Once Outlook 2003 Comes Up in Safe Mode it Keeps Coming Up in Safe Mode

I had a problem where, after using Remote Desktop to bring up my work computer, Outlook 2003 would appear as if in "Safe Mode" making it look quite dorky. I believe this to be caused by my Remote Desktop settings being set to 16-bit so things aren't so bogged down during the remote session. Closing Outlook and re-opening it didn't help.

Rebooting, as is often the case, resets things and makes them right again where it will come back up in Normal Mode, but that's not an acceptable solution when you have several other windows open and you're not ready to shut them all down to reboot just to fix Outlook dorkness.

What I found was that the problem had to do with the fact that I had a Windows Mobile device sometimes hooked up with my machine using ActiveSync. This causes another non-GUI instance of OUTLOOK.exe to be running in your task manager so it can keep things in sync.

When this is the case... closing down the GUI only closes down the one instane of Outlook, leaving the one the mobile device opened still running. This keeps Outlook from resetting it's mode the next time you launch the GUI.

The solution:
Open Task Manager by either right-clicking the taskbar and selecting "Task Manager"; or by hitting Ctrl-Alt-Delete and selecting the "Task Manager" button.

When in Task Manager, click the "Processes" tab and click the "Image Name" column header to sort them alphabetically (this will get all instances of Outlook together.) Highlight each instance, one-at-a-time, and click "End Process."

Once they're all cleared out, you'll be able to re-launch the Outlook GUI and have it appear in "Normal Mode" again, without requiring a reboot of the computer.

I hope this helps someone, and I'm not positive if it works on other versions of Outlook; but I'd have to imagine it does... please chime in with your comments if you have had similar situations; and/or know if this solution works for other versions of Outlook.


Anonymous said...

The best and simplest solution ever. Thanks heaps!

That One Guy said...

No problem! I'm glad it worked for you!

JohnnysAngel said...

I did this and found several OE .exe files running (THAANK YOU!). Then when I tried to start OE again it said that it 'failed to start in Safe Mode' and did I want to repair/diagnose... I clicked OK but couldn't find the program (camera window) in task manager that it said was running. Apparently I tried to open OE too fast after deleteing the .exe files, bc after closing TM this time I tried OE again and it opened just fine.

Unknown said...

Found just 1 instance of OUTLOOK.EXE, but it worked for me, thank you!

Btw: thias behavior just appeared in OL, not any other office component.