Troubleshoot the Outlook PST Cannot Be Found Error Efficiently

Published by John on Last Updated On :

Outlook PST Cannot Be Found

Microsoft Outlook performs well most of the time. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s not prone to having various issues. One of the Outlook error messages, ‘Outlook PST cannot be found’ gets displayed if the software cannot locate a PST file on your device. The PST or the Personal Storage Table refers to a data file. This file stores copies of your messages, events, etc. 

You will encounter the error message when you try to open Outlook. Thus, you’ll not be able to access the Outlook desktop application. In this article, you’ll find all the possible causes of this error message. Then, you’ll learn about the various fixes you can implement to deal with it. 

 Related Post: Outlook data file cannot be accessed


Why Outlook PST Cannot Be Found Error Occurs?

Chiefly, there are three significant reasons for this error. They are as follows:

  • The PST file is present on an unavailable network server. 
  • The PST file is damaged. This damage can occur because of various reasons like a virus attack or an abrupt closure of Outlook because of a power outage. It can also occur due to a bigger PST file size, synchronization error, or bad sectors on the hard drive.
  • The Outlook PST file is present on a network drive that isn’t compatible with LAN/WAN. 

The most common cause of Outlook PST not found error is PST file corruption. So, the only method to resolve it is to repair the corrupt PST file


Fixes for the Outlook PST Cannot Be Found Error 

There are various solutions to use for tackling this error message. Adhere to the step-wise instructions for every solution and troubleshoot the error.


1. Check Outlook

The first thing on noticing this error is to check your Outlook and the system software that you recently installed. It can fix this problem which may have been due to a clash between different software on your system or an excessive mailbox. 

If the mailbox is loaded with too much unimportant or important data, it can result in PST file damage. So, you must remove some Outlook files and ensure that the mailbox doesn’t surpass the 15 GB size limit. 

Some things you can do to check the mailbox size and fix the file Outlook PST cannot be found error include the following:

  • Navigate to ‘File,’ and from there to ‘Mailbox Cleanup.’
  • Now, choose ‘View Mailbox Size.’

In the pop-up window that shows, you can view the size that’s currently utilized and occupying your mailbox storage. After inspecting the mailbox storage, you can decide if it’s important to delete some Outlook data files and folders. 


2. Repair the PST File

A corrupt PST file can only be fixed when you repair it. Here’s how to perform the repair process.

  • If you use 64-bit Windows 10, go to C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root. Users of 32-bit Windows 10 should navigate to C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root.
  • Now open the ‘Office16‘ folder. Find the ‘SCANPST.EXE‘ file and double-tap it so it opens.
  • When the Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Utility opens, hit ‘Browse‘ and go to the directory where the .ost file is kept. Double-click it, so it opens.
  • Now tap ‘Start‘ and wait for some time so it completes.

Related Post:- Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool Not Responding


3. Create Another PST File

Most probably, after repairing the PST file, you will not find the Outlook.pst cannot be found error. But if it does occur, you must create a new data file. Then set it as default so that Outlook employs it.

  • Navigate to ‘Start‘ and launch the ‘Control Panel.
  • Tap ‘Mail‘ after setting the ‘View By’ to large icons.
  • Tap ‘Show Profiles‘ and highlight the profile. Then click ‘Properties.’
  • Click ‘Data Files.’ 
  • Now tap ‘Add‘ followed by ‘Ok.’
  • Choose the data file you’ve just created and click ‘Set as Default.’
  • Exit the Windows and launch Microsoft Outlook.

 Also Read: How To Export Outlook Calendar To Excel

4. Repair MS Outlook Installation

To fully get rid of any instance of file corruption leading to Outlook PST cannot be found error, try repairing MS Outlook. Here are the steps for this process.

  • Hit the ‘Windows‘ key and ‘X‘. Then choose ‘Apps and Features.’
  • If you use Microsoft Office, look for it, choose it, and tap ‘Modify.’
  • Now select ‘Quick Repair‘ followed by ‘Repair.’
  • When the repair completes, open MS Outlook.


5. Add Your Email Account as IMAP

Adding your account as IMAP will prevent you from facing any issues as you set your account and store data on the server. It is also the reason why IMAP doesn’t result in problems like PST. Here are the steps to add your email account as IMAP.

  • Open MS Outlook.
  • Head over to ‘File‘ followed by ‘Info.’
  • Click ‘Account Settings’ and choose ‘Account Settings.’
  • Firstly, remove your account and re-add it. For it, you will have to make a new data file. So, go to the ‘Data Files‘ tab and tap ‘Add.’
  • Keep the PST file in your preferred location.
  • Now navigate to the ‘Email‘ tab, highlight your email account, and hit ‘Remove.’
  • Tap ‘File.’ Then tap ‘Add Account‘ in the ‘Info‘ tab.
  • Input your email ID and tap ‘Advanced Options.’
  • Check the option that says ‘Let me set up my account manually and hit ‘Connect.’
  • Choose ‘IMAP‘ and add in the ‘Incoming server.‘ The port should be 993, and the encryption type SSL/TLS.
  • Add in the ‘Outgoing server.‘ The port should be 587, and the encryption type STARTTLS.
  • Click ‘Next‘ and type in your email account’s password.

Related Post:- Outlook IMAP Settings


6. Migrate PST to IMAP

After adding the account as IMAP, you should migrate your PST settings to your new IMAP account. Upon this migration, all your settings will shift to the new IMAP account.

  • Tap ‘File,’ and go to the ‘Open & Export‘ tab.
  • Now, tap ‘Import and Export.’
  • Choose ‘Import from another program or file‘ on the wizard and tap ‘Next.’
  • Choose ‘Outlook Data File (PST)‘ and tap ‘Next.’
  • Ensure to check the ‘Replace duplicates with items imported‘ and click ‘Browse.’
  • Launch the backup PST file you made, and tap ‘Next.’
  • If you find the message ‘PST file is already in use,’ your settings have been migrated. 
  • Select ‘Import items into the current folder.’ Tap ‘Finish.’


Final Words

These measures are all you need to fix the Outlook PST cannot be found error message. You must repair the PST file and create a new one to address this issue. If you feel that none of the solutions are working for you, contact Outlook technical support services. The professionals will provide instant help and error resolution.


Written By


John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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John is a Technical Writer at Email Support, has 10 years of experience, and is an expert in Email and Cloud Computing. His specialty is writing about the Email clients such as Outlook, Yahoo, Verizon, SBCGlobal, Gmail, Apple Mail, AOL, WildBlue, and others.

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