macOS Catalina has been a problem for some users who have experienced Mail issues after the upgrade. Some users who use Microsoft Outlook as their Mail client have seen that their outlook app simply freezes or is very slow to respond on macOS Catalina.
This issue is more likely related to a particular property of Outlook as opposed to macOS Catalina. We have seen this issue happen in prior macOS instances such as High Sierra.
- Mail not working in macOS Catalina, How-to fix
- Where are archived messages stored in Mail on macOS?
- How to clean install macOS Catalina (without a bootable USB)
- How to find Outlook temp files on a Mac with macOS or Mac OS X
When Outlook is trying to preview folders with encrypted emails, this issue pops up and causes your Outlook to freeze and not respond.
Most of the times, Microsoft Office folks release updates that can handle this problem and other Outlook issues.
Before you attempt at troubleshooting this issue, you may first want to update the latest Outlook install on your Mac running Catalina.
On the Top menu of Outlook, Click on Help > Check for Updates. Update to the latest software from here.
Fix Outlook Freezing issue on macOS Catalina
Once you have applied the latest Outlook updates to your Mac, you can fix any Outlook freezing issues on macOS Catalina with the help of these steps below:
- Open the Terminal App on your Mac ( App is available in the Utilities Folder and can also be located via the LaunchPad on your dock)
- Type in ‘defaults write com.microsoft.Outlook DisablePreviewForSMIME 1’ without the quotes and press enter
- Next, type in ‘kill all cfprefsd’ without the quotes and press Enter
- Exit out of Outlook
- Restart your MacBook
- Open Outlook and check if the freezing issues have been resolved
Microsoft Outlook also offers an Outlook Reset Preferences tool that you can utilities to reset your outlook.
Other Microsoft Office related issues on macOS Catalina
If you are noticing other performance issues with Microsoft products such as Word, please make sure that you are using the 64 bit version of Word. Check if the version of Word is 16.29 and above. Version 16.30 was made available by Microsoft on Oct 10 (last week) to address some Catalina related issues. This should help with any Outlook crashing issues on your MacBook.
Check and make sure that you have updated to the latest by launching Autoupdate.
That will confirm that you are on the 64 bit version of Office. According to Microsoft, Mac OS Catalina is compatible with Microsoft Office version 16.16.14.
After updating to the 64 bit version, some users realize that they can open and read Microsoft word documents but are unable to edit it. This annoyance along with other Office related problems can be usually fixed by running a Disk Repair on your MacBook.
Please feel to reach out to Microsoft support if you are encountering other serious issues such as missing files and folders after the update and they should be able to help you with the issues.
Obsessed with tech since the early arrival of A/UX on Apple, Sudz (SK) is responsible for the original editorial direction of AppleToolBox. He is based out of Los Angeles, CA.
Sudz specializes in covering all things macOS, having reviewed dozens of OS X and macOS developments over the years.
In a former life, Sudz worked helping Fortune 100 companies with their technology and business transformation aspirations.