6 Ways To Fix Outlook PST File Not Found Error

6 Ways To Fix Outlook PST File Not Found Error

Does your Outlook PST file go missing? Each time when you search for your pst file in your Outlook account it shows “The file xxxx.pst cannot be found” error?

If you don’t know how to fix this Outlook pst file not found error then keep reading this article. As it covers complete detail about this specific Outlook.pst file missing issue.

What Does “The file xxxx.pst cannot be found” Error Mean?

Outlook makes use of .pst file because it is compact and it requires very little space for storing data. It helps in providing more free space in the user’s mail server. But like any other system files Outlook data files can also get damaged due to several reasons. Since all the data is stored in the PST file and after encountering this “PST file not found” error entire data like e-mails, contacts, notes, calendar entries, etc. become inaccessible.

So the error “The file xxxx.pst cannot be found” itself describes details like; why it’s happening and which component is not working properly. Due to this error, your Outlook PST file cannot be opened neither you can perform any kind of operation on it.

Error screenshot:

The file xxxx.pst cannot be found

Why Does The ‘PST Cannot Be Found’ Message Appear?

This Outlook error message “The file xxxx.pst cannot be found” itself indicates that your Outlook pst file is missing.

Usually, this error arises when the pst file is on the network server which is not available at that time. Another scenario in which the pst file not found issue arises when the file is removed from its original location or when the file is deleted somehow.

Some more common factors responsible for this pst file missing issues are:

  • Abrupt system shutdown
  • The intervention of Virus or Malware on your pc.
  • Unintentional deletion of important Outlook file or registry item.
  • Incorrect or incomplete MS Office software installing and uninstalling.

How To Fix Outlook PST File Not Found Error?

Method 1# Fix Outlook Subfolder Missing issue

To fix PST File missing problem the very first solution which you must try is resetting the view for your complete Outlook mailbox.

By this method, you can easily revert back your Outlook view in its default state. After this, you can view all your folders and subfolders within the inbox.

Here is how to reset all views to fix the Outlook subfolder missing issue.

  • Close if your Outlook application already opened.
  • Now go to the Start menu and in the search box type “run”. Alternatively, you can press Windows + R key to open the Run window and then hit the enter button.
  • Now in the opened Run window, you have to type “outlook.exe /resetnavpane”. This will reset your Outlook settings.


  • After that create a new Outlook profile and then import the PST file having the Outlook subfolders missing problem into this new Outlook profile.

Method 2# Reset All Views in All Folders

Besides that, you have the option to reset the folder view with the use of the reset view feature present in Outlook 2010/2013/2016/2019. This method will fix Outlook pst file missing issue without any trouble.

Here is how to perform this task:

  • Start MS Outlook, search for the folder of which you want to reset its view.
  • Tap to the view > Change View After that select the view mode from the appearing drop-down list.
  • Within the view tab, hit the reset view button. In the next opened dialog box choose the Yes button. After this, you will see that your selected folder will get reset to its original view.
  • Now hit the view > change view From the change view drop-down menu choose the Apply Current View to Other Mail Folders option.

reset-view 1

  • In the opened dialog box of Apply View select the checkbox of ‘mailboxes and their subfolders’.
  • Also, select the checkbox of ‘Apply View to subfolders’. At last tap to the OK button.

reset-view 2

Method 3# Restoring A Deleted PST File

Maybe you are encountering the pst file not found issue just because of the unintentional deletion of your pst file. Well not to worry because you can restore it back using the Windows inbuilt feature i.e. previous version.

It automatically keeps older file versions in the disk for which System Protection is kept enabled. A backup copy is made once in a day and also when the restore point is been made.

So, by using the previous version you can check whether the older version of the PST file is available or not.

Follow the below recovery process steps:

  1. Make a right-click on the “Outlook Files”.
  2. Now from the “menu” list, here you can choose the Restore previous versions.
  3. This will open the Folder Properties dialogue box along with the Previous Versions tab enabled.
  4. Make a double-tap over the most recent folder shown listed here to check the missing PST files.
  5. If you can see your missing PST file here in the list then copy and paste it on its original folder location.

Sometimes, the pst file will not be contained in the restored folder. In such a situation, close the opened previous version and open less recent version. Do this until you found your missing Outlook pst file.

If the pst file folder won’t exist there then make a right-click on the parent folder and repeat this process of Restore previous versions to check whether the pst file is there or not.

Method 4# Location Of An Outlook Archive File

When this “Microsoft Outlook archive.pst cannot be found” error occurs. The reason can be the archive.pst is not been created or somehow it got lost. Mostly  the archive files are seen to present in the following location:

C:\Documents and Settings\username\LocalSettings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\archive.pst

Method 5# Relocate The PST File Manually

Another method, in the list of fixes for “cannot start Outlook pst file not found” error is relocating the PST file.

 Here are detailed steps to perform this task:

  • Start Outlook application on your PC and go to the “File > Account Settings”.
  • Now in the opened window of the “Account Settings” window, tap to the “Data Files” option. Now select the default PST file. After that, hit on the “Open File Location” option. This will open the saving directory of your default PST file in the explorer.


  • In the opened windows explorer, make a check for that specific pst file which is showing pst file not found error. If you can’t see it there then perform the search operation by assigning the name.
  • Once you get your lost pst file if you find it either renamed or dislocated to some other folder then delete the original pst file.
  • After that re-add the new pst file within the Account Settings window.

Method 6# Use Efficient PST Repair Tool To Fix Outlook PST File Missing Issue

With the help of Outlook PST Repair tool, users can easily and quickly fix and restore any kind of corruption or error related to Outlook PST file, no matter how their PST file gets corrupted, damaged or broken. It can fix “PST File Not Found” error and safely recover your PST files. The tool comes with a user-friendly interface and hence a novice user can easily operate it. It is compatible with all versions of the Windows operating system so, free download the Outlook PST repair tool to try it now.

Bottom Line

Apart from the above-listed fixes for ‘Outlook PST file missing’ error other quick fixes that you can try are:

  • Open the Outlook application once the network server seems available.
  • If the pst file got displaced from its original location and bring it back to the original location
  • Or reconfigure the Outlook app settings accordingly.

That’s all, I have tried my best to share all possible fixes to resolve “The file xxxx.pst cannot be found” error.

Being an Outlook user it’s very important to keep knowledge of fixing some most commonly encountered Outlook errors. Even though you haven’t stuck with this pst file not found error then also keeping knowledge of such things is very essential.

Good luck with the post…!