Fixing Microsoft Outlook problems…

Many years ago there was a trick we used, often to fix issues with Outlook connecting to a server. We wouldn’t do this over the phone; rather we would send someone to the desk of the person to complete this task. Simply put it was deleted the OST file of Outlook, or what is sometimes called the Offline Store.

Computer hardrive (normally C drive but the drive where windows is)/users/appdata/local/microsoft/outlook

The reason I am sharing this has to do with the noise around troubleshooting outlook. Recently (starting yesterday) my Outlook on my home computer stopped working. I would load it; it would connect to my mailboxes and then it would crash. I wandered out to Google and read what was recommended (including, by the way, two different posts from Microsoft) almost all the posts recommended reinstalling office, so I did. Then I shut down for a Sunday and headed off to other things.

Needless to say, it didn’t work, reloading office. So I went back and tried the old fashioned approach that worked all those years ago, deleting the OST.

Never delete your PST, you can’t get that back. But the OST is a local copy of information that is stored on the server. Deleting it will create a little more download traffic on your PC, but you won’t lose any information or settings. Depending on the size of your inboxes, it can add some time to restarting outlook when you delete your OST file. For me, the deletion and recreation of the OST file this morning took a little over an hour. Your mileage may vary!

It fixes the problem I had the right way.

Technical support, when a legitimate group is trying to provide technical support, is hard. Don’t give up, just make sure you keep plugging away at the problem!

Over the years I have created rules for email that make my inbox smaller. It means I can get through the personal emails I get in a lot less time. When Outlook crashes, it costs me time, both sorting mail on another computer or tablet, but also in trying to fix the problems! That is why I still follow the 30-minute rule. If I cannot fix a computer system in less than 30 minutes, I look online for ideas.

.doc

Former outlook tech