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Resolve Outlook PST File Cannot Be Found Error- Easy & Quick Tricks

Author: Christ Harold
by Christ Harold
Posted: Nov 22, 2017

When it comes to desktop emailing platforms. Outlook is the best and most widely used one. This blog discusses an error that may MS Outlook users might have faced. The issue we are talking about is the one that unpleasantly greets you when you open MS Outlook that is "Outlook PST file cannot be found". Though most of the users of Outlook are familiar with the file format PST, still, let us start with a basic introduction for the sake of relevance.

PST is the abbreviation of Personal Storage Table file which is the local repository of all mailbox data for an MS Outlook user. In other words, we can tell that, on opening Microsoft Outlook, the thing from which Outlook fetches your emails, entries, calendars, notes etc. is the PST file.

Instant Solution: Are you searching for the solution how do you reduce the size of the Outlook PST file easily, then you can use SysTools Split PST which can help you to divide PST file without any hurdle.

What is Outlook PST File Cannot Be Found Error?

The corruption in PST file affects the MS Outlook email application that is if the PST file is unavailable or it is damaged then while opening Outlook, a dialog box will be seen that says xxxx.pst cannot be found or xxxx.pst cannot be opened.

Causes of Error:

There are some reasons for this error that are mentioned below:

  • The existing network server if PST file is unavailable

  • PST file could be corrupted because of:

    • Huge sized PST.

    • Virus or malware infections.

    • Dirty Shutdown.

    • Synchronization error.

  • The located network drive of PST is not supported by LAN or WAN.

Resolve PST File from Error Outlook PST File Cannot be Found

If you encounter the error "Outlook data file cannot be found" then you don’t need to panic. There are so many techniques available for you to fix this error. If the cause of this error is oversized PST then you can use the following methods to reduce the size of your PST file.

Manual Trick 1: Using archive to move PST file

Step 1: Open MS Outlook and select PST file.

Step 2: Go to the option "File>> Info".

Step 3: Click on "Cleanup Tools>> Archive".

Step 4: Check whether "Archive this folder and all subfolders" box is selected or not.

Step 5: Select one folder which you want to move.

Step 6: Select a date for "Archive items older than" option.

Step 7: Now browse to select the location and provide the name to the PST file.

Step 8: Click on "OK" to finish and PST file will be created now.

Manual Trick 2: Use move to folders feature to solve Outlook data file PST cannot be found error.

Step 1: Open MS Outlook and click "New Items" from the home tab.

Step 2: Click "More Items" and select "Outlook Data File".

Step 3: Provide one name to this file and click on "OK".

Step 4: Expand the file from which you want to move file items for that select one folder and click "Move>> Copy to Folder" option.

Step 5: You can view the "Copy Items" window.

Step 6: Select the new file and click "OK".

There are certain shortcomings with manual tricks of dividing PST file. If the mailbox size is small then you can move them to new file easily. However, if the size is too large then it is time-consuming. Moreover, you need to follow proper steps while cutting PST file. If you go wrong then there are chances of PST file corruption.

Alternate Way to Fix Outlook PST File Cannot be Found Issue

To overcome the above limitations, you can use "SysTools PST Split" which can fix the error PST can’t access without any hurdle. It can divide PST files based on date, year, size and folder also. To know more about this utility, you can go through the following points:

  • It can work with ACTIVE and ARCHIVE PST file.

  • Divide all items including emails, calendars, tasks, contacts, etc.

  • No PST file size limitation imposed.

  • Supports MS Outlook 2016, 2013, 2010, 2007, & 2003 versions.


If you don’t want the hassles of manually chopping PST file, you can do it automatically with the help of Split PST tool. This software will efficiently cut the PST file to avoid the errors like Outlook 2016 PST file cannot be found in a short while, and it also doesn’t require you to have any expert knowledge.

About the Author

I am Software Engineer by Profession and Tech Blogger by passion. I love to write about technologies and solve user query on different forums.

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Author: Christ Harold

Christ Harold

Member since: Jun 18, 2017
Published articles: 40

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