Invalid XML, with Outlook 2007.

It’s not often we have to deal with proprietary code on systems — at least, not at the end-user level — but recently, while recovering a drive for a client, I ran into what I initially thought, was a server-side bug.

Turns out, the error:

Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window.

Followed By:

Cannot open the Outlook window. Invalid XML, the view cannot be loaded.

Is a two-fold error.

Looking at the [profilename].xml file in the users Outlook folder, it had appended a whitespace and an extra closing tag at the end of the standard code.

You can fix this the Microsoft Way ™ by launching Outlook from the Start -> Run dialogue with the command-line switch “/resetnavpane

Or, if you don’t want to obliterate the users favourite shortcuts to mail folders, their last-viewed folder & message as well as the setup and display of their navigation pane, you can fix this the Old Fashioned Way ™ by running:

taskkill Outlook.exe

Then open the users [profilename].xml file ( on a standalone, non-exchange using installation, this is found in \Users[user]\AppData\Roaming\Outlook[profilename].xml ) and simply remove the whitespace after the closing > tag.