Microsoft Outlook Hangs on “Loading Profile”!

Happy Friday, Folks! 

While hammering away on the keyboard among my various office programs, I was prompted to install an update. Shocking, I know. Being completely desensitized to frequent notices of MS updates, I clicked without hesitation. I should divulge, I’ve been a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer and Certified Exchange Engineer since the 90’s. I’m no longer certified but I often click with reckless abandon when it comes to MS Updates. I would strongly suggest you consult with a professional if you have any reservations or doubts. Do not do as I do.

So, I’m running the updates and doing the requisite reboots. I get a chance for another cup of coffee during all of this. It all seems like an opportunity in disguise, as life usually is. And, gives me cause to ponder how much time I’ve spent during my career waiting for Windows to reboot.

Ok, here is where the content meets the title…and, thanks for hanging in there! Microsoft Outlook 2016 would not start after updates! I have been frustrated by this problem multiple times! The banner window popped open, it showed “Starting” and then went to “Loading Profile”. This is where it crapped the bed, as they say. Well, as I say, anyway. The vague message from Microsoft mentioned exceeding the time limit loading profile, try again.

I scoured the web high and low for an answer. I didn’t actually, but I have a false sense of trust in Google that it did a sufficient job for me. Turns out, not so much. There are tons of answers returned on the subject. There are not tons of solutions. MS suggests that you stop your AV, boot in safe mode, remove or rename your old mail profile, create a new mail profile, and then start anew. In some cases it was recommended to reinstall Outlook. In all cases it suggested the OST or PST was corrupted. I’m not sure exactly when “remove, sterilize, and reinstall” became the norm and made its way to the top of the repertoire of canned support responses, but I believe it happened sometime in the early 2000’s.

Not wishing to reinstall or again try the many other shotgun approaches that were suggested, I decided to see if I could sniff it out. I went back to the fundamentals and started looking at application traffic on my PC. If it might have timed out while loading the profile, as it seemed to indicate, then maybe it isn’t an OST/PST file corruption issue as much as a connectivity issue. Good ole command prompt and netstat had the answer. Pinging returned IPV4 addresses as expected. However, when running netstat, I could see Outlook was trying to communicate with the remote Exchange servers using IPV6. I didn’t really think this was an issue but I had heard some problems related to IPV6 before.

I disabled IPV6 in my network interface card, rebooted, started Outlook without any issue and then decided to share this story with you. I sincerely hope it helps.

If you need help with any of your business application, process, or communication challenges, give us a call. The engineers on Team AVDS are much smarter than I am. Just think of how much they can help your business!

 

 

 

 

Written by:
Brian Barnett
Director of Marketing, CX Aficionado, Engineer, Photographer, Family Man…
www.avds.com

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