How To Fix ‘Outlook Data File Cannot Be Found’ Error?


When it comes to the popular and reliable email clients, Microsoft Outlook is the name that remains on top of the list. With so many new and amazing features in the offing, people just can’t resist using this email client. Having said that, MS Outlook is not immune to problems and errors, as many people have received multiple errors in Outlook from time to time. If you too are using this particular email client and experiencing ‘Outlook data file cannot be found’, then we are going to discuss how you can solve it.

What is ‘Outlook data can’t be accessed’ error?

You need to understand that any damage incurred to PST file will bring MS Outlook to a non-functional state, and you will not be able to access the mailbox data. It restricts users to launch Outlook and access the data present in the mailbox. If you find that the PST file is not available or corrupt or damaged, then an error message will appear on the screen, i.e., ‘the file xxx.pst cannot be opened’ or ‘the file xxx.pst cannot be found’.

Reasons behind the occurrence of ‘Outlook data cannot be found’ error:

Here are the main reasons for this error to appear:

  1. The presence of PST file on a network server, which is not available.
  2. Damaged PST file due to the following reasons:
    1. PST files have a large size.
    2. Syncing error.
    3. Virus or malware attack.
    4. Outlook closed abruptly due to power failure.
    5. Bad sectors on the hard drive.
  3. PST file is located on the network drive that isn’t supported by LAN/WAN.

In the majority of cases, it is the corrupt PST file that could result in the occurrence of ‘Outlook data file cannot be found’ error, so if you are dealing with this particular message, then you can repair the damaged PST file, but make sure to take the backup of the PST data before deleting it.

Ways to troubleshoot ‘Outlook .PST cannot be found’ error:

In case, you come across this error message, it is important that you shouldn’t panic because you have plenty of ways of solving this error, which we will be shedding light on.

1st Method – Use ‘Inbox Repair Tool’

Microsoft Inbox Repair Tool is also known as scanpst.exe, and it can be used for repairing corrupt or damaged PST file. Make sure to locate the utility on your computer and run it on the damaged PST file to get a new PST file. The tool incorporates a precise location depending upon the version of Outlook and Windows you are using. Here is how you can use scanpst.exe.

  1. Start with launching scanpst.exe tool.
  2. After that, click ‘Browse’ to type in the PST file name.
  3. Then, click the ‘Start’ button for repairing the corrupt PST file.

Note – Make sure to close Outlook and other email-enabled apps prior to starting this process.

Once you execute the inbox repair tool, you will be able to import data items into your Outlook mailbox. In order to do so, open MS Outlook and create a new PST file followed by moving the recovered items into the new PST file.

2nd Method – Taking help of experts

Scanpst.exe is a simple utility but doesn’t work well in certain circumstances when the PST file corruption is at a dangerous level. In that situation, you will have to get in touch with Outlook email experts for recovering the corrupt data and restore all deleted emails.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here