Remo Repair Help

How to Troubleshoot Outlook PST Cannot Be Opened Error?


Outlook PST Cannot Be Opened


When your Outlook PST file won't open, you will receive error messages like

  • Outlook PST cannot be opened
  • Cannot start Microsoft Outlook
  • Outlook PST file in use and cannot be accessed
  • Cannot open the Outlook window
  • The set of folders cannot be opened
  • Outlook can't open this set of folders, or if you suspect the file is damaged


According to Microsoft, the major reason for Outlook PST cannot be opened error is the corruption in Navigation Pane Settings. When your Outlook size shows 0, it indicates that the Navigation Pane Setting is corrupted. Other common reasons are damaged or corrupted PST file, running Outlook in compatibility mode etc.



Step 1: Reset Navigation Pane Settings

  • If you are using Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 or 10 operating system, then go to the Start menu
  • In case, you are running with Windows XP, go to Start and open Run window
  • Type outlook.exe /resetnavpane and hit the Enter key

This will reset the Navigation Pane Settings and resolves the MS Outlook PST cannot be opened issue.

Step 2: Run Inbox Repair Tool

You can use the Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair tool (SCANPST.EXE) to detect and repair errors in the MS Outlook data file PST. To run Scanpst.exe,

  • Launch Windows Explorer and navigate to;

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office version– in 64-bit Windows
C:\Program Files x86\Microsoft Office\Office version–
in 32-bit Windows

  • Or use below paths:

In Outlook 2016-> C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
In Outlook 2013-> C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
In Outlook 2010-> C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
In Outlook 2007-> C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office1

  • Search for Scanpst.exe file and double click on it to open
  • In the Inbox Repair Tool wizard, click on the Browse button and select the Outlook PST file
  • Click Start
  • Create the backup file of scanned PST and Repair errors find by ScanPST

Open Outlook with the fixed PST file, after completion of the repair process.


Step 3: Disable Compatibility Mode in MS Outlook

  • Find outlook.exe file using Windows Explorer
  • Right-click OUTLOOK.EXE and click Properties
  • Switch to Compatibility tab, and uncheck Run this program in compatibility mode
  • Click OK and start Outlook

Step 4: Create a New Outlook Profile

  • Go to Control Panel and select Mail (you can search for Mail in the Control Panel window)
  • Select Show Profiles option and click on Add button
  • Give Profile name and click OK
  • Go back to Mail, select Data Files and set the new profile as Default

Step 5: If you are running an Exchange server email account, then directly delete the offline Outlook Data File (OST). Outlook will recreate the healthy OST file when you open it next time.

If none of the above solutions solve the Outlook PST cannot be opened problem, then use Remo Repair Outlook and repair the PST file.