Cannot Open Email Folders in Outlook

 

MS Outlook users will be presented with an error message stating:

 

Unable to open your default e-mail folders

 

This message will prevent MS Outlook from opening.  In a few cases, Outlook will open without displaying this message but, the folders will either be missing or the user will be unable to access them.

 

The most common reason Outlook would be unable to access emails stored in its default folders is a corrupt PST file.  The Outlook PST file is where all of the emails kept on the computer system are stored.  When this folder becomes damaged or corrupt, MS Outlook cannot properly access the contents of any of the emails stored in the default folders or any of the personal sub-folders.  In some instances, the emails can be seen and opened but the contents are either missing or display symbols the reader cannot interpret.

 

Damage or corruption to the PST file can be verified by examining the file’s properties.  The size of the file normally varies depending on how many emails are stored on the system.  If the size of the PST file is 0KB, then it is corrupt.

 

MS Outlook PST files can become corrupt in several different ways.  One of the most common ways for this to happen is when the CHKDSK utility is run to fix or identify a problem associated with the Windows operating system.  When the utility is fixing hard disk sectors, it may modify file structures where the PST file has data stored resulting in corruption of the PST file.  Shutting down the computer improperly can also cause damage to the PST file.

 

Repairing the MS Outlook PST file can be accomplished with the Scanpst.exe tool.  Begin by backing up the PST file.  The Scanpst.exe tool is found in:

 

C:/Program Files/Common Files/System/MSMAPI/1033

 

If you cannot find it there, try this post, locate the tool and double click on it.  When the tool opens, browse to the PST file and click the Scan button.  The tool will automatically attempt to repair the PST file.  In most cases this will resolve the issue.  In some instances, the damage may be so severe third party software will be required.  An Outlook PST Repair utility can resolve these problems and recover the PST data. Download Scanpst.exe Pro

 

 

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