Solved “Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook Invalid XML Error”

Microsoft Outlook users have become so conditioned on it that they can’t just use another email client if Outlook faces some issue. While there may be some cases when the problem faced is ignorable, and one gets to live with it or even find a workaround. There are some glitches that one just can’t neglect. One such type of error is when the Outlook application fails to open and tosses the error: “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook invalid XML error.” It distantly suggests that an Invalid XML is there and the view that can’t be loaded. This issue brings the user to a standstill as no email function can be performed if Outlook doesn’t open at all. One can’t even read emails, let alone perform other tasks. Through this blog, we will help you learn and fix this error once and for all.

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What is Invalid XML Error

MS Outlook clients seldom face this problem where the application collapses to open and throws an error in a pop-up window.

The error states as “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook Invalid XML, the view cannot be loaded.” Moreover, it doesn’t produce much troubleshooting options as the application closes as early as you snap on the only OK button on the pop-up window. So, the user is not capable to perform any function on the Outlook application due to this error. In most instances, the error is not intermittent and keeps popping until fixed.

Objectives behind cannot start Microsoft Outlook Invalid XML Error

Before we proceed to the resolve methods, let us initial explain the causes that can drive this error. There can be many elements that can trigger the Invalid XML error. Below mentioned are a few of the most regular causes behind this error.

Navigation pane configuration issue

The navigation pane is the window that resembles on the left side in MS Outlook and supports you shift between different operative areas such as Calendar, Mail, Contacts, Tasks, Notes, etc. The configuration settings of this Navigation pane are saved in an XML file in the Outlook folder. This issue can occur while editing this XML file. Additional, corruption or any other damage to this file may also lead to this error

Hard drive corruption

The disc drive corruption will cause problems. If the XML file for the navigation pane lies in any bad sector, then the application won’t be able to process it. This could drive to Invalid XML Error. 

Running Outlook in compatibility mode

Sometimes, you may have to open Outlook in compatibility mode so as to fix any other issue that you might have faced. But there are numerous points and settings that are off in compatibility mode. The navigation pane is also affected while running MS Outlook in compatibility mode and can meet the invalid XML error.

Using an outdated version of Outlook

This case is not common but has still been seen in some circumstances to impact the navigation pane configurations. An antiquated or very remote version of Outlook can create this issue.

How to Solve Cannot start Microsoft Outlook Invalid XML Error?

We have known a bit about this Invalid XML error, what it is and how it occurs to you. So, let’s move ahead to fix this error.

Reset Navigation Pane

If resetting the navigation pane didn’t fix the issue, then there may be a possibility that the XML file is corrupt, and Outlook is neither able to read it nor reset it. deleting the file Manually and then restarting Outlook will direct to the creation of a new XML file with default settings. Follow the following steps to obtain the same.

  • Press Windows+R keys on your keyboard.
  • This will open the Run window.
  • In the Run window, paste command – Outlook.exe /resetnavpane’
  • Again try to run Outlook again, and it should operate fine. If not, continue to the next plan.

Delete corrupt XML file

If resetting the navigation pane didn’t fix the issue, then there may be a possibility that the XML file is corrupt, and Outlook is neither able to read it nor reset it. Manually deleting the file and then restarting Outlook will lead to the creation of a new XML file with default settings. Follow the underneath steps to accomplish the same.

  • Open the Run dialog box.
  • Paste “%appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook” In the run box, and press Enter.
  • After that, you would find an XML file under this location most apparently by the name “Outlook.xml”.
  • Delete this XML file and restart Outlook.

If you still face the same issue, proceed to the next method.

Disable compatibility mode

  • Click the Start menu and type Outlook.exe.
  • Right-click on the outlook.exe icon from the search results and click Properties.
  • A new window opens for Outlook.exe properties. Click on the Compatibility tab.
  • Uncheck the “Run this program in compatibility mode for “ checkbox Under the compatibility mode and click on Apply and then press OK.

PST Repair – Quick fix for Invalid XML Error

The inaccessibility of an email account causes major problems. Invalid XML error is an internal issue and it is not easy for a  non-technical person to fix it. Outlook saves its data items in a local file known as PST. This PST file contains all your Outlook items like emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, notes, journals, etc. To get access to your Outlook emails, you only need to recover and alter your PST file.

So, if you are getting trouble with Outlook invalid XML error and unable to access your email messages, then you can make use of the DRS Outlook PST Recovery Tool. The application helps to fix and extract data from an Outlook PST file easily in a simple procedure. All you required to know is the position of your stored Outlook PST data. The storage location of a PST depends on your MS Outlook versions type.


Getting error message pop-ups and error codes are quite common in Microsoft Outlook. But getting a solution for all those issues is not that straightforward. Here, we have unequivocally mentioned the reason behind the error “Cannot start Microsoft Outlook invalid XML error“. The above steps will help you to recreate the Navigation pane and run again without the affair of invalid XML error in outlook 2019/2016/ 2013/2010. Sometimes this error may end up in data inaccessibility in MS Outlook and the users can’t access their emails & other mailbox items. So to access your Outlook data in the PST file, you can use a reliable application as suggested in the above section.

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