Bug in Outlook 365: Only one version can run at a time

[German]Users of Microsoft Outlook 365 may have been running into an issue since mid-July 2018 with version 1806 Build 10228.20080. When clicking on the Outlook icon of the taskbar error message is displayed, that only one version of the program can be executed. Here is some information and a workaround.


This error has been addressed within this Microsoft Answers forum thread. A user affected describes the issues as:

No longer able to open multiple instances of Outlook 2016 (for one profile).

On my work computer, I keep multiple desktops open in Windows 10.  Until last week, I was able to open an instance of Outlook on one desktop while another instance of Outlook was already open on another desktop.  Now, when I try to do this:

1. I get shifted over to the desktop which already has a running instance of Outlook,

2. I get an error message “Sorry, we’re having trouble starting Outlook. Only one version can run at a time. See if another version of Outlook is running, or try restarting your computer,” and

3. after I close the error message, another instance of Outlook does actually open in the desktop being shown (which is not the desktop where I was working).

I cannot see that there is any other version of Outlook running, and I cannot see that the “/recycle” switch is being applied in the Properties view for any shortcuts to run Outlook.  I don’t keep a lot of emails, so I don’t see how some memory issue might be forcing this problem.

My questions:  Why did this problem show up a week ago? Is there a way to explicitly invoke/force the opposite of the “/recycle” switch for Outlook? Is there a way to check that there is/isn’t a relevant memory issue?  Is there some other solution I have not considered?

This problem completely defeats the purpose of having multiple desktops.  I cannot stress this enough.

After posting this issue within my German blog, I received several confirmation from users, who has observed the bug. MVP Diane Poremsky indicates in the forum thread that this is simply a bug. She has published this article on her side. Within this article she describes more details and also outline a workaround, that should help until the bug has been fixed.


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