How to Fix Outlook PST Cannot Be Found Error Message

Summary: Are you looking for the best solution to fix Outlook PST cannot be found? I know it is a panic situation for you when Outlook PST folders disappear from the system. In this post, we discussed the manual and professional methods to fix this error. It is up to you what is good for you.

  1. Download and run the PST repair software.
  2. Find the corrupt PST file on your system.
  3. Now, pick the PST file and click on Repair.
  4. Once the software scans and repairs the file, you can view the mailbox items.
  5. Now, choose the mailbox items and download them in a PST file.

Microsoft Outlook is a reliable application anyone can use. However, there are some events when things can’t go perfectly. Like your Outlook PST cannot be found error occurs. Unfortunately, there is no clue why it happened, but a few methods can help fix this error and repair your PST files using this utility.

Outlook PST Cannot Be Found

What are the Reasons Behind of Outlook PST Cannot Be Found

  • The mailbox size limit is exceeded.
  • Due to a corrupted or oversized PST file.
  • Microsoft Office program infected by the virus.
  • The PST file is present on a network location; thus, it is unavailable.

Method 1: Check Outlook Mailbox Size

The Outlook mailbox is nearly full if you are receiving a large volume of emails. However, you could face an error Outlook data file cannot be found while sending or receiving emails. In that situation, you must check whether mailbox storage has space.

All you need to do is follow the steps and examine the mailbox storage space.

  1. Launch the Outlook application.
  2. Click on the File option.
  3. Now visit the Mailbox Cleanup
  4. Press on the View Mailbox Size option under the Mailbox Cleanup dialog box.
  5. Click on the Folder option that appears on the top of the Outlook screen.
  6. Press on the appropriate account.
  7. Now, visit the Folder Properties after that Folder Size.
  8. A window appears on your screen where you can review the amount of space in the mailbox.

We assume that you determined that there are no necessary Outlook emails or folders. Now you can delete unnecessary emails from the mailbox. And you can free up some space in Outlook.

Now, we’ll look at creating a new PST file. By doing this, we can solve the Outlook PST cannot be found error.

Method 2: Create a Brand New PST File

Due to the corrupt Outlook profile, it can cause Outlook smart view .pst cannot be found error. However, first, we need to confirm the file location so you can save the PST file in the correct place that is compatible with the Outlook software. After that, we create a new PST file.

Step 1: Find the Default PST file Location

There are two options for locate Outlook PST files according to the Outlook version.

Option 1: For Outlook 2013 or Above Versions

  1. Start up the Microsoft Outlook application.
  2. Go to File option and then Info.
  3. Click on Account Settings and select Account Settings from the list of options.
  4. Pick the Data Files tab. Select the appropriate email account.
  5. Click on the Open File Location option.
  6. Now, a new window appears on your screen showing the PST file location.

Option 2: For Outlook 2010 or Earlier Versions

  1. Press the Windows Key+R and type control and click on OK.
  2. Here, the Control Panel window opens.
  3. Click on the Mail program.
  4. Select the Data Files.
  5. Ensure to pick the appropriate email account
  6. Click on the Open File Location.
  7. A window appears on your screen where the PST file is located.

Using Sysvpro data recovery expert steps, you can quickly find the PST file location. Already stated is the easiest way to locate the PST files. After that, the Outlook PST file cannot be found and errors can be resolved.

Step 2: Create a New PST file

  1. Press the Window+R key to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Now, type the control command in the empty box and click OK.
  3. Find and click on the Mail option from the list. (Ensure the setting View by filter is on Large icons.)
  4. Click on the Show Profiles button under the Mail setup dialog box.
  5. Click on Add button to add the new PST file.
  6. Give a name and press OK.
  7. Now, again open the Control Panel and click on Mail.
  8. Select the Data Files tab.
  9. Pick a new Outlook Profile and click on the Set as Default option.
  10. Close the dialog box and restart the Outlook application.

The steps outlined above can help you create a .pst file or regain access to your PST file. Fortunately, “Outlook PST cannot be found” this is the solution to your error.

If you get an error again, the Outlook PST data file cannot be accessed or found. Almost sure that the PST file is corrupt, so you can try to repair the PST file.

Method 3: Repair Corrupt Outlook PST File with Inbox Repair Tool

When you receive the “Outlook cannot find this file verify the path and filename are correct,”. It means that the PST file you are attempting to load into Outlook is corrupt. Moreover, Outlook .pst is not valid file message that occurs on the system.

The good news is you can repair Outlook PST files using these steps.

  1. Navigate this path and find the ScanPST tool. (The path varies to Outlook versions)
    1. Outlook 2019: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16\
    2. Outlook 2016: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
    3. Outlook 2013: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15
    4. Outlook 2010: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14
    5. Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12
  2. Open SCANPST.EXE file.
  3. Select the corrupt PST that you want to repair using the Browse button.
  4. Click Start.
  5. When the SCANPST tool finds the corruption error in the PST file, please ensure to backup the PST file to hard drive.
  6. Click on the Repair button to fix the PST file corruption.

The Outlook PST file becomes corrupted or damaged and has been repaired using the above steps.

Method 4: Repair MS-Office Outlook Program

Sometimes, viruses infect the MS Office program. In such circumstances, the application needs to be repaired. Moreover, outdated or virus-infected Outlook can cause an error “Outlook PST cannot be found” on the system.

So, we need to repair the Microsoft Office program. Let’s follow the simple steps.

1. Type Control Panel using the Windows Search Bar to open the Control Panel.

2. In the Control Panel click on Programs and Features.

outlook inbox not showing all emails

3. When the Program list opens, you’ll see many programs. From the list, select Microsoft Office.

outlook not showing all emails in inbox

4. Click on the Change button and allow the permissions.

5. Here, the Office program dialog opens, and you can see the two repair options.

6. Select the Quick Repair option and click on the Repair button.

emails not appearing in outlook

7 After the repair process is complete, then restart the Outlook application.

Method 5: Add the Email Account as IMAP

  1. Run Outlook on your computer and click the File tab.
  2. Under the Info option and click on Account Settings.
  3. Choose Account Settings from the list of options.
  4. Under the Accounts Settings window, select a Data Files category.
  5. Click the Add button at the top left of the screen.
  6. Now, it’s time to create a new PST file and navigate to a location and give a name.
  7. Go to the Email tab, and from the accounts list there, select the appropriate email account.
  8. To remove the account, click on the remove button.
  9. Again, start the Outlook application, then click on File.
  10. Choose the Add Account option under the Info Category.
  11. Input the email address and click on Advanced options.
  12. Here, tick the “Let me set up my account manually“.
  13. After that, press the Connect button.
  14. Select the IMAP option for the configuration and follow the other steps.
  15. In the IMAP Accounts Settings, fulfil the necessary fields as provided below.
    • Incoming mail server:
    • Port: 993
    • Encryption Method: SSL/TLS
    • Outgoing mail Server:
    • Port: 587
    • Encryption Method: STARTTLS
  16. When the process is complete, hit the Next button.


The Outlook PST cannot be found error can disappoint you and delay the work. We have discussed the best methods for fixing the cannot open Outlook PST file not found. If you experience errors while working with Outlook, removing them as soon as possible is recommended. Hopefully, one of the following options will assist you in getting your email client back to normal.

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Sofia Smith is a technical content writer who has followed her passion for technology by authoring tech content at Sysvpro. Follow her on Twitter