How to Fix Outlook Invalid XML Error in Simple Steps

Summary: The “Outlook Invalid XML Error” is a common issue when trying to access Outlook. A number of reasons can cause this, but the most common culprit is likely incorrect navigation pane settings. To fix the issue, you’ll need to repair the .pst file.

  1. Download and run the PST repair software.
  2. Find the corrupt PST file on your system.
  3. Now, pick the PST file and click on Repair.
  4. Once the software scans and repairs the file, you can view the mailbox items.
  5. Now, choose the mailbox items and download them in a PST file.

Outlook 2007 and 2010 users often experience the “Outlook Invalid XML Error” error when saving or opening a document with those programs. It is likely because Outlook cannot process the Outlook XML file location. If you are experiencing this error, it may be helpful to check your installation and make sure that Outlook is up to date.

Reasons Behind of Outlook Invalid XML Error

There are multiple reasons for Invalid XML error when opening Outlook. Some common reasons are discussed the below:

  • Improper shutdown of the computer can corrupt the XML file.
  • The power is lost, or the system crashes while a file is accessed or saved.
  • Viruses or malware that harm the XML file elements.
  • Interpreting the applications or add-ins may disrupt the functioning of Outlook.
  • Issues with the computer’s hard drive, such as disk errors, may cause data corruption.

Method 1: Reset Outlook Navigation Pane

The Outlook Navigation Pane is the section of Outlook on the left side that contains the Mail, Calendar, Contacts, Tasks, and other sections.

The default settings can be restored if the Navigation Pane becomes damaged or malfunctions. Due to damaged files, users face the cannot start Microsoft Outlook invalid XML file error. 

It is referred to as “Resetting the Navigation Pane.”

  1. Hold down the Window key and Press the X key (Window+X) on your keyboard.
  2. The list of programs appears on your screen. Find and select the Run.
  3. A run dialog box opens on your screen.
  4. In the Run dialog box, type Outlook.exe /resetnavpane.
  5. Hit Enter or click the OK button.

The above steps can help to fix the cannot open Outlook invalid XML file error.

Method 2: Delete corrupt XML file in Outlook

The first reason could be that your XML file is damaged. Also, it may be that Outlook cannot fetch the XML file. Sometimes some items of the file are missing, due to which the file cannot work. There is also a conflict between Outlook and the version of the XML file you are using. However, you can also try to open Outlook in safe mode.

That’s why we have to delete the XML file to fix the cannot open the Outlook window invalid xml error, whose steps are given below.

  1. Press the Window+R key to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook in the search field and click on the OK button.
  3. It will open the Outlook configuration window. 
  4. In the windows explorer folder, find the Outlook.xml file from the list.
  5. Select and delete this file from the system.

Method 3: Turn Off Compatibility Mode

Compatibility mode is a good feature in Outlook. With the help of this feature, you can open and display email messages, calendar items, and other files created in earlier versions of Outlook.

If you have the old XML file and recently updated the Outlook version. Then maybe it works for you and is able to fix the cannot open Microsoft Outlook invalid XML file.

  1. Close the Outlook application and all other MS Office programs.
  2. Find Outlook.exe using the search field situated to the left of the windows logo.
  3. Right-click on the Outlook icon and select Properties from the list of options.
  4. Go to the Compatibility tab.
  5. In the Compatibility tab, locate and uncheck the Run this program in compatibility mode and click Apply.
  6. Hit the OK button and close the window.
  7. Now, restart the Outlook application.

Method 4: Restore Previous Versions of Outlook PST File

Restoring previous versions of Outlook PST files provides a simple and effective way to recover lost or damaged data. It can recover data quickly, eliminating the need to manually locate and restore the file.

  1. Browse the Outlook folder where the PST file was located.
  2. Right-click on the Outlook Folder and select Restore Previous Versions.
  3. An Outlook Files Properties window will pop up; click on the Previous Versions tab.
  4. Double-click on the Recent folder labelled according to the day name or date.
  5. If the PST files are in the folder, you can copy and paste them into the original folder.

The above method can help you to fix the cannot start Microsoft Outlook invalid xml, the view cannot be loaded windows 7 error.

Method 5: Use scanpst.exe Inbox Repair Tool

SCANPST tool quickly identifies and fixes problems in Outlook data files. It can fix issues like .pst file corruption or Outlook not responding due to such errors. It can assist in restoring lost emails and data from a corrupted PST file.

  1. Copy and Paste this path on the Folders path (the path varies from the Outlook version).
    • C:\Program Files x86\Microsoft Office\{Office version}
  2. Locate the SCANPST.EXE file in your folder.
  3. Click on the Browse button and select the default Outlook PST file.
  4. Now, press the start button. Here, the tool will scan the errors.
  5. If the PST file has any error or system prompt, repair the errors then follow the next step.
  6. Click on the Repair option and it will start the repair process.

After repairing the .pst file it can fix the Outlook Invalid XML Error.


In the end, it is important to be prepared for any technical error that occurs in your work. In this post, we already discussed the five methods that can help to fix the Outlook Invalid XML Error.

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Sofia Smith is a technical content writer who has followed her passion for technology by authoring tech content at Sysvpro. Follow her on Twitter