How to Fix Error Code 20 on Outlook?

Are you facing error with outlook code 20? want to fix the error? then do read our complete article to fix the error with the help of DIY methods and try fixing it out.

“Error 20: Microsoft Outlook has encountered a problem and needs to close.                                                                                                                                        We are sorry for the inconvenience.”

What is Microsoft Outlook Error Code 20?

Microsoft Outlook Error Code 20 or simply Error Code 20 is one of the most annoying error messages that put you in trouble if it is not resolved in time. Typically, the error appears during Windows startup or shutdown, installing a program, Microsoft Outlook (or Microsoft-related software) running, installing Windows OS, and so on.

There are different forms of Microsoft Outlook error code 20, and here is the list of commonly shown states and symptoms of this error:

  1. Error code 20 shows up on the screen and the active program window (currently running program) crashes.
  2. Your Windows PC often crashes when error code 20 pops up.
  3. Windows starts responding slowly and it behaves sluggishly for mouse or keyboard actions.
  4. The system freezes for a few seconds once in a while after error code 20.

What Are the Causes of Microsoft Outlook Error Code 20?

Holding track of when and where the error code 20 emerges helps in troubleshooting the problem easily.

So, here are the possible reasons for Microsoft Outlook error code 20.

  1. Incorrect date and time settings on your Windows laptop or desktop.
  2. Firewall blocking Outlook actions.
  3. Outdated device drivers.
  4. Incomplete installation or installing a corrupted version of Microsoft Outlook software.
  5. Corrupted Windows registry due to recent actions in Microsoft Outlook/related software.
  6. Corruption of Windows system files or Outlook program files by a virus.
  7. Unidentified deletion of Outlook-related files by a malicious program.

How to Fix Microsoft Outlook Error 20?

Step 1: Configure Date and Time

Error code 20 can emerge due to incorrect date and time settings. So, check that your Windows is showing the correct time and date. If not, configure the date and time settings.

Step 2: Fully Scan Your Computer

There are possibilities that error code 20 could be due to malware infection as harmful viruses can damage, corrupt, (and even delete) system files. So, scan your system using a trusted antivirus program.

Also, make sure that Windows Firewall is not blocking your Outlook application.

Step 3: Update Device Drivers

Sometimes, corrupt or outdated device drivers can give rise to Microsoft Outlook error code 20. Thus, you need to often update the device drivers to fix the error code 20.

To update device drivers in Windows,

  • Reach Device Manager from Control Panel

  • Expand the driver’s list, find the required driver, and right-click

  • Select Update Driver option

  • Opt Search automatically for updated driver software

Step 4: Install Windows Updates

Try Microsoft updates (intended to update and improve Windows system files) that resolve error code 20.

To install Windows Updates (applies to Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10):

  • First, go to the Start menu
  • Search for update

  • You will get the Windows Update wizard

  • Opt Install Updates if updates are available

Step 5: Run Disk Cleanup

As time rolls, your Windows computer gathers junk. If junk isn’t cleared, it leads to Microsoft Outlook to function sluggishly or shows errors like error code 20 (due to file conflicts). So, cleaning up junk from the Windows system not only fixes Microsoft Outlook error code 20 but can also boost the speed of your PC.

How to run Disk Cleanup in Windows?

  • In the Start menu type command

  • Hold CTRL and Shift keys, hit ENTER button
  • Opt Yes

  • Type cleanmgr and press ENTER key

  • The Disk Cleanup shows a list (categories) of junk files present in the computer

  • Select the required (you want to remove) categories and hit OK

Step 6: Run SFC (System File Checker)

System File Checker scan for corruptions in Windows system files and restores healthy system files. If corruption of Windows system files or Outlook program files is the reason for error code 20 then this step will fix the problem.

To run System File Checker,

  • In the Start menu type the command prompt

  • Hold CTRL and Shift keys, hit ENTER button
  • Opt Yes

  • Type sfc /scannow and press ENTER key

  • System File Checker will start scanning for system file problems

  • Wait and complete the on-screen instructions

Step 7: Do a System Restore

System Restore in Windows allows you to “go back in time” i.e. it simply rolls back your system files and programs to a time when everything was working fine. In case, Outlook error code 20 is caused due to recent actions are done in Microsoft Outlook/related software then System Restore will help you in fixing the issue.

  • Search and reach System Restore from the Start menu

  • Provide the password and proceed
  • Choose the most recent restore point

  • Click on the Finish button

Step 8: Repair Registry Entries

Caution: It is not recommended to try editing Windows Registry Entries unless you are an advanced PC user. Incorrectly editing the registry (without sound knowledge) may prevent the PC from functioning normally. So, use Registry Editor in the presence of a professional or at your own risk.

Note: It is recommended to create a backup by exporting a portion of the registry.

!!  Try This  !!

Sometimes, corrupted or damaged Outlook files (data file- PST) will give rise to Microsoft Outlook error code 20. And, running the Inbox Repair tool also won’t fix this issue since the inbuilt repair tool can handle only trial problems of Outlook.

Hence give a try for an efficient and result-oriented Outlook PST repair tool named Yodot and easily get rid of error code 20.

This Outlook fix is specially built to resolve all types of errors including not having a valid PST file, cannot access Outlook data files, an account that doesn’t exist, etc. which Outlook displays. The tool fixes your damaged or broken Outlook profile and at the same time, it recovers deleted or lost emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, etc. from it. You can make use of this PST repair utility to fix Outlook versions like 2000, 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

So, give a try for Yodot Outlook PST Repair a before you jump to the next step.

Step 9: Uninstall and Reinstall Microsoft Outlook

Uninstalling and reinstalling Outlook may solve the error code 20 if, the error is related to an Outlook program. So, here are the steps to uninstall Microsoft Outlook in Windows.

  • From the Start menu reach Control Panel

  • Click on Programs and Features

  • Find and select Microsoft Outlook (in Microsoft Office) under the Name Category

  • Choose to Uninstall

  • Complete the process

Now, reinstall the program according to Microsoft Corporation guidelines.

Step 10: Clean Install Windows

This is the final option for fixing Microsoft Outlook error code 20. And, reinstalling Windows will remove everything from the system hard drive, gives you a fresh computer.

Caution: Reinstalling Windows (clean install) is a time-consuming and advanced task. To avoid data loss problems, it is suggested to back up all your data like documents, pictures, software installers, and other personal files before starting Windows clean install.