When you try to open an old email, Outlook may throw up an error message that says: “This item cannot be displayed in reading pane. Open the item to read its contents.” Try restarting your email client and check if the issue persists. If you’re still getting the same error message, follow the troubleshooting steps below.
Fix: This Item Cannot Be Displayed in the Outlook Reading Pane
Forward the Message
Try forwarding the message that Outlook can’t open in the Reading pane. If you have a non-Outlook email account, forward it to that address.
Alternatively, try opening the problematic email using the web app. Go to outlook.live.com, log into your account and check if you can open the problematic message.
Run Outlook in Safe Mode
- Press the Windows and R keys to open a new Run window.
- Then, type outlook.exe /safe and press Enter.
- Check if you can open the message.
Suppose Outlook can open the message without any problems. In that case, this indicates one of your add-ins is interfering with the email client.
- Navigate to File.
- Select Options.
- Then, click on Add-ins.
- Hit the Manage button, and then click on Go.
- Simply clear the checkbox associated with the add-ins you want to disable.
Repair Your Outlook Profile
- Open the Control Panel.
- Select Mail.
- Click on Email Accounts.
- Select the Email tab.
- Then, select your account and hit the Repair button.
- Follow the on-screen steps and then hit Finish.
- Restart Outlook and check the results.
Update and Repair Office
Install the latest Office updates, and repair your Office installation files. Outlook is part of the Office Suite. Updating and repairing Office can help you fix your Outlook issues.
- Launch Outlook.
- Click on File and select your Office account.
- Then, click on Update Options.
- Hit the Update now button.
- If you still can’t open your messages in the Reading pane, open Control Panel.
- Go to Programs and Features.
- Select your Office installation package and hit the Change button.
- Run the Quick Repair tool.
- Check the results, and if the issue persists, run the Online Repair tool as well.
- Restart your computer, and relaunch Outlook.
If Outlook can’t open your emails in the reading pane, try forwarding the problematic message to another email address. Additionally, use the Outlook web app to open the message. Then, run Outlook in Safe Mode, restart the email client, and disable your add-ins. If the issue persists, repair your Outlook profile, and update and repair Office.
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