Corrupt email crashes Outlook

There is an email in my mailbox and each time the message gets selected it crashes Outlook. The message is junk anyway but now I can’t even delete it.

How do I get rid of it?

Reading Pane buttonIt probably crashes when Outlook tries to show the corrupt message in the Reading Pane and not when it actually gets selected.

That might be a small difference in terms of usage but it is a great difference when trying to solve as it means that when you disable the Reading Pane, you can delete the message without crashing Outlook.

  • Outlook 2002 and previous
    View-> Preview Pane-> Off
  • Outlook 2003 and Outlook 2007
    View-> Reading Pane-> Off
  • Outlook 2010 and Outlook 2013
    tab View-> Reading Pane-> Off

Temporarily disable the Reading Pane via Safe Mode

If the corrupt message is the first message in your Inbox and your startup folder is set to the Inbox, then Outlook will directly crash upon starting without allowing you to disable the Reading Pane.

To work around this, you can start Outlook in Safe Mode as this will start Outlook with the Reading Pane off as well.

  • Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8
    Start-> type: outlook.exe /safe
  • Windows XP
    Start-> Run; outlook.exe /safe

(note the space in the command above).

If Outlook still crashes upon selecting the corrupt message, then it could be that your pst-file is damaged and you should run scanpst.exe against it to check it for errors.

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