Outlook won’t open

December 6, 2011

I had a bit of a scare the other day when Outlook on my client’s laptop wouldn’t open. I got this message:

Outlook cannot open your default e-mail folders. The information store could not be opened.

It was possibly related to me trying to open Outlook the previous evening when I wasn’t connected to the client’s servers via VPN.

I went hunting on the internet for a solution — and found a few.

But before trying to apply any of those solutions or calling the client’s IT support center, I decided to reboot the computer in case something got tangled up between me disconnecting from the VPN, opening Outlook offline, reconnecting to the VPN the next morning and trying to open Outlook as normal — which is when I got the error.

And the restart worked!

In case you get a similar message and a restart doesn’t work, here are some sites that may help:

[Links last checked 1 December 2011]


  1. If your mail server is Exchange, which it sounds like it is, you can usually connect using Outlook Anywhere through port 443. Here’s one link on directions… http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/outlook-help/use-outlook-anywhere-to-connect-to-your-exchange-server-without-vpn-HP010102444.aspx
    Of course, you may need the VPN for other things :-)

  2. Thanks Lee! Nice to know there’s another way.

    Of course, Outlook Web Access may have worked too. Fortunately, a reboot solved this one for me.


  3. True on the OWA… and I love, love it on Exchange 2010 as it runs in full mode in Firefox, Safari, and Chrome :-)…

  4. I noticed that. When I was in the US earlier this year, OWA opened pretty well on Firefox so I wasn’t forced to use IE. I think my Exchange Server is 2008 (?), but the previous one was 2003 (?) and it only worked in IE.

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