Form region manifest specifies an add-in that is not installed

For the past few months, I’ve had a perplexing mystery in Outlook 2007. During an Outlook session, the first time I clicked the Actions menu item, I got four Microsoft Office Outlook OK boxes in succession. The first said:

The form region IPM.Note.Microsoft.Conversation.Region cannot be opened. The form region manifest specifies an add-in that is not installed.

Then I got three more, identical except for the region specified:




After that, the Actions button works fine. I got the same four OK boxes if I choose Tools®Forms®Choose Form. Again, after that happens, Choose Form worked normally. Either method of triggering the four OK boxes ended the problem for that session. Afterward, the error didn’t return unless Outlook was closed and reopened.

I Googled the problem, and found out the manifest is an XML file of some kind. But, a careful search of my system found no XML files containing anything like those. I asked for help in a forum where Outlook experts hang out… but, nobody had ever seen the problem before.

I tried renaming lots of XML files, just in case, but none fixed the problem. Starting Outlook in safe mode brought relief, but ultimately provided no help, as I disabled every add-in I have, as well as renamed my OutlookVBA.otm file. No joy.

Then, last night, a light bulb went off and I decided to start renaming registry keys in the Outlook tree. But, before I even got that far, I discovered the following in the registry:


And under it, I found:


…and the other three.

When I renamed …FormRegions as …FormRegions.x, the problem magically stopped. It turns out that the cryptic error message was right on target. The only problem was that it failed to tell me what the @#? the “form region manifest” actually was. In truth, I’m still not sure, only that removing the reference from the registry made the problem go away.

My only guess as to how this happened is that I must have installed and removed a long-forgotten add-in (i.e., “an add-in that is not installed”) at one point, and the removal program failed to clean up after itself when it departed. I just love mysteries with happy endings.

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7 Responses to Form region manifest specifies an add-in that is not installed

  1. Pingback: Bookmarks about Session

  2. JohnM121 says:

    Thanks! This fixed my problem. I was having the EXACT SAME issue.
    I did a bit of digging in the registry and found that there is a sibling key just above FormRegions called “AddIns”. Inside it there is a sub-key called “OcOffice.OcForms” that seems to be what the other is looking for from FormRegions EXCEPT it has a prefix “=”.

    From what I can gather these keys were added by Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 for its add-in.

    I have long since removed that product from my system, but it did not clean up itself entirely.

  3. herbt3 says:

    I think it was after trying (and then removing) Office Communicator that I noticed the problem as well. But, there was enough of a gap in time that I didn’t connect it. I’m glad that my solution proved useful to you. Cheers, Herb.

  4. dtdano says:

    I have the same problem but only when I automatically open an additional mailbox’s Inbox in a separate window when Communicator is running, but not logged on (icon in system tray.) When I changed the Communicator option to not start Communicator at startup the problem never appeared.

  5. txgump says:

    This problem appeared for me as well. It only happened after removing Office Communicator 2007. And as JohnM121 stated, it does not clean itself up after removal. I had these same keys in the registry and once I renamed the main key with .x on th end, my problems did go away. Good job on finding this.

  6. Kevin Grandy says:

    Took a chance. deleted the reg entries. Problem went away. Thanks for the info.

  7. ek_skotous says:

    I have seen a very similiar problem with a message stating that “A form region cannot be opened” when a cliuent tries to view archived Office Communicator conversations in the Outlook Conversation history folder. Problem only happens if the preview pane is used to try to view the messages.

    If I delete the registry leys mentioned the problem goes way until the PC is rebooted. The registry keys are recreated on reboot so the problem comes back. Uninstalling Office Communicator (OCS) resolves the error but we use the program and error comes back when OCS is reinstalled. Starting Outlook in safe mode also prevent the error. Unfortunately removing or disabling Outlook addins and even reinstalling Office 2007 have not resolved the error

    Still digging on this one…..

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