Outlook 2016 Hang Freezes When Previewing an Excel File

I was troubleshooting a computer the other day that was having Outlook freezing issues. This is what would happen. When previewing an Excel attachment in Outlook (2016) the document would preview but as soon as you would scroll around on the attachment, Outlook would freeze. You couldn’t open, close, or minimize Outlook. However, if you went into Task Manager to kill the program, Outlook appeared to be working normally and didn’t mention “Not Responding”.

After a bit more troubleshooting, I found when Outlook froze up, if I opened a File Explorer Window it would unfreeze Outlook and I could once again use. 

Another item I noticed was Outlook seemed to freeze when I used my mouse scroll wheel instead of the scroll bars on the previewed Excel document. I tried my hypothesis a couple times and sure enough, each time I scrolled the previewed Excel document with my mouse scroll wheel Outlook would freeze up.

Troubleshooting Steps I tried:

  1. I installed the latest Office updates.
  2. I opened Outlook in Safe Mode.
  3. I made sure all Add-Ins were disabled. 
  4. I ran Outlook as an Administrator
  5. I disabled all Preview Handlers in Outlook and then re-enabled. 

The above troubleshooting steps did not resolve my issue. Here is the solution that finally worked for me. 

Step One: Open Windows 10 Settings (WinKey + I)

Step Two: Go to Devices > Mouse 

Step Three: Turn Off “Scroll inactive Windows when I hover over them” 

Scroll Inactive Windows When I Hover








The Windows 10 feature “Scroll inactive Windows when I hover over them” is supposed to allow you to scroll through side-by-side Windows without having to click it to put focus on each Window. You can just hover over the Window and scroll.

Apparently, the “Scroll Inactive Windows When I Hover Over Them” doesn’t work well with Outlook.

I hope this helps. If it did, please sound off in the comment section below. This was posted by techspeeder. 

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