Many Outlook users have reported seeing an error when they try to access or view their mail items. In this case, some of the Outlook emails or other mail items are not visible in the viewing pane on the right and just a blank space is seen. But, if the user double-clicks on any email to open it, then an error message is displayed asking to restart Outlook. The error message that is shown to the user is as below:
“Sorry, we’re having trouble opening this item. This could be temporary, but if you see it again, you might want to restart Outlook.”
Possible causes for this error are as below:
- Corrupt Outlook profile or Outlook Data file
- Faulty Add-ins
- Incorrect View Settings in Outlook
- Outdated Outlook client
As indicated in the error message, if you have tried restarting your Outlook client, and still the error is displayed, and you are not able to access or read your emails, then go ahead and read this post. In this post, we have curated some troubleshooting strategies that can help you resolve the error “Sorry we’re having trouble opening this item” in MS Outlook on your Windows PC.
Fix 1 – Restore Outlook Default View Settings
Resetting the view settings and navigation pane settings doesn’t delete your emails or any other data in your Outlook app. Just that if you have done any custom view settings in Outlook they will not be available after resetting them.
Step 1. Open the Run dialog using the Windows and R key combination on your keyboard.
Step 2. Type the command in the Run box and hit Enter to clear the View Settings in Outlook
Step 3. After the view settings are reset, open the Run box again.
Step 4. Type the command below and hit Enter to reset Outlook’s navigation pane settings.
Step 5. Reboot your computer.
Open Outlook and check if you are able to access your emails without the error.
Fix 2 – Delete Outlook Cache Files
Step 1. Make sure that you close the Outlook app on your PC if it is running.
Step 2. Press Windows + R key combination to open Run.
Step 3. Type the path given below and hit Enter.
Step 4. The above command opens File Explorer with Outlook’s cache folder, RoamCache.
Step 5. Use the Ctrl + A key combination to select all the files in the RoamCache folder.
Step 6. Now, right-click and tap on the Delete (bin) icon in the context menu that opens.
Step 7. Launch Outlook and check if the inaccessible emails can be viewed without the error message.
Fix 3 – Disable/Remove Problematic Add-Ins in Outlook
Step 1. Launch Outlook on your PC.
Step 2. Go to the File menu at the top.
Step 3. Click on Options in the left pane.
Step 4. In the Outlook Options window, go to the Add-ins tab on the left.
Step 5. On the right, use the dropdown next to Manage and choose COM Add-ins.
Then, click on the Go button.
Step 6. In the COM Add-ins window that opens, uncheck all the checkboxes next to each add-in in the list. This will disable the add-in.
Click on OK.
Step 7. Go to the Outlook mailbox and check if you are able to access the item which was causing the problem.
Step 8. If you are able to access the mail without any error, then go back to the COM Add-ins window as mentioned in the above steps.
Here, enable the add-ins one at a time by checking the box next to it.
Step 9. You will be able to identify the problematic add-in by performing the above step 8 for each add-in.
Step 10. Once the add-in causing the error is found, you can remove it by going to the COM Add-ins window and clicking on the Remove button.
Fix 4 – Repair Problemtic Outlook Profile
Step 1. Open Outlook and go to the File menu.
Step 2. With the Info tab selected on the left, click on the Account Settings dropdown in the right pane.
Step 3. In the dropdown list, click on Account Settings… again.
Step 4. This opens the Account Settings window.
Here, go to the Email tab.
Step 5. In the list of emails displayed, select the account with which you are having this issue.
Then, click on the Repair… option at the top.
Step 6. In the window that opens, make sure that your email address is displayed, and then click on Repair.
Step 7. Complete the profile repair process by following the instructions on the screen in the Repair wizard.
Step 8. Once the repair process is completed, restart Outlook and check if the problem is resolved.
Fix 5 – Create a New Outlook Profile
Step 1. Hit the Windows key on your keyboard and type control panel in the Windows search bar.
Step 2. Select Control Panel in the search result.
Step 3. Change the “View by” to Category using the dropdown.
Step 4. Click on User Accounts.
Step 5. In User Accounts, click on the option Mail(Microsoft Outlook).
Step 6. Click on the Show Profiles… button in the Mail Setup window.
Step 7. In the window that opens up, click on the Add… button.
Step 8. Give a name for the profile in the text box below Profile Name.
Then, click on OK.
Step 9. In the Add account window, add your email account to the newly created profile.
Click on Next to complete the process of adding your email.
Step 10. After your profile is created, go back to the Mail window.
Here, select the option Always use this profile and use the dropdown below it and choose the newly created profile from the list.
Finally, click on Apply and then on OK.
Step 11. Now, when you open Outlook it will launch with the newly created profile.
Check if the problem is fixed and you are able to access the items in your mailbox.
Fix 6 – Repair Outlook Data File Using the Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool
Step 1. Close Outlook if it is open.
Step 2. Open File Explorer (Windows + E) and then navigate to the following location.
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
Step 3. In this folder, you will find the SCANPST.EXE file which is the Outlook Inbox Repair Tool.
Step 4. Open the SCANPST.EXE application file by double-clicking on it.
Step 5. You need to locate your Outlook data file (.pst or .ost file).
To find the location of the Outlook data file, open Outlook.
Click on File.
Then, in Account Information, click on Account Settings –> Account Settings.
In the Account Settings window, go to the Data Files tab.
You can see the path of all the data folders.
Double-click on the name of the data file that is to be repaired.
In the window that opens, select the Filename field and press Ctrl + C to copy this path.
Note: The default location for the Outlook data files in Windows 11 is:
For .pst file –> C:\Users\%username%\Documents\
For .ost file –> C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook
Step 6. In the Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool window, paste the above-copied path in the text box below Enter the name of the file you want to scan using the Ctrl + V key combination.
Step 7. Now, click on the Start button to start the repair process.
Step 8. If there are any problems or inconsistencies found, they will be shown to you.
Check the box next to Make a backup of scanned file before repairing.
Then, click on the Repair button.
Step 9. After the repair is completed, click on OK.
Step 10. Launch Outlook and check if you are able to access the inaccessible items without the error popping up.
Fix 7 – Update Outlook
Step 1. Launch Outlook.
Step 2. Go to the File menu.
Step 3. Click on Office Account in the left sidebar.
Step 4. Then, in the Office Updates section, click on Update Options.
In the list that opens, click on Update Now.
Step 5. Wait till Outlook looks for any updates and installs them.
Step 6. After updating Outlook, check if you are able to view your email items without any errors.
Thanks for reading.
You must now be able to access your important emails and other items in Outlook without seeing the error “Sorry, we’re having trouble opening this item” on your Windows PC. Did you find this article informative enough in resolving the error? Please let us know your thoughts and the fix that worked for you in the comments below.
A software engineer turned into an educator with vast teaching experience in universities. Currently working towards my passion for writing.