Outlook 2010 stays minimized to task bar

Posted on 2011-09-24
Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I'm running Outlook 2010 on Windows 7. It's a fairly clean install as I re-installed recently for a HDD upgrade.

I configured Outlook 2010 for my email settings and everything was fine... for a few days. Then about 3 days ago I opened outlook to nothing. Well almost noting Outlook open and I see it in the task bar and task manager. OUTLOOK.EXE is using 36MB of Memory etc. I just can't get to it. If i click outlook on the task bar expecting to see it come to foreground It highlights on the task bar like's it has focus but doesn't appear. I can even open a few copies and get the stacked icon like there are many windows (that i can't see). If i hover on it I got the little pop up and if I point to the empty preview that comes up it fades out all windows but I still can't see it.

How do I get me outlook to appear again without re-installing?
Question by:charles_dilger
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
  • 4
  • 2
  • 2
  • +3

Author Comment

ID: 36592601
If i use the task options by right clicking outlook in the task bar I'm able to create new messages, tasks, contacts etc. So it's only the main outlook window that won't show.
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Experienced Member
ID: 36592754
Look in Control Panel -> Notification Area Icons, and see if Outlook has been hidden. If so, set it to show in the system tray. Once it shows, you can click on the icon and Outlook should open.

If not, go to Programs and Features, click on Office and then Change at the top. Do an Office repair to see if that helps.

Finally, it does not take much time to uninstall Office and reinstall. If you do this, do a full install (except for languages foreign to you) and then update fully to SP1.

... Thinkpads_User
LVL 23

Assisted Solution

by:Brian Gee
Brian Gee earned 50 total points
ID: 36593047
Try this:

Mouseover Outlook in the taskbar which will aero preview the open windows available in Outlook. Move your mouse over the Outlook window that is having the issue, then right-click, then select Move. Let go of the mouse. Click the Up arrow on your keyboard. Next, shake your mouse around to bring the Outlook window into view.
Use Case: Protecting a Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

Microsoft Azure is rapidly becoming the norm in dynamic IT environments. This document describes the challenges that organizations face when protecting data in a hybrid cloud IT environment and presents a use case to demonstrate how Acronis Backup protects all data.

LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Brian Gee
ID: 36593085
If for some reason the Move option is greyed out, select Restore. Then try to select Move afterward.

Author Comment

ID: 36594101
Outlook was not set to be hidden and the icon on the task bar shows up fine its the application windows that doesn't show.

I did a repair on office from control panel but it had no effect on this problem.

yobri: Thank you for that little trick. I used to use that trick when after a resolution change or something a window gets moved off the screen but lost it in windows 7. I never though to click on the aero preview window. It briefly showed me the lest most part of the windows header (the part with the icon and the work outlook but then immediately disappeared again.
LVL 96

Expert Comment

by:Experienced Member
ID: 36594126
It will take only about 5 minutes to uninstall Office, and 10 - 15 to reinstall, so reinstalling Office is probably the next step. ... Thinkpads_User
LVL 66

Expert Comment

ID: 36594341
You dont have multiple instances of outlook.exe running in the Task Manager do you?

If you do, the main window often will NOT appear... Course *most* of the times, you dont even see the task bar icon....

CTRL+Right Click the icon in the tray, select Open Outlook....

Hit Windows Key+r

and just type "outlook.exe"

Any difference?

If not, try these...  (close it in the Processes Tab in the Task Maanger after each try, as multiple instances often will not appear.....)

outlook /nopreview
outlook /cleanviews
LVL 16

Expert Comment

ID: 36595001
Exit Outlook completely.
Navigate to
Rename the Outlook folder (ie to effectively remove it whilst preserving it) - eg to "_Outlook"
And do the same in
Now relaunch Outlook.

I have to say I don't know exactly what you may lose from doing this but if you are happy that there's nothing Outlook-related in your profile that you don't mind losing from off the PC, then give it a go.  You can always delete the folders that reappear when you open Outlook again and then rename the original ones back again.

You could also look at what you have in those folders currently and just try renaming one of them first.  PST files for example live in the Local AppData one.
LVL 10

Expert Comment

by:Mohammed Rahman
ID: 36596655
Open task manager -- go to process and make sure you don't see even 1 instance of Outlook.exe running. If you see any, right click and end process tree.

Open outlook and any other window (IE or Computer..)

Open task manager--applications--press and hold Ctrl and highlight Outlook and any other window. Right Click and select Tile Horizontally or Tile Vertically. That may bring Outlook to view.

If you see the Outlook, right click on the Outlook Icon at the upper left (outlook window) and restore.

Author Comment

ID: 36894889
OK these I don't have multiple outlooks running (ecept for times when testing that I opened more on purpose) outlook.exe starts and exits cleanly not leaving itself running in task manager or anything. Running outlook from the run window, launching from my computer and the start menu all result in the same. I renamed both the the mentioned folders outlook quickly created new ones on next launch.

I don't think it's just minimized but rather something it preventing outlook from properly loading it's main application window.

Reinstalling may be the only option left but I don't consider that a real fix. uninstalling and reinstalling an applicaiton doesn;t identify what caused the problem or prevent its reoccurance, nor does it always fix the problem either.

I'll hold off on reinstalling for as long as possible.
LVL 10

Accepted Solution

Mohammed Rahman earned 450 total points
ID: 36895111

Have you tried tile the outlook window horizontally or vertically as in my post above ?

Author Closing Comment

ID: 36895531
Gave partial credit to yobri since he showed me where the window controls were moved to.

Featured Post

Three Reasons Why Backup is Strategic

Backup is strategic to your business because your data is strategic to your business. Without backup, your business will fail. This white paper explains why it is vital for you to design and immediately execute a backup strategy to protect 100 percent of your data.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Mailbox Overload?
Outlook for dependable use in a very small business   This article is about using the Outlook application (part of Microsoft Office) in a very small business, or for homeowners where dependability and reliability are critical requirements. This …
The Task Scheduler is a powerful tool that is built into Windows. It allows you to schedule tasks (actions) on a recurring basis, such as hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, at log on, at startup, on idle, etc. This video Micro Tutorial is a brief intro…
A short tutorial showing how to set up an email signature in Outlook on the Web (previously known as OWA). For free email signatures designs, visit If you want to manage em…

617 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question