Fix “Cannot Open Your Default Email Folders” error in Outlook?

The Outlook error “Cannot open your default email folders. Information store Could not be Opened” is one of the recurring errors in Outlook versions 2003, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2013. Outlook is the most commonly used client email application in this era.

User Query: I am unable to access Microsoft Outlook 2010 on Windows 8.1. Whenever I’m trying to open Outlook, it shows an error message saying "Cannot open your default email folders. Information Store Cannot Be Opened". How to fix this?

However, sometimes Outlook tends to pose particular errors when you try to access it with a setup that interrupts the proper functioning of Outlook. If your Outlook is showcasing any error, you won’t be able to continue your work smoothly.

This article sheds light on how to fix the “Cannot Open Default Email Folders” error with a few simple modifications that you can do all by yourself.

Why Outlook Cannot Open Default Email Folders?

Cannot Open Default Email Folder- Information Store Could Not Be Opened” error might occur when you run Outlook in Compatibility Mode, Add-ins installed that do not go well with Outlook, or when the Outlook data file is corrupted.

You may get the “Cannot Open Default Email Folder. Information Store Could Not Be Opened” error because of the following reasons:

  • Removing files or folders from the Exchange folder
  • Virus attack.
  • Synchronization failure due to abnormal shutdown.
  • An add-in is causing damage to the OST file

Try to fix the “Cannot open default email folder” error by making the changes mentioned below:

How to Fix “Cannot Open default email folder”?

Follow the troubleshooting methods mentioned below to fix the “cannot open default email folders” error from popping up in Outlook.

  1. Turn off Compatibility Mode.
  2. Run Outlook in Safe Mode.
  3. Disable Add-ins installed on Outlook.
  4. Repair the Outlook data file.

1. Turn Off Compatibility Mode:

There is a possibility of Compatibility mode being enabled in Outlook without your knowledge. This may cause your Outlook to behave differently and throw error messages.

  • For Outlook 2013, go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 15\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 15\

fix cannot open default email folders in outlook

  • For Outlook 2010, go to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office 14\ or C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office 14\
  • Right-click on .exe and click on Properties.

Right click on .exe and Turn off Compatilibility mode

  • In the Compatibility tab, uncheck ‘Run Outlook in Compatibility mode’ and click on Apply.
  • Restart Outlook. If the issue persists, try the next solution.

2. Run Outlook in Safe Mode:

Try running Outlook in Safe Mode. To do this follow the steps below.

  • Press the Windows button and R key simultaneously to open up the Run dialogue box.
  • Then type in Outlook/ safe and click on OK.

Windows+Run key and type Outlook/ safe mode.

  • The Choose Profile box will appear. Click Ok to continue to Outlook.
  • Then check if the error disappears. If not then continue to step 4.

After you open Outlook in safe mode and still the issue persists. Try disabling Add-ins.

3. Disable Add-ins in Outlook:

If Outlook opens without any error, Add-ins may be the issue. To disable them, follow the steps below:

  • Open Microsoft Outlook
  • Go to File tab > Options > Add-ins

Goto File Click on Options and Add-ins to fix cannot open default folders error

  • Select COM Add-ins and click Go.

Try to disable Add-ins to fix default folders error

  • Uncheck all Add-ins
  • Then select the Add-ins one at a time and restart Outlook each time you select any Add-in. This will help you narrow down to the one which is causing the trouble.
  • Know about which Add-ins you can use to enhance the functionality of Outlook and avoid installing the troublesome Add-ins in the future.

Also, try to repair corrupt Outlook data files. You may receive the “Cannot open default email folders” error when there is any trouble with the OST file.

OST files are Outlook data files that store the synchronized data of your mailbox on your local computer. Accounts such as Office 365, Exchange Accounts, accounts use OST files.

OST files might get corrupted due to interruptions during the synchronization process. Also due to intrusion of malware/virus, changes in the internal structure of the data files. Even a network failure during the sync process, etc.

4. Try the following methods to fix OST file corruption:

  • If you have set up multiple profiles in Outlook, remove the profiles which you’re not currently using.
  • Delete and recreate a new Outlook data file. To know how to recreate an Outlook data file read this article.
  • If creating a new PST file doesn’t resolve the issue, try creating a new Outlook profile.

You can repair Outlook data files using Outlook’s inbuilt repair tool also known as Scanpst.exe. Scanpst.exe can extensively repair PST files with minor corruption.

However, Scanpst.exe has not proven to repair severely corrupt Outlook data files. If your data file is corrupt and you want to repair it safely, you need to use a read-only repair tool to fix the damage.

Go through the next segment to learn about an automated tool that will fix any extent of PST file corruption with all attributes intact.

Note: If you are unable to access Outlook because of an error “The set of folders cannot be opened”, then check out this article and fix the issue.

Couldn’t fix the Outlook “Cannot Open Default Email Folders” error using the Manual Methods?

We hope the methods given have helped you to fix the “Cannot open default email folders” error. However, if the manual methods didn’t work well for you though the chances of it happening are rare, don’t panic.

You can try using the Remo Repair Outlook PST tool that is exclusively designed to repair highly corrupted Outlook data files and which will help you access Outlook again without any difficulty.

Remo Repair Outlook PST tool is a comprehensive tool designed with advanced repair algorithms that can repair severely damaged data files. The read-only mechanism of the tool ensures no further damage to your PST file, thus making the repair process more secure. The tool is compatible with all the Outlook versions. To repair your Outlook data files and fix any kind of Outlook error, download Remo Repair Outlook PST for free!!

Check this Video Tutorial to Repair your Outlook data files in only 3 clicks.


The reason behind the Outlook error “Cannot Open Default Email Folders. Information Store Could Not Be Opened” can be any and it is not specific. You can try fixing the error easily by following the troubleshooting mentioned in this article. If you still couldn’t fix the issue, use the Remo Repair Outlook PST tool. This tool will efficiently fix your corrupt Outlook data files in time and make Outlook easily accessible again.

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John Harris

Senior Editor, Content Analyst and a fan of exceptional customer service. John develops and publishes instructional and informational content regarding partition management, Windows hot-fixes, data management and computer troubleshooting.

As a tenured data recovery specialist, John shares exceptional insights and blog posts about data loss and data recovery across any storage device. With 8+ years’ experience in writing for Data Recovery for both Mac OS and Windows OS computers, he is an avid learner who always wants to polish and simplify the data recovery process. John passes his free time playing Chess and reading Science Fiction novels.

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