Outlook crashes with Error 0xc0000005, Workaround/Fix

[German]Users of Outlook have been suffering for several hours from the fact that the application crashes at startup, possibly with the error code 0xc0000005. This primarily affects Outlook 2019 and Outlook 365 – but older versions are probably also affected.


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Reader reports about the Outlook crash

There is already an extensive discussion on this topic in the German blog starting with this comment:

So in my case Outlook (O365 subscription) does not start anymore, apparently since update KB4565554 which cannot be uninstalled. Outlook itself doesn't even start in safe mode anymore. There is no error message. Attempt to repair Outlook itself does not lead to any improvement. Importing yesterday's backup of Outlook PST files does not help either. Deleting the complete Outlook profile does not help either.

The error in the click-to-run installations of Office 365 or Office 2019, Office 2016 etc. is confirmed by other users. At the same time, blog readers Frank S., Daniel S., Paolo F. and Armin S. have contacted us by mail and pointed out errors in Outlook. Blog reader Frank S. writes about this:

after I installed the latest Windows updates and the Office-365-Click2Run updates (oh no, it's now called Microsoft-365) today, Outlook crashes every time and this on two different Windows computers. The following entry is in the event log:

Name of the faulty application: OUTLOOK.EXE, version: 16.0.13001.20384, timestamp: 0x5f05e1b3

Name of the faulty module: OUTLOOK.EXE, version: 16.0.13001.20384, timestamp: 0x5f05e1b3

Exception code: 0xc0000005
Error offset: 0x0009db1c
ID of the faulty process: 0x2ac8
Start time of the faulty application: 0x01d65abf21147en2

Path of the faulty application: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\OUTLOOK.EXE

So it is an "Access Denied" error in Outlook. I wonder if this affects more people. Apparently, Microsoft doesn't have quality assurance anymore.

Frank wrote me that he has downgraded using the officec2rclient. A downgrade to the previous version 2006 with the build number 13001.20266 also caused a crash. Only after a downgrade to the 2005 version with the build number 12827.20470 Outlook could be started again. In the Techcommunity there is this thread with a confirmation of the problem by many users.

Microsoft confirms the issue

At Microsoft Answers there is this forum post of a user from July 15, 2020 in which he points out crashes of Outlook 365, 2019 and 2016 at startup. A Microsoft employee responded with the following message:

Hi All,

This issue was posted to the Service Health Dashboard (SHD) as incident EX218604 Start time: July 16, 2020 12:18 AM. User Impact: Users may experience crashes or may be unable to access Exchange Online via Outlook.

More info: Our analysis indicates that Outlook on the web and mobile clients are unaffected. Users may be able to leverage those protocols as an alternative means to access email and service features while we remediate this problem.

Current status: Our initial review of the available data indicates that recently deployed updates are the likely source of the problem. We're performing an analysis of all recent service updates to isolate the underlying cause of the problem and to determine the most expedient means to restore service.

Microsoft suspected that an update was the cause of the problem. Daniel S. then pointed this tweet out to me.


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There too, the error is confirmed and it is indicated that the problem is being investigated.

Microsoft rolls out a fix, workaround possible

At Twitter as well as in the 'Service health' dashboard, Microsoft now states that the cause has been found. 

We're rolling out a fix for this issue, and we expect the mitigation to reach all customers over the next few hours. Additional details can be found in the admin center under EX218604 and OL218603.

According to first feedback, they have fixed something at Microsoft on the server side. The following tweet indicates that the clients are working again in the case of one affected person.

A German user wrote within a comment, how he forced the install of this fix. He used the following steps:

1. Open Word and click File -> Account -> Update options -> Update now

2. Close Word and let install the update, then restart the system

It helped him for all 8 PC issues, he wrote. Just in case that won't work or didn't help: In the meantime, however, a workaround (and on reddit.com) is known (see this comment in the blog), which is based on a downgrade of the Outlook Click-2-Run version.   

1. Open the command prompt and change to the following path

cd "C:\Program Files\Common Files\microsoft shared\ClickToRun"

2. Enter the following command at the command prompt

officec2rclient.exe /update user updatetoversion=16.0.12827.20470

This forces Office to downgrade to the specified version, which apparently does not have this bug. According to the above tweet, applying the workaround with the downgrade does not make sense, one should wait for the fix. Or you can start Outlook in safe mode, as reported on reddit.com

Similar articles:
Microsoft Office Patchday (July 7, 2020)
Microsoft Security Update Summary (14. Juli 2020)
Patchday: Windows 10-Updates (14. Juli 2020)
Patchday: Windows 8.1/Server 2012-Updates (July 14, 2020)
Patchday: Windows 7/Server 2008 R2 Updates (07/14/2020)


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