Microsoft acknowledges Outlook keeps crashing on startup, issues workaround

Microsoft Outlook

Microsoft has said that is well aware of an issue in Outlook Desktop acknowledging that the application is closing or crashing for users almost immediately after starting it. After preliminary investigation the company was able to determine that the app, for some reason, is unable to assign proper email address values causing it to stop working. Basically the EmailAddress key in the registry stays blank.

However, Microsoft has not been able to figure out why this is happening. It explains:

This issue occurs when the EmailAddress string data value under the Office identity is blank.

Registry path: Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Common\Identity\Identities

[..]

We do not know why the EmailAddress key is not being set properly. It’s best if this key is set by the Office application, so it is preferred to use the most supported options first.

Hence, the image on the left (below) shows the instance where Outlook will crash as there is no email address value in that key. Meanwhile the one on the right where a email value is present does not close.

Outlook crashes with no email string

Outlook  does not crash with email string

So the workaround that Microsoft has provided revolves around this though further investigation is being carried out to figure out why such a thing is happening.

To work around the issue, try the following suggestions:

  • Sign out of Office and then sign back in to Office to repopulate the identity registry settings. For more information, use Sign in to Office.
  • If the identity is still not getting set properly you can turn off Support Diagnostics which turns off the option to submit an In App ticket using Help, Contact Support, and its feature path that triggers Outlook to stop responding. For more information, use Disable support diagnostics in Outlook
    [HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Office\16.0\Outlook\Options\General] DisableSupportDiagnostics"=dword:00000001
  • You can try manually setting the email address to the identity of the user that is seeing the issue in the registry path referenced in the issue specifics above.

You may find more details on the official support article here.

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