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I just completed an upgrade to Office 2016 and it didn’t go well for Outlook 2016. Something got corrupted along the way with my Outlook profile and it took a few steps to get things back up and going.



The Upgrade to Office 2016

Small businesses still live and die by email, and if that communications conduit goes down it’s a major disruption to the business. I get over 250 email a day on average so any downtime is noticeable.
However I’m a Microsoft Service Provider and I need to keep up with the latest versions of software, including Office 2016, so I took the plunge. The last Office upgrade was painless, doing an in-place upgrade of 2010 to 2013 with no hiccups at all. I was optimistic that Office 2016 would be the same.

The Issue

outlook-profile-loadingWord, Excel opened up without issue, but Outlook stalled immediately, sitting at Loading Profile splash screen.
I cancelled the startup and reboot the computer – hey this is Windows and you never know, right?
Outlook 2016 would not open even after the reboot.
My Outlook contains 5 email addresses, I use it a lot, this is a problem.

Troubleshooting Steps

A stall on loading the profile usually means a corruption issue in a file.
The first step is to run a Scanpst against all pst and ost files. You can find that by searching the C: drive for scanpst.exe and just click the file and point it to the pst file you want to check.
Scanpst found and fixed errors on every file I checked, but Outlook 2016 would still not load.

The next step then was to run Mail32 from the Control Panel to get to the email settings without Outlook.
Mail32 hung when I tried to see my email accounts.
It also hung when I tried to see the Outlook data files.
Neither of those results is good.
So now the question is whether to troubleshoot further or replace. As a tech one has to be time and money conscious; nobody is going to pay you to sit there all day and try and fix something. I’m already about half hour into this.

I have three options:

  • Troubleshoot further
  • Uninstall Office 2016
  • Start a new Profile


For an error such as this the fastest resolution is to build a new Outlook profile and bring the email accounts back in.
We know the files are good, we can import them, we just need account names and passwords.
So from Mail32 I created a new profile and set Outlook to use only that profile. I kept the old profile just in case. Always delete when done, not sooner.
Then, again from Mail32, I started creating accounts. I did the Exchange accounts first to let them sync.
It’s times like this you appreciate that you have documented email account settings, username, as passwords. It makes this whole process much easier than trying to find or reset passwords.
Then I did the POP/IMAP accounts, as they are not as important as the Exchange ones.
The last step is to import the info from the POP/IMAP accounts so that you have history.

The whole process took about an hour and I’m all good to go.
What do you think?
Any suggestions or changes you would do?