Fixed - Outlook File Access Denied Cannot Open PST or Import PST file

Fix Outlook file access denied cannot open PST errorMany Outlook users reported that they can no longer start Outlook and encounter an error when they are trying to open Outlook PST data file in Outlook 2016. Such error states - Outlook file access denied & cannot open or import the PST file. The error looks like below:

Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. File access is denied. You do not have the permission required to access the file
C:\Users\Robert\Documents\Outlook Files\Robert.pst.

Error Outlook file access denied

Reasons that lead to Outlook error:

The error in Outlook “FILE ACCESS DENIED” occurs when you open or import the old Outlook PST  file on a new PC file with no administrator privileges.

Apart from the above-mentioned reason, the error Microsoft Outlook PST file cannot be opened occurs due to Outlook data file (OST /PST) corruption, corrupt or incorrect Outlook profile configuration, or corruption in Navigation Pane settings file. At other times Outlook is unable to access data files as it runs in compatibility mode.

Irrespective of any reasons that lead to the error Outlook cannot be opened, you can still easily fix the issue using various DIY methods mentioned in the next section.

Note: DIY methods work effectively on minor corruption on data files in Outlook, if the Outlook files are severely corrupt manual method fails to fix the issue completely. In that case, it is recommended to use an effective Outlook PST repair tool to get access back to your Outlook files.

Remo Outlook PST repair tool is completely designed to fix Outlook file access denied and PST file cannot be opened issues. The software works on a copy of the Outlook file keeping the safety of the original Outlook data file as a priority. Click on the below-given Download button to fix Outlook issues in few clicks.


Free Solutions to fix File Access Denied Issue on Outlook

From the above-mentioned reasons, you can understand that the error in Outlook 2016, 2013 or 2010 can occur for several reasons, but not for only one reason. So, here’s a guide to help Outlook users in resolving the issue of “FILE ACCESS DENIED”.

#1. Change Outlook PST File Properties

Modifying the properties in Outlook PST file may bypass the “File Access Denied” error in Outlook. To do that:

  • Right-click on the PST file, that you want to import or open, and select Properties
  • Uncheck the “Read-only” box and click OK
  • Try to open (or import) the PST file again. If the problem persists:
  • Right-click on PST file and open “Properties” again
  • Select the Security tab and click Edit
  • Click the Add button, type Everyone and click OK
  • Then check the Full control checkbox and click OK again
  • Open Outlook application and try to Import or Open the PST file

#2. Run Outlook with Administrative privileges

The very next solution is to run Outlook with Administrative privileges to repair inaccessible Outlook data file. In order to do this,

  • First of all, right-click on Outlook application and choose Run As Administrator
  • Then try to open the PST file again

#3. Start Outlook in Safe Mode

Starting Outlook in Safe Mode is an effective way to resolve the Outlook cannot open pst file error. Follow the steps to resolve the Outlook error:

  • Type Outlook.exe /safe in the search box << Enter
  • A message user wants to start Outlook in safe mode will appear. Click Yes.
  • Also, you can open Outlook by right-clicking on Outlook.exe /safe<< Click on  Open

Note: While processing if account credentials are asked, enter your password and select Accept.

#4. Copy PST file to another location

  • Copy the Outlook PST file to your desktop
  • Make sure that the file is not “Read Only” (see the above solution to ensure that)
  • Then copy the Outlook PST file to one of the following locations, according to your Outlook version: For Outlook 2013 & 2016:C:\Users\%Username%\Documents\Outlook Files\ and for Outlook 2010: C:\User\%Username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\
  • Try to open (or Import) the PST file in Outlook

#5. Scan and Repair the Outlook PST File

The above said may also occur due to PST file corruption. So, try to copy again the PST file from the source location, or try to repair the PST file, by using the “Inbox Repair Tool”. To do that:

Recommended: If you have deleted any folder in Outlook and looking to recover, make use of a reliable PST file repair software.

  • Close Outlook
  • Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the following location in outlook 2016:
    • Outlook 2016 (32-bit) Windows (32-bit):C:\Program Files\Microsoft  Office\root\Office16\
    • Outlook 2016 (32-bit) Windows (64- bit):C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\

Note: The path will vary with the Outlook versions! Click here to know more on ScanPST location

  • Double click on exe to launch the Inbox Repair Tool
  • Click Browse
  • Select the Outlook PST file that you cannot open/import and click Open
  • Press Start to start the repair(s)
  • When the repair is completed, open Outlook application and then try to import (or open) the PST file again.

Problems with the Inbox repair tool:

  • The tool doesn’t work when Outlook file is severely corrupted
  • You may need to run the tool several times in order to repair Outlook data file
  • You cannot recover the file if it is permanently deleted
  • Alters the original Outlook data file while fixing Outlook file access denied issues

Quick Guide to Fix Outlook Cannot Open PST

If none of the above tips help and the problem is not resolved yet, then it indicates a severe PST file corruption, which can then be resolved only with the help of a professional PST file repair software - Remo Repair Outlook PST. This tool has the ability to fix PST file along with the recovery of its folders like emails, contacts, calendars, journals, notes, etc.

Repair Outlook file access Denied error with few simple steps

To Fix Outlook error, download Remo Repair Outlook (PST) tool and install it on your drive. Now, launch the tool and follow the below steps:


  • The main screen with 3 options will appear- choose the one as per your need
  • Now, choose either – Normal Scan or Smart Scan and click on ‘Repair’ option
  • The tool begins the repair process, after completion the software lists all the recovered items from the new PST
  • You can preview the items, save and import the repaired file to access your data

These solutions will help you fix the error in simple steps. However, be cautious while working with the PST file and make sure you use some precautionary measures.

Fixed - Outlook File Access Denied Cannot Open PST or Import PST file was last modified: August 20th, 2020 by John Harris
One comment on “Fixed - Outlook File Access Denied Cannot Open PST or Import PST file
  1. Tez says:

    Approach 2 has helped. Thanks John!

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