How to fix Outlook PST File Cannot be Accessed Error?

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This article explains why your Outlook PST file to be opened and various methods that can help you resolve this error in MS Outlook. Moreover, if your PST file is corrupt and you are looking for a tool to fix Outlook PST cannot be accessed, then use Remo Repair Outlook PST software. An advanced PST file repair tool designed to fix various Outlook errors like PST cannot be accessed, Outlook Send Receive error, etc.

Gravatar Tony Landry
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You might be feeling horrible after failing to access your PST file in Outlook 2019, 2016, or any other version. As we all know PST file is a crucial data file to perform any offline task on Outlook. If the Outlook PST cannot be accessed, then you are unable to open your emails, attachments, contacts, reminders, events, or any other Outlook items.  

If you have encountered any error messages such as Outlook can't open your PST file, Outlook can't open the set of folders, or 0x8004010f Outlook error. Do not worry! Because you can easily resolve these Outlook errors and access your Outlook data.  

Here is a beginner’s guide on how to repair Outlook PST cannot be accessed error. Before you make use of any of the proven hacks to fix this issue, let’s first understand why Outlook fails to open the PST file.

Why Outlook Cannot Access PST File?

  1. PST file is corrupt, damaged, or lost.
  2. The PST file has crossed the maximum limit.
  3. Interruptions like sudden computer shutdown.   
  4. Windows hard drive is malware-infected or has crashed. 
  5. Microsoft Outlook application has crashed. 
  6. PST file is already in use i.e., running in the background.
  7. Outlook is conflicting with incompatible Add-ins.
  8. Using an improper method to import a PST file. 

Methods to Fix PST Files Cannot be Accessed in Outlook 

Start Outlook in Safe mode to fix Outlook PST Cannot be found

Whenever you encounter the PST file cannot be accessed error, then open Outlook in Safe mode. This way you can resolve any Microsoft Outlook error caused due to the conflict between Outlook and other applications installed on your Windows. 

  • Right-click on the Windows Start button located at the bottom left corner of the screen.
  • Select the Run option.
  • In the Open box, type Outlook.exe /safe and click OK.
Start Outlook in Safe mode

Disable Add-ins to fix Outlook PST cannot be accessed

If opening Outlook in safe mode is unable to fix the PST file cannot be accessed error, then the problem might be related to incompatible add-ins. Therefore, you need to disable add-ins that are stopping Outlook from importing the PST file successfully.

  • In Outlook, click on the File tab and select Options.
Select Options in Outlook
  • Go to the Add-ins section and disable all Add-ins.
Disable add-ins to access PST file
  • Now, open your Outlook again and start enabling add-ins one at a time. This is to find the add-in that is stopping the Outlook PST file from opening.

Use the ScanPST tool to access Outlook PST File

When your PST file is corrupt, you cannot access emails or any other Outlook data. Under any minor PST file corruption, you can use the ScanPST tool which is an inbuilt tool provided by Microsoft Outlook. This tool can easily fix various errors such as cannot start Microsoft Outlook or Send/Receive errors. However, if you are looking to fix a severely corrupted PST file, then scroll down to the below method.

While ScanPST is an inbuilt tool, its location on your computer may vary depending on the Outlook version you use. you can refer to the table below to locate ScanPST on your Windows computer.

Outlook VersionScanPST Location
Outlook 201932-bit Version: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office19
64-bit Version: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office19
Outlook 201632-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16\
64-bit Windows: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16\
Outlook 201332-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15\
64-bit Windows: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15\
Outlook 2010
32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft office\Office 14\
64-bit Windows: C:\Program Files\Microsoft office\Office 14\
Outlook 200732-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft office\Office 12\
64-bit Windows: C:\Program Files\Microsoft office\Office 12\
Outlook 2003
32-bit Windows: C:\Program Files (x86)\ Common Files\System\MSMAPI\
64-bit Windows: C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAP
Manual Method to Fix Corrupt PST File Using ScanPST.exe

Steps to Repair Corrupted Outlook File using ScanPST

  • Using the table above, locate and open the SCANPST application.
  • Click the Browse option and select the PST file that is not opening in Outlook.
  • Click the Start button to initiate the scanning process. Choose the Repair option if the ScanPST tool find any Outlook Access issues.

Note: If you select the Make a backup of scanned file before repairing, the inbuilt repair tool creates a backup Outlook data file. This is to protect your PST file from further damage. To change the default backup file name, provide a new name in the Enter name of the backup file field.

