Working with MS Outlook 2010 Add-ins

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If you have MS Outlook 2010 and you are having some trouble in using it, or when Outlook 2010 is acting up, some troubleshooting procedures can be done by yourself without asking for for a computer expert's help. Common problems like Outlook not sending, not receiving, not getting email attachments, and something similar can be corrected with minor troubleshooting.

Manage Outlook 2010 Add-ins

This article will discuss on how to temporarily disable Add-ins in your MS Outlook 2010 as part of a troubleshooting process. By the way, these add-ins are small helping programs or utilities especially designed or created for Microsoft Outlook application. Add-ins are also called, interchangeably, as Microsoft Outlook add-ons, Microsoft Outlook plug-ins, or Microsoft Outlook extensions. The main purpose of the add-ins is to add new functional capabilities into Microsoft Outlook and automate some routine operations.

However, some add-ins have compatibility issues that when enabled, instead of helping, Outlook encounters problems and malfunctions instead. Some signs of add-in incompatibility includes Outlook crashing when opening, freezing when opening, not sending, copy and paste feature non-responsive, and a lot more.

To troubleshoot these kinds of issues with MS Outlook 2010 or earlier, you can try to temporarily disable the Add-ins to see if the problem is corrected. If it is NOT, then the problem is not caused by add-in incompatibility and you can use other methods to correct the problem. If the problem is corrected when all add-ins are disabled, you can then enable the add-ins ONE at a time testing which add-in causes the problem to re-occur. This is to verify as to which add-in is causing the issue. When you are able to determine which add-in is causing the problem, then you can enable ALL add-ins back EXCEPT the one that causes the problem. This one should be the incompatible add-in.

Disabling Add-ins When Outlook 2010 Still Opens

When MS Outlook 2010 still opens, here are the steps to temporarily disable your Add-ins. You also need these steps if you want to enable the add-ins one at a time.

Step 1: Close all other MS Office programs like MS Word, Excel or PowerPoint. Then open MS Outlook 2010.

Step 2: Click on File menu, then click on Options.

Outlook 2010 File Options

Step 3: In the Outlook Options dialog box that opens, click on Add-ins tab/command in the left panel. This shall display a list of active add-ins and inactive add-ins. An add-in is active when it enabled. It is inactive when it is disabled. Our goal in this article is to show how to disable an add-in. That is, how to make an active add-in "inactive".

Step 4: Then click on the GO button at the bottom part.

Outlook 2010 Add-ins

Step 5: A new dialog box will open. This will list add-ins with check marks and without check marks. Those with check marks are the active add-ins. Those without are the inactive add-ins.

Step 6: Now, UNCHECK all of the listed add-ins. That is, if the add-ins are checked in the list, click on it to uncheck it. When all items are unchecked, which means all add-ins are disabled, click the OK button.

List of Add-ins

Step 7: Then close Outlook then open it again. Test if the problem is gone. If it is gone, redo the process and CHECK the add-ins one at a time testing Outlook for results.


Disabling Add-ins When Outlook No Longer Opens

When your Outlook no longer opens, you can still troubleshoot it by opening it with most add-ins disabled and see if indeed it will open. Here are the steps:

Step 1: Click on Start => Search. In the Search box, type: outlook.exe /safe like this screen shot below:

Outlook 2010 Safe Mode

Step 2: If you are using Windows XP and you do not have such Search function, you can use the RUN command instead. Click Start =RUN or Start => All Programs => Accessories => RUN. In the RUN box, type the command there: outlook.exe /safe

Step 3: Either way you did it, press Enter to execute the command or click OK.

Step 4: Outlook shall open with (Safe Mode) label at the top to indicate that it is running in safe mode. This means that most add-ins are disabled to troubleshoot add-ins related issues.

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