Q: Recently and for no apparent reason, my Microsoft Outlook is crashing every time I load the application. I’m using Microsoft 365 Subscription, version 16.59.
After clicking on the Outlook icon, it looks like the app loads and the initial screen appears with the login box to enter my password. However, this screen only appears for about 1 second and then disappears. A few seconds later, a problem report for Microsoft Outlook appears on my computer screen.
All other Microsoft 365 programs load and work correctly; only Outlook has the problem. I have attached the screenshot. I hope you will find a solution to my problem.
Thank you, I look forward to reading your column every Saturday in the Northwest Florida Daily News.
— Kelly S., Fort Walton Beach
A: Thanks Kelly! And I look forward to bringing you each weekly edition, though I’m afraid my readership here in my area has dwindled since the Daily News went electronic only on Saturdays. I remain hopeful that the column will be moved to Sunday, along with the other local contributors. Thank you for being a fan and reader of the newspaper.
It wasn’t immediately obvious from your question that you were actually running these applications on a Mac computer. In fact, I wasn’t even thinking along those lines until I saw the screenshot you so wisely shared (readers, this usually helps me a lot in understanding your problem)
. Once I saw the error, I knew it wasn’t from a PC. Then when I looked at your submission, I saw the description of your computer and operating system, which I had completely missed when I initially read.
It might surprise many readers to learn that Microsoft Office can run on a Mac. Well, in recent years the lines have blurred somewhat in the old Mac vs. PC debate. Not only can Macs run Office, but with the right supporting software, they can actually run Windows itself and most non-hardware-specific Windows applications.
It’s the kind of thing that makes it harder to bring you a tech Q&A column every week. Thank goodness for Google!
Let’s get to your problem. First of all, I don’t know the structure of Office for Mac, but your screenshot seems to indicate that it’s Outlook 2002. It seems totally outdated, although it reports a version number from 16.59.
So, let’s start with the standard rhetoric to make sure you’re using the latest and greatest of everything. Even though 16.59 is a decent version of the latest Outlook, there are some minor releases behind what is considered current. Without researching it, I can’t say for sure if a problem like yours has been directly fixed in the intermediate releases, but it’s always a good idea – especially when you encounter abnormal behavior – to update to the latest version available.
I have no direct experience with the Mac version of Office, but I did some research into your problem nonetheless. I’ve found that this problem, or a remarkably similar problem, seems to occur when people update their MacOS to Monterey, which I note in the information accompanying your question is what you’re running.
With that in mind, I’ll make the leap of logic that the combination of Monterey and your version of Outlook is at the heart of your problem. If updating your Outlook doesn’t fix the problem, we’ll try harder.
In the research I did, I found a user who claimed victory over the problem by doing a force close of Outlook on startup. On subsequent launch attempts, he claims that he launched without any issues. I can’t imagine why that would solve anything, but I guess it’s worth a try. At least it can’t hurt.
Still others claimed that even though they had the latest version of Outlook installed, reinstalling the software fixed the problem. To me, that makes a lot more sense than the idea of forcibly quitting.
So, it looks like there is something in macOS Monterey that doesn’t get along perfectly with some versions of Microsoft Outlook 365. It further looks like Microsoft is dragging its feet to mechanize a fix. Well, either that or the users are not keeping up with the latest versions of the software!
And that, my dear geek Kelly, is where I recommend you focus your efforts.
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