Fixing this error when the PST file is severely corrupted is challenging using the ScanPST tool. During such a time, make use of any reliable Outlook PST repair software like Remo Repair PST.

Close All Processes and Programs to Access PST files in Outlook

As the error suggests, you must find and close all the programs that might have access to the PST file and thus, preventing MS Outlook from accessing the same. To find out if any Outlook-related processes are running in the background and to end them, follow these steps,

  • Right-click on the Taskbar area and open Task Manager.
  • Access the Processes Tab by clicking on the icon.
  • Now find the processes by the name Outlook, communicator, Lync, and UCMAPI and end them all. To end them, click on the process and then click the End Task button.
  • Exit Task Manager and restart Outlook.

Remo PST Repair

Remo Repair PST works with advanced Outlook data file repairing algorithms to repair severely corrupted or damaged PST files created on any version of Outlook. Such as Outlook 2019, 2016, and many more. Download this tool on your Windows to fix Unable to access PST file error with ease.

Steps to fix PST file using Remo Repair PST

Simple Instructions to Fix PST File using Remo Outlook PST Repair Tool

Step 1. Download and install Remo Repair PST software to fix the "PST file cannot be accessed" error.

Step 2. Launch the tool select an option based on your need and click Next.
Open Default PST File: Select this option if the corrupt PST file is located in the defined location.
Select PST File Manually: Select this option if you want to manually locate your PST file not opening.
Find All Your PST Files: If you have more than one Outlook profile then, select this option to locate all your PST files. Later, you can select the inaccessible Outlook PST file to repaired.

Step 3. You can use the Browse option available to select the corrupted PST file that you wish to repair.

Step 4. You can choose between a Normal Scan or a Smart Scan, We recommend that you click the Smart Scan option. After which, you can select a destination of your choice to save your Repaired PST file on your Windows and click Repair.

Step 5. After the corrupted Outlook PST file is repaired, check the destination path for the PST file repaired..


I hope that the methods provided in the article were able to help you access your Outlook PST file. Such issues aren't major and may happen once in a blue moon. Using task manager or the inbox repair tool usually works. However, if all the methods fail, then professional data recovery software usually does the trick. Feel free to let me know if you have any additional queries or suggestions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Outlook not exporting all emails to PST?

There are several reasons for your Outlook not exporting all emails to PST. Here are some of the solutions:
Corrupt Outlook PST file: If your Outlook PST file is corrupt, it might cause the export process to fail or not include all emails. You can try repairing the PST file using the built-in inbox Repair tool scanpst.exe 
Size limitation: PST files have size limitations, and if your mailbox contains a large number of emails or attachments, it may not be possible to export all of them to a single PST file. In this case, you can try exporting the emails in batches or creating multiple PST files.
Hidden or deleted items: Outlook may not export hidden or deleted items by default. You can change the export options to include these items by selecting the Include subfolders and Include items marked for deletion options when exporting.

Why is Outlook not exporting all emails to PST?

Incomplete export settings: Incomplete export settings may occasionally prevent Outlook from exporting all emails. Select all the necessary folders and subfolders for export.
Outlook Version Compatibility: There can be compatibility problems if you try to export emails from an older version of Outlook to a more recent version. Try exporting the emails using Outlook's identical version.
Permission issues: Outlook may fail to export specific folders or emails if you don't have the right access permissions. Verify that you have the required access rights to all the folders and emails you want to export.

How do I automatically move emails to PST?

To automatically move emails to PST Here are the steps to follow:’

Activate Microsoft Outlook.
Select Info from the File menu.
Manage Rules & Alerts can be selected.
Select New Rule by clicking.
Move messages with specific words in the Subject to a folder
Select specific words and type one or more words that are present in the emails you want to relocate.
Select the PST file where you wish to move the emails by clicking on the specified folder and then browsing.
To close the folder dialogue box, click OK.
To proceed, click Next.
Verify any further restrictions and exclusions you want to impose on the rule.
Select the folder where you want to move the emails by selecting "move it to the specified folder" and checking it.
Any additional actions you want to add to the rule should be checked.
To create the rule, click Finish.

Gravatar Tony Landry

About the Author: Tony Landry

Tony Landry is a Web Content Editor at Remo Software. He loves to write, edit, and manage content for users trying to troubleshoot and fix problems on Windows, Outlook, storage drives, and Cloud storage networks. With an aptitude that transcends writing, Tony is recognized as a Microsoft Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint expert. His comprehensive solutions…