Fix the Error Cannot Move the Items/Emails in Outlook

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Sometimes, with its frequent and reluctant use of Outlook, Outlook data files (PST) becomes oversized. Due to which sever errors are encountered on Outlook. Cannot move Outlook emails to folders is one of the common errors that Outlook users encounter on daily basis. In this article, you will be able to know the causes that stops emails from moving from folder to another and easy methods to fix the error.

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Different Error Messages

Causes for the Error Can’t move Outlook emails to folders

Fix the Error Cannot Move emails to Folders

Error Messages

Based on the Outlook version used on your computer, you can read error messages in different ways:

“Can’t move the items. The items could not be moved. It was either already moved or deleted, or access was denied.”

“Can’t move the items. Could not move the item. The original was either moved or deleted, or access was denied.”

“Can’t move the items. Could not complete the operation. One or more parameter values are not valid.”

Above displayed are the error message displayed when Outlook cannot move emails to other folders. However, lets see the reason behind the error why Outlook cannot move emails from folders.

Why Outlook cannot move emails to other folders?

The occurrence of an error may be due to different reasons. Few of the supposed causes are listed below-

Oversized Outlook file: When the limit of an Outlook is reached, you cannot send or receive or move any items from Outlook. When you try to move Outlook items from one folder to another, a file gets static and does not move to the required destination.

Filled Deleted Items Folder:  If you are trying to move emails to Delete folder, there may be change of Delete folder full. In such situation, you will not be able to move any more files to the folder. Sometimes, even after deleting the emails, Outlook says full.

Administrator Policies on PC:  The system administrators may have restricted the user controls for data safety and proper functioning of software. This also helps in avoiding migration to other email platforms.

Anti-Virus, malware threats: The problem in Outlook functioning like Sending or Receiving emails can get affected with conflictions due to third-party applications like Anti-viruses, Malware, etc.

PST file corruption: the most common reasons for any errors in outlook is data file corruption. When the PST file gets corrupted, this effects on the working of Outlook.

Most of the time, error should be getting resolved just by closing all the programs that are in running and then restarting Outlook. However, if the cause is oversized PST or corruption you cannot fix it just by restarting the Outlook.

How to Fix the Issue Cannot Move Outlook Emails to Folder?

A PST file may get corrupt due to several reasons. one of the prominent reasons is oversized PST file. Before fixing the issue, it becomes important to verify the size of the PST file.

Follow the steps to verify the size of the file-

    1. Open Microsoft Outlook >> click on File >> Account Settings >> Data files
    2. Now, highlight the Outlook data file (.PST) and click on Open File Location
    3. Right Click on PST file followed by Propertiesselect properties

If your PST file has grown larger than the recommended size limit, you need to split the file into smaller units. This in turns avoid the further corruption on Outlook files. One of the most recommended way to fix the issue is by using an advanced PST Repair tool.

Method 1: Compress Outlook PST Files

Go to the Outlook >> File >> Info >> Account Settings >> Data Files tab to select the PST file and click on the Settings option.

Locate the Outlook data file

Then click on the Compact now option to compress the PST file to a reduced size than the existing. Then try opening the PST file in the Outlook application.

Method 2: Repair a corrupt Outlook PST file with Scanpst.exe

To fix the error cannot move Outlook emails to folders, you can try using an inbuilt utility (Inbox Repair tool or ScanPST) provided by Microsoft Outlook. The inbuilt utility scan and repairs PST files easily.

To use Inbox repair tool, you need to first locate the ScanPST. you can locate ScanPST  for any version of Outlook. For the Outlook version of 2019, you can find Inbox repair tool-

Outlook 2019-32-Bit C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office19

Outlook 2019-64-Bit C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office19

Once you successfully locate the scanpst.exe application, launch the application and follow the mentioned steps on how to repair PST.

Scanpst to fix corrupt Outlook data file

    1. First click on the browse button, select the corrupt or damaged PST file
    2. Click open button and click on the start button. Now, ScanPST initiates the scan.
    3. After completion of scanning, it displays if Outlook has any issues with
    4. Now hit on the repair button to complete the entire repair procedure

Note: Inbox repair tool, will be helpful when you are dealing with minor corruption. This method cannot be used if the PST file size exceeds the limit. Using ScanPST in such cases, may lead ScanPST to freeze during repair process.

Method 3: Create Outlook Profile

You can fix the Outlook cannot move emails by creating Outlook Profile only when the error is due to another type of email account configuration. The following steps will help you create a new Outlook profile:

Account Settings to fix cannot move items to folders

    1. Go to Microsoft Outlook >> select the option
    2. Select Account Settings >> Manage Profiles
    3. Select the option ‘Show Profiles’ >> click on Add button
    4. Now, type a new name for the Profile under Profile name box >> click on OK to confirm

Now open Outlook using the new Outlook profile and check whether the error has been resolved or not.

If none of the above methods helped you fix the error cannot move Outlook emails from inbox to any other folders., if the error is due to severe corruption in the PST file, SFWare PST repair tool comes in handy. SFWare can work with a large sixed PST file without letting you lose any data.

Free Download for Windows

Method 4: Use an advanced Outlook PST Repair tool

To stop Outlook error cannot move emails to folder, Download and install  SFWare PST Repair Tool on your computer. The tool is compatible with all the Outlook versions including the latest 2019, 2016, 2013 and older versions as well. Follow the steps given below to fix the error.

Step 1: Three option are displayed on screen, select the option that is convenient to you-

first step to use PST repair tool

1: Open PST file: Select if you know the location of the PST file

(you will be taken to next screen that allows you to browse the PST file)

2: Find PST file: Select if you are not aware of the location of the PST file

3: Select Outlook Profile: Use this option to find the PST file for a profile. When you have multiple Outlook profiles.

Step 2: Once the PST file is selected, click Normal Scan and select a location to save the repaired PST file. Then click the Repair button

Select PST File to Repair

Step 3: Once the file is repaired, you can Preview the PST file along with recovered emails and finally, Save the repaired PST in any desired location


With all the above-mentioned methods, you can easily fix the error Outlook cannot move emails from inbox to other folders or vice versa. Make sure you check on the PST files so that it reduces the risk of the errors. if your PST file is severely corrupt, you can always relay on the safe and secure SFWare PST repair tool to fix the PST file corruption without any hassle.

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