How to Fix Error: The File .pst Could Not be Found

Written By Andrew Jackson
Anuraag Singh
Approved By Anuraag Singh
Published On June 28th, 2022
Reading Time 6 Minutes Reading

“Outlook file xxxx.pst could not be found”

Here, xxxx is assumed to be the name of the PST file that got corrupted. PST file is an Outlook data file that is used by the Microsoft Outlook for storing all the data of a user’s mailbox on the local computer. In other words, the PST file acts as the repository of all the mailbox data of a user on the local machine. The file .pst could not be found error message shows Outlook PST file corruption problem.

However, this error message is also faced by the users when the PST file is located on a network server, which is unavailable for the particular point of time. Since it is not preferred by users to save PST on a network server. Therefore, the later one is very rarely encountered. Also, users face issues like ‘The PST (backup.pst) could not be found in the storage account‘ etc. On the other hand, outlook.pst could not be found issue, the first one is encountered frequently.

Reasons: “The file .pst could not be found in Storage Account”

This unexpected behavior of Outlook showing the error could be the outcome of a situation where Outlook has tried delivering messages in the PST file while any one of the following conditions is true:

  1. PST file in which Outlook is supposed to deliver the messages is kept on a mail Server which is not available at the particular point of time.
  2. It could also be a possibility that the target PST file in which Outlook delivers messages is corrupted due to which it is not possible for Outlook to locate it.
  3. It could also be a case where the PST file exceeds the default file size limitation and then it starts creating issues when users try to access the PST files.

This issue can also take place when PST files are located on a network drive and are not supported due to being unsupported by a LAN or WAN link.

Usually, this problem occurs when PST file is corrupted, so it is necessary to ensure that before trying any solutions, the user needs to repair corrupted PST file in Outlook using a reliable solution i.e Outlook PST Repair Tool. You can use the PST file or the backup PST file in BAK format for the same.

For the above-given reasons 1 and 2 for the error, we can use method 1 to solve the problem. Similarly, for reason 3, we can use method 2.

Method 1: Inbuilt Repair Tool to Fix PST File

If PST file is available but Outlook still flashes the error “The file .PST could not be found or Outlook.pst could not be found” then it is because the data file is corrupt. Users can make use of built-in repair tool by Outlook which is Scanpst.exe to make sure whether the file is corrupted or not as the utility is built to check the integrity of PST files. Inbox Repair Tool has been included with Microsoft Outlook to fix corruption issues which are related to Outlook PST file. Depending on the version of the Outlook, there can be slight variations in the usage process of the tool. However, you can conclude it from the steps given below:

  1. Go to Start Search and click on the Files or Folders.
  2. Search for Scanpst.exe in the Search for files or folders box, now click Search Now.
  3. After searching, double-click on Scanpst.exe file.
  4. Click Browse and select the damaged PST file.
  5. Click Start.

The Inbox Repair Tool always provides an option to keep the backup of the file before repairing the file. It also keeps a log file for the repair process with the same name as that of the .PST file, but with the extension .log in place of .PST.

Limitations Of Manual Solution: “Outlook.PST is not a personal folders file error”

The above-discussed utility might show some error which is there in the PST file. Sometimes, what happens is that the tool will not find any error but still, you may face ‘Outlook.pst could not be found’ issue in the account. This is because of the severe corruption in the PST data file or because of its large size. Also the Inbox Repair Tool not responding PST file.

All-in-one Solution: When you face severe corruption or larger PST file issue, then it is better to use one of the most trusted . The application allows to repair corruption in PST file and also provides splitting option while export process. Also, the application can load, scan and repair Outlook BAK file created by ScanPST tool.

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However, sometimes a successfully repaired message is shown but still, it shows “.PST is not a valid personals folder file”.

Scanpst.exe can only repair a PST file in Outlook if the size of the Outlook is less than 2 GB. Unfortunately, if the file size is greater than 2 GB then, it cannot be repaired by this tool. When a user has a need to gain access to the Outlook PST file, a third party tool is the only solution which could help with its advanced scanning and repair mechanism.

Method 2: Fix “The file .PST could not be found” Error

There are times when ScanPST fails to fix the issues, and your Outlook PST files are not corrupted or damaged. The problem is the PST data file is oversized. This occurs when the size of the User’s PST file is greater than 2 GB (or according to various version, the PST file exceeds the size limit).

In such cases, the use of a professional alternative tool is recommended. Reliable PST splitter software by SysTools to split PST files of size greater than 2 GB without causing any data loss. This tool is also available in the demo version too which helps the users to examine its services prior to its purchase. It is capable of resolving “Outlook file .PST could not be found” and similar errors.


There are two methods discussed above to overcome the error “The file .PST could not be found” by the PST files. The first method describes the solution to the problem when the error is due to corruption issues and the second method discusses the solution to the issue when Outlook.pst file could not be found error occurs due to greater file size.


By Andrew Jackson

I am SQL DBA and SQL Server blogger too. I like to share about SQL Server and the problems related to it as well as their solution and also I do handle database related user queries, server or database maintenance, database management, etc. I love to share my knowledge with SQL Geeks.