Microsoft Outlook Express is the default e-mail application which comes bundled with the Windows operating system till Windows XP. It got renamed as Windows Mail in Windows Vista and later the name of the actual executable remained the same. Microsoft Outlook Express is a free application which can be used to configure POP, IMAP e-mail accounts so that e-mails can be read and written. As far as the e-mail configuration is considered it is very similar to Microsoft Office Outlook, but the files and architecture of Microsoft Outlook Express and Microsoft Office Outlook is entirely different.
Microsoft Outlook Express comes bundled with Windows and thus it is the default e-mail client, and uses the same address book which Windows has in it. Contacts in Windows Address Book and those in Microsoft Outlook Express are the same. We can have multiple identities in Microsoft Outlook Express to have various people use the application but this often results in troubles. Microsoft Outlook Express is closely integrated with the other DLLs of the operating system and many a times it crashes because of any changes in these common files. One of the most common problems which Outlook Express suffers from is that it never starts when user clicks on its icon. There can be number of reasons why this happens but many a times it can be fixed by running Outlook Express in its safe mode. Please do not confuse this Safe Mode with the Safe Mode of Windows as both are two entirely different things. Almost all the applications have a way to start them with minimal or no third party extensions enabled. This mode is called as the Safe Mode because when we start an application in its safe mode it is only the basic application which loads and no other extra plug-ins and extensions. Many a times when Outlook Express fails to start the reason is because of some plug-in, or extension which prevents it from loading in to the memory and we can fix it by trying to start it in Safe Mode.
Step 1: Click on ‘Start’ menu and then click on ‘Run’.
Step 2: If Run is not available then press the ‘Windows’ key along with letter ‘R’ on the keyboard.
Step 3: Now type ‘MSIMN /A’ in the ‘Run’ box and then press ‘Enter.’
Please note that ‘MSIMN’ is the name of the executable file of Outlook Express and it stands for Microsoft Internet Mailing and News. This name is still the same even in Windows Mail in Windows Vista and adding /A to it makes it start in its safe mode. This ways we can at least make the application to start so that we can further troubleshoot the issue. If Outlook Express starts in Safe Mode then this proves that there is any add-on or plug-in which is preventing Outlook Express to start and this can be found out by checking the list of all the add-ons under tools and options.