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How Can You Fix MS Outlook PST Files Cannot Be Accessed Error?

by Nemo
MS Outlook PST Files

The PST files are the most critical data file to perform different types of offline tasks on MS Outlook. Therefore, you might feel overwhelmed when you’re unable to access the PST files. When you’re not able to access the PST files of your MS Outlook account, you won’t get access to your attachments, emails, reminders, contacts, events, or any other Outlook mailbox items.

But sometimes, you might notice a specific error message that states: Outlook cannot open the PST files. Either the PST file is corrupted, or Outlook is unable to open the folders. This MS Outlook PST files error can be resolved quickly without affecting the MS Outlook data items.

Here is everything you need to know to fix the MS Outlook PST files cannot be opened error. Without any further introduction, let’s get started.

Why Can MS Outlook Not Open the PST File?

There are various reasons why you can encounter MS Outlook PST files that cannot be opened error. When you know the causes, you will be able to take proper steps to resolve the issue.

  • The size of the PST files has reached the maximum limit
  • The PST files are either lost or corrupted
  • The hard disk crashed or was infected with viruses. As per Small Business, viruses can disable hard drives temporarily.
  • Interruptions such as the abrupt shutdown of the application or system
  • PST files are running in the background
  • MS Outlook application is crashing repeatedly
  • Using irrelevant methods to import the Outlook data files

Now that you know the causes of the MS Outlook PST files cannot be opened error, let’s talk about the methods that will help you solve this problem.

Consider Starting MS Outlook Application in Safe Mode

Whenever Outlook throws MS Outlook PST files cannot be opened error, consider opening the application in safe mode as this is one of the best solutions you can choose. This will help you solve the MS Outlook error caused due to the conflict between the MS Outlook application and other software items on your computer.

  • Visit the Windows Start button and right-click on it.
  • Choose the Run option. This is known as Command Prompt
  • When you see the open box, type Outlook.exe/safe and choose Ok.
  • The MS Outlook application will run on Safe Mode.

Disable the Faulty Add-Ins

Sometimes the MS Outlook PST files cannot be opened error won’t be solved even after opening the MS Outlook application in Safe Mode. In such cases, make sure you assume that the installed add-ins are causing this problem. Hence, you need to disable the specific add-ins that are preventing the MS Outlook from opening properly.

  • When you go to Outlook, you will notice an option File. From there, choose Options.
  • Go to the Add-ins section so that you can disable all the add-ins.
  • After that, open the MS Outlook application and enable the add-ons that are affecting the usability of the application. This way, you can find the faulty add-ins.

Initiate ScanPST Tool

As PST files are much more prone to corruption than any other data files, MS developers have understood this issue and started including an in-built corruption repair tool. When the PST files are corrupted, you won’t be able to access the mailbox items. When the PST file corruption is minor, you can use the ScanPST tool provided by Microsoft. This tool can help you fix the MS Outlook PST files that cannot be opened error. Make sure you take proper backup of the scanned file before using the ScanPST tool to repair them. This is because ScanPST might cause further damage to your PST files and make them more prone to permanent loss.

However, remember that the ScanPST tool is capable of resolving only minor PSTT file corruption. When the PST files are severely corrupted, you need to use an advanced third-party repair tool. If you’re searching for the perfect tool that can help you with the outlook repair process, make sure you use the DataNumen PST recovery tool.

Close All Programs and Processes

You should close all the programs running in the background that have access to the MS Outlook data files. This is the best way to prevent MS Outlook from accessing different types of PST files at the same time. If you notice any type of Outlook-related programs that are running in the background, you need to end them. Here are the steps that you need to follow:

  • Go to the taskbar area and right-click on it. From there, you can visit the Task Manager.
  • You will notice an option called More Details. Click on it to go to the Processes tab.
  • Now you need to search for the relevant processes by their names, Lync, communicator, and UCMAPI. After that, you need to end them all. Consider clicking on the process and then choose the End Task option.
  • Exit the start task manager and restart the MS Outlook application.


This is how you can fix the MS Outlook PST files cannot be Accessed error. What are your thoughts? Make sure you let us know in the comment section below.

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