Google Desktop is not compatible with Microsoft Outlook 2003

If you are getting following error message while doing some activity within Outlook 2003, it could have been caused by Google Desktop


The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook.


I was getting this error while trying to access my Address Book. Whenever I used to hit To/CC/BCC buttons while composing new message, I got this error message. Or when I tried to open Address Book by going to Tools -> Address Book. Or when I just hit Ctrl + K.


If you also get this problem, go to Tools -> Options -> Other -> Advanced Options.


  1. First click on Add-In Manager button and uncheck Google Desktop Search Outlook Addin. Click OK.
  2. Then click on COM Add-Ins button and uncheck Google Desktop Outlook Toolbar. Click OK.


Restart Outlook and the problem is gone.


One alternative is to start Outlook in Safe Mode by typing Outlook /safe in Windows run command box.


If you are thinking about uninstalling Google Desktop and re-installing it, I already did that but it doesn’t help at all. So it doesn’t matter if you installed Microsoft Office 2003 first or the Google Desktop 5.1 first…you are going to end with the conflict between the two.

12 thoughts on “Google Desktop is not compatible with Microsoft Outlook 2003”

  1. I was getting a “Messaging Interface…” error in Outlook 2003 when attempting to access my Address Book upon installing Google Desktop. After reading the posting about the compatibility issue as between Google Desktop and Outlook 2003, I was able to resolve the problem. Thanks!

  2. I was having a similar problem as well. In my case I am using an Exchange server and it would lock my OST file as well. Re-intstalling did not help.
    Your solution did, only now I dont have google in outlook.

  3. I’ve been dealing with this same problem for the last month now. It seems to have coincided with installing the time-zone update patches, but I can’t say that’s for sure.

    My solution was to open “Tools/Options/Other” and click “Advanced Options”. First click the “Add-In Manager” and de-select “Google Desktop Search Outlook Addin” then click “OK”. Next, click “COM Add-Ins” and de-select “Google Desktop Addin Toolbar”. Restart Outlook and it should work fine. The only thing you lose is having the Google Desktop bar in Outlook, it’ll still search your emails.

    Hope that helps.

  4. Does anyone know if this has been addressed by Google? I can’t find an update on their support site but, seems like my error message of “The messaging interface has returned an unknown error. If the problem persists, restart Outlook.” has only been occuring over the past few days.

  5. Google desktop will not search for emails in MS Office 2003. Is there a solution for this? The search does work for excel, word, etc.

  6. I was getting the message about each of my Outlook folders not having been closed properly every time I opened Outlook. This solved it! Thanks!

  7. I am having similar problems but even more frustrating. Somehow Google Desk got installed my computer unintensionaly. Probably through some unasked for pop up. I immediately uninstalled it, however, then noticed this problem with my Outlook 2003. Everytime I starte Outlook I get a message the the license has expired. I click ok and Outlook starts ok and runs fine until the next time I try to start it. Then I get the same message the the license has expired but when I click OK. It just sits there and locks up. I have to use the task manager to shut it down. Then I use the installation disk for Outlook and select repair Office installation. Then Outlook works once and repeats the above problem. Have to use installation disk to repair every time I use Outlook.

    Any suggestions other then suing google?

  8. Great. It worked. Just used PCMover to move my applications and files to a new Windows 7 PC and had residual problems with Outlook 2003 with this google message and eula message. This fixed the google problem.

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