Outlook “Sorry we are having trouble opening this item. This could be temporary..”

Had a couple of users that were getting this error:

“Sorry, we’re having trouble opening this item. This could be temporary, but if you see it again you might want to restart Outlook”

They use an Exchange server. This was solved by rebuilding the Outlook profile. Here were the steps.

  1. Go into the control panel >> mail >> show profiles.
  2. Add a new profile, and click next. It should find the users credentials from the exchange server
  3. Check “Prompt for a profile to be used.”
  4. Restart Outlook and select the new profile.
  5. Then go back to the control panel >> Mail >> Show Profile and select “Always use this profile. Use the dropdown and select the new profile. Hit apply.
  6. You may need to restart outlook a few times for everything to work properly. At the bottom of Outlook will see outlook adding the emails back into this new profile.
  7. When everything is working you can delete the old profile.


  1. I am having this same issue, and executed Grimey’s request above, but it did not resolve the issue for me. I am using Outlook 2013, and had the same issue with Outlook 2010. OWA is able to open the messages, but not Outlook 2013 client.

  2. The email clients that were setup to send in Rich Text format, were causing issues for other users when sending emails internally. We’ve switched them over to use HTML by default and it seems to have fixed most issues.

  3. Thanks, Ana, I think you are on to something there.

    I noticed some of my users receive this error whenever there is an attachment to a calendar item. The attachment in the calendar item seems to be embedded using rich text formatting.

    I haven’t found a way to fix the problem just yet. The item can be opened on other PCs with the same versions of Windows & Office. Strange.

  4. I have same issued when i changed outlook 2007 to outlook 2013.
    I have tried solution to rebuilding outlook profile but its not worked, then i opened my mail with my browser, accessed server and downloaded the file.

  5. I just moved over to ‘business card’, ‘card’ or ‘list’… not ‘people’… now I can edit my Outlook contacts… hopefully, this was of some help…

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