How to start Outlook in Safe Mode?

Outlook has support to install add-ins from 3rd parties to extend the functionality or to do some additional works which outlook does not provide by default. But in some cases, it starts creating problem due to non-compatible version or bugs within the add-ins.


In such cases, if the outlook fails to start due to issues related to any installed add-ins, we need to boot outlook into safe mode to remove/disable those. Let’s continue learning, how to do this.


How to start Outlook in Safe Mode? (


It’s not always require to launch outlook in safe mode, but when something goes wrong and a installed version of add-ins failing it to launch, you have to open the outlook in this mode to investigate or disable the said add-in.


If you are using Outlook 2010 and after 8th December 2015, you faced outlook to automatically boot into Safe Mode, check out this post for a resolution: Microsoft Tuesday patch forced ‪Outlook‬ to start in Safe Mode.


To manually start Outlook to run in Safe Mode, follow either of the steps mentioned below:

    • Open the Run dialog by pressing the “Win + R” keyboard shortcut and enter “outlook /safe”.
    • If you are using Windows 8/8.1/10, go to “Start” and type “outlook /safe”.
    • If you have a shortcut for launching Outlook, hold down CTRL key while clicking on the shortcut.

Here is a list of safe switches available for launching Outlook. You can choose the one that best suited your requirement, but generally you should go with the generic one i.e. “/safe” only.


Safe Switch Description about the safe switch Outlook Version
/safe Starts Outlook without extensions, Reading Pane or toolbar customization. All Versions
/safe:1 Starts Outlook with the Reading Pane OFF. Outlook 2003/2007
/safe:2 Starts Outlook without checking for mails at startup. Outlook 2003/2007
/safe:3 Starts Outlook without loading Add-In's but lists them in the Add-In Manager. Outlook 2003/2007
/safe:4 Starts Outlook without loading customized toolbars (outcmd.dat) and *.fav file. Outlook 2003/2007



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