How to Fix Problems With Microsoft Outlook 2003

By Bryan Cohen

Microsoft Outlook 2003 has its share of problems, but many of them are easily fixed.
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While most computer programs, especially those made by reputable companies, tend to function well most of the time, the tough lesson to learn is that no program is perfect. Microsoft Outlook 2003 has had many bugs and problems over the years. That being said, there are also many fixes that have been devised for those problems. These three solutions do not solve all Outlook 2003 problems but they will help with many of them.

Update Outlook

Step 1

Download the latest Service Pack for Microsoft Outlook 2003 from the Microsoft website (see Resource 2).

Step 2

Install the OfficeSBMESP4-KB930954-FullFile-ENU.exe file by double-clicking on it.

Step 3

Go through the Setup of this update and restart your computer. Try logging into Outlook again. If it still does not work properly, move on to Section 2.

Backup and Repair

Step 1

Backup your inbox by searching for PST files on your computer. Type "*.pst" in the "Start" menu search prompt to find the Microsoft Outlook 2003 Inbox files. Right-click on any of the files that come up and click "Open File Location."

Step 2

Right-click one of your PST files and click "Copy." Then right-click in a separate folder or on your desktop and click "Paste." Repeat the same process for all of your PST files. Close Microsoft Outlook.

Step 3

Open the Microsoft Inbox Repair tool by typing Scanpst.exe into the "Start" menu search prompt. If it does not come up, you may have to download it (see Reference 2). After downloading, place the file in C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033 and double-click on it to begin the installation.

Step 4

Click "Browse" to look for your PST files through the program. The files will be in the same location that you searched for in Step 1. Click "Start" to scan the file for errors. If errors were found, click the check box next to "Make backup of scanned file before repairing" and click "Repair."

Step 5

Open Outlook after the repair and check to see if it is now working. If there are no errors or if Outlook is still malfunctioning check your other PST files. If there were no errors in any of your files, and Outlook is still malfunctioning, skip to Section 3.

New Profile

Step 1

Click "Start," "Control Panel," "Mail," "Show Profiles" and then "Add."

Step 2

Create a new Outlook profile by typing a new name, selecting "Prompt for a profile to be used," clicking "OK" and then clicking "OK" again.

Step 3

Open Outlook 2003. You will now see a new prompt asking which profile you want to use. Choose the new profile and start Outlook 2003. Try sending and receiving mail. If it works, you will have to manually import your old contacts, but you will have a functioning email account again.