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How to Disable an Outlook 2013 Add-in without Starting Outlook?

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Add-ins make many of our favorite programs even better to use and allow for a nice customized experience while working, but what do you do when an add-in is causing problems and preventing you from using Outlook to get your work done?

Today’s Question & Answer session comes to us courtesy of SuperUser—a subdivision of Stack Exchange, a community-driven grouping of Q&A web sites.

Shattered glass effect courtesy of PhotoFunia.

The Question

SuperUser reader f.ardelian needs to know how to disable a problematic add-in without starting Outlook:

All the guides I have found online start with “go to the Tools menu”. My problem is that Outlook 2013 will not start at all because it gets stuck at start-up while it tries to load the TeamViewer add-in.

How can I disable the TeamViewer add-in?

Is there a simple, straightforward way to deal with a problematic Outlook add-in?

The Answer

SuperUser contributor Raystafarian has the answer for us:

Start Outlook in safe mode: outlook.exe /safe

If you are having problems with a Microsoft Office program, you may be able to use User-Initiated Safe mode to make it possible to run the program. You can find more info on Microsoft Office’s Safe Mode here.

Note: Since Raystafarian’s answer was a bit brief, we have added a small bit from the link he shared below.

To start a Microsoft Office program in User-Initiated Safe mode:

On the Microsoft Windows Start menu

  • Click Start, point to All Programs, and then point to Microsoft Office.
  • Press and hold the CTRL key, and then click the name of the Microsoft Office program that you want to run.

In the Command Prompt window

  • At the command prompt, use the /safe option when you start the program.

To stop User-Initiated Safe mode, exit the program then start it again normally.

Special Note: Another method was mentioned in the discussion thread, but it was pointed out as being an insecure method if an add-in happened to be malicious in nature.

If you ever find yourself with a problematic add-in in the future, Raystafarian’s method will provide a quick and easy way to get your Outlook installation up and running again so you can deal with that pesky add-in the easy way.


Have something to add to the explanation? Sound off in the comments. Want to read more answers from other tech-savvy Stack Exchange users? Check out the full discussion thread here.

Akemi Iwaya (Asian Angel) is our very own Firefox Fangirl who enjoys working with multiple browsers and loves 'old school' role-playing games. Visit her on Twitter and .

  • Published 04/8/14

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