are using an on-premises Exchange server, reboot that as well.
Method 1: Launch Outlook in Offline Mode or Try Another Network
Outlook may get stuck on the profile screen if your Internet Service Provider (ISP) is restricting communications between Outlook and its servers, particularly during startup when the application needs to communicate with its servers.
Here, launching Outlook in offline mode or connecting to a different network could solve the problem.
Use Outlook in Offline Mode
- Restart the system and disconnect from the Internet by disabling Wi-Fi, unplugging the Ethernet cable, or enabling Airplane Mode.
- Launch Outlook and check if the problem is resolved.
- If the issue is fixed, reconnect to the Internet and confirm that the problem has been resolved.
Try Another Network
- Disconnect the system from the current network or VPN (if in use) and restart the system.
- Connect the system to a different network, such as a phone’s hotspot, and launch Outlook. Confirm that it loads correctly.
- If the issue persists, download, install, and launch a VPN application.
- Connect the VPN to a server with strong connectivity and try launching Outlook again.
Method 2: Connect the Second Monitor
If you are operating Outlook within a multi-monitor setup and the application was last closed on a secondary monitor, it may get stuck on the loading screen if it attempts to load on a disconnected secondary screen.
Resolve this by reconnecting the second monitor to the system.
- Connect the second monitor to the system and restart the computer.
- Open Outlook and check if it progresses beyond the profile loading screen.
- If Outlook opens successfully, transfer the application window to the main monitor and close Outlook.
- Then, disconnect the second monitor and try launching Outlook again to see if the issue has been resolved.
Method 3: Reset the Internet Options of the System
Outlook uses the system’s Internet Options to communicate with its servers. Altered settings in these options can cause the email client to become stuck on the Profile Loading screen. Resetting the Internet Options on your system could resolve the issue.
- Press the Windows key and type ‘Internet Options.’
- Open the Internet Options and navigate to the Advanced tab.
- Click on Restore Advanced Settings and confirm the action.
- Restart the PC, launch Outlook, and verify whether the issue has been resolved.
Method 4: Reset the Navigation Panel of Outlook
Outlook’s navigation panel, on the left side of the screen, offers quick access to emails, calendars, tasks, and contacts. Sometimes, a glitch in this panel can prevent Outlook from launching correctly. To fix this, you can reset the navigation panel to its default state.
- Close Outlook completely.
- Press Windows key + R and type ‘Outlook.exe /resetnavpane.’
- Press Enter and check if Outlook opens without getting stuck at the profile loading screen.
Method 5: Open Outlook as Administrator
Outlook requires administrative rights to perform certain actions. Without these rights, various issues can occur. Running Outlook as an administrator might solve the problem.
- Press the Windows key, type ‘Outlook,’ and right-click on the program.
- Select Run as Administrator.
- Confirm the action and check if Outlook loads correctly now.
Method 6: Launch Outlook in Safe Mode
Outlook add-ins can sometimes conflict with the client, causing the application to get stuck at the loading profile screen. Launching Outlook in Safe Mode can help troubleshoot this problem.
- Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run command box.
- Type the following command:
- Select your profile and check if Outlook loads correctly.
- If it does, navigate to File, then Options, and access the Add-ins tab. Click Go next to COM Add-ins, disable all add-ins and restart Outlook in regular mode to see if the problem has been resolved. Re-enable the add-ins one by one to identify which one is problematic.
Method 7: Delete the Outlook Credentials in the Credential Manager
Damaged or invalid Outlook credentials stored in Windows Credential Manager can prevent the application from progressing past the profile loading screen. Deleting these credentials can fix the issue.
- Press the Windows key and type ‘Credential Manager.’
- Open the Credential Manager and navigate to the Windows Credentials tab.
- Find and expand the credentials for the problematic account.
- Select Remove and confirm your action.
- Open Outlook and see if it gets past the profile loading screen. If successful, you will be prompted to enter your credentials again.
Method 8: Check for Conflicting Applications
Outlook can get stuck on the loading profile screen if another application or process interferes with it, blocking access to essential resources. Identifying and resolving such conflicts can address the issue.
Use the Task Manager
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager and end any unnecessary applications or processes that may be conflicting with Outlook, such as:
Skype Skype for Business MS Word MS Excel MS Access Microsoft Office Click-to-Run
- After closing these applications and processes, attempt to launch Outlook and check if it loads properly.
Perform a Clean Boot
- Conduct a Clean Boot on your PC and check if Outlook runs correctly afterward.
- Re-enable the processes or services that were disabled during the clean boot, one by one, to identify the one causing the issue. Once found, keep it disabled during startup or consider uninstalling it.
Uninstall the Conflicting Application
Certain applications are known to cause issues with Outlook’s profile loading, including:
- Dell Optimizer
- Intel Killer Performance Suite
- HP Wolf Security
If you have any of these applications (or others that might be similar) installed, consider uninstalling them or altering their settings. Here’s how to uninstall HP Wolf:
- Press the Windows key, type ‘HP Wolf,’ and right-click on the app to select Uninstall.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstallation, restart your system, and then open Outlook to check if the profile loading issue has been resolved.
Method 9: Repair Outlook and its Data File
When Outlook’s installation or its Data Files are damaged, the application may be unable to load the profile screen. Repairing Outlook and its Data Files using SCANPST.exe, Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant (SARA), and the Quick/Online Repair option can help resolve this issue.
- Close Outlook entirely.
- Press the Windows + R keys and navigate to the installation path for Office, depending on whether it is the 64-bit or 32-bit version, as follows:
For Office 64-bit \Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16 For Office 32-bit \Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
- Double-click on ScanPST.exe, click Browse and set the path of the Outlook Data file, which by default is located at:
- Initiate the scan and, once complete, check the option ‘Make a backup of scanned file before repairing.’
- Click Repair, and after the process is complete, try opening Outlook again to see if the issue is resolved.
Use Microsoft Support and Recovery Assistant (SARA)
- Download SARA by visiting the designated page in your web browser here.
- Run SARA and choose Outlook from the options provided.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to finish the process. Check if this resolves the problem.
- If the issue persists, run SARA again and select Advanced Diagnostics followed by Outlook.
- After the report is generated, review it and address any identified issues accordingly.
Use Quick and Online Repair
- Right-click on the Windows start button and choose Apps & Features.
- Find your Office installation, click on its Options, and then select Modify.
- Choose the Quick Repair option and initiate the repair process.
- Launch Outlook once the repair is completed and verify if the profile loading issue has been resolved.
- If not, repeat the first three steps but this time, select the Online Repair option.
- Click Repair and patiently wait for the online repair process to complete.
- Afterwards, launch Outlook to see if it is now able to move past the profile loading screen.
Method 10: Delete the Outlook Profile and OST File
A damaged Outlook profile or OST file can cause the application to be stuck on the profile loading screen. Deleting the profile or OST file and creating a new profile may resolve the problem.
- Open the Control Panel and change the view to Large Icons.
- Select Mail and then click on Show Profiles. Alternatively, you can access this by executing the following command in the Run dialog box:
- Choose the problematic profile and click on Remove. If a new account was added when the issue started, consider removing that account first. For non-Microsoft accounts, ensure that you back up their PST files beforehand.
- Press Windows + R to open the Run command and navigate to the Outlook folder via the following path:
- Locate and delete the OST file associated with the problematic profile.
- Finally, restart Outlook and set up a new profile. This action should allow Outlook to bypass the loading profile screen successfully.
By following these methods, you should be able to overcome the issue of Outlook being stuck at the loading profile screen. If problems persist after trying these solutions, consider seeking further assistance from Microsoft support or a professional IT service.