What to do When PST File Cannot Be Found?

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Wondering why you are not able to access your PST file? Encountering an error message that says Outlook PST file is missing .pst file cannot be found? Stick till the end of this article to know how to fix this issue and get back access to your PST file.

Error showing Outlook PST file missing and cannot be opened

PST is an Outlook data file that helps in storing all of your emails in the form of sub-folders, contacts, personal information, tasks and other data. If this PST file is corrupt or damaged due to any software conflicts or external factors, you will encounter the error “Outlook PST file missing” or “Outlook PST file cannot be found”.

Quick Navigation

Why PST files disappeared & cannot be found?

How to Find Missing PST File?

    1. Unavailability of network
    2. If PST removed from its original location
    3. PST file deleted from Outlook
    4. PST file Corruption makes PST file missing

Fix the Error PST file cannot be found

Fix PST File cannot be found Error using PST Repair Tool
Frequently Asked Questions

Why did my Outlook PST folders disappear?

There may be several reasons behind missing PST file, few of the prominent ones are listed below:

  • Unavailability of a network server at the moment.
  • PST file gets removed from its original location.
  • When a PST file gets corrupted or deleted from Outlook.

All the above reasons leads to the improper working of PST files and makes it almost impossible to open PST files and causes PST file cannot be found error.

If you encounter an Outlook PST file that cannot be found or a PST file is missing, you may think to create a new PST file. Whereas creating a new PST file doesn’t help you in this case, because the data you need to access is present in the missing PST file.

If you are Missing PST files or sub folders due severe PST corruption, get back the missing PST files with original folder structure using the most recommended Outlook PST Repair Tool.

Free Download for Windows

How Do I Find Missing PST File?

PST files can go missing for various reasons. Here are a few reasons and workarounds to fix the problem based on what causes PST file go missing.

Scenario 1: Unavailability of network

To fix the PST file’s missing error, all you can do is wait until the network server is available and later try opening the Outlook.

Note: If you are using an exchange server, you are likely to encounter the error Outlook is unable to connect the proxy server. Click on the link to know more about the error and how to fix the error.

Scenario 2: PST file removed from original location

When a PST file is not found in its original location, the application assumes that it is removed from the original location and prevents access to the data files.

To have your PST file back to its original location, you will have to locate the PST file and bring it back to the original location or re-configure the Outlook settings.

Scenario 3: PST file is deleted from Outlook

If the PST file is deleted from Outlook, you can make use of a copy of the same file if you have saved one. You can make use of the previous versions option on your Windows to restore it.

Note: You can access your files using the previous version only when you have created a Restore Point before the error occurs or your PST file went missing. Steps to restore missing PST file data are presented in the next coming section.

Restore the Missing PST files

  1. Browse the folder where your PST file is locatedNote: If you are unable to find where the PST file is located, you can find the path of the PST files in the error message.
  2. Select Outlook Files by Right click on it
  3. Now, the menu list appears, you can choose Restore previous versions.
  4. The dialogue will now open showing the Folder Properties with the Previous Versions tab enabled.
  5. Check for the missing PST file. Double tap on the most recent folder listed.
  6. If the missing PST file is there, copy and paste it to its original folder location.

Well, all these simple workarounds will help you to find the missing PST files if it is not corrupt or damaged. What if you have lost your PST files due to severe corruption or damage?

Scenario 4: PST file corruption

Yes, you can make use of Microsoft Inbox repair tool which is also known as ScanPST.exe to fix any minor issues in Outlook data files.

How to Fix the Error Outlook PST file cannot be found .pst file is missing?

Method 1: Use Inbox Repair Utility

Scanpst.exe or Microsoft inbox repair tool is an inbuilt tool that can help you fix any minor issues with your PST file. Follow the below mentioned steps to fix the error:
Inbox repair tool

  • Step 1: Close Outlook Application
  • Step 2: Locate and run inbox repair tool. Next, browse or provide a path where the PST file is saved.

Folder path- C:\Program Files (x86) \Microsoft Office\root\Office16

Quick Note: The above path applies to Office 2019, Office 2016, and Office 365. If you’re using Outlook 2013, use the path: C:\Program Files (x86) \Microsoft Office\Office15. In case of running an older version of the application, change “Office15” in the path to “Office14” for Outlook 2010, or to “Office13” for Outlook 2007 in the path.

  • Step 3: Then, click on Start to initiate the scanning process to repair PST file Outlook
  • Step 4: Finally, click on the Repair button to Recover Microsoft Outlook data file

There may be chances of recovered files getting corrupted or you might end up facing the freezing issues while running the inbuilt repair tool. In such situations, your Outlook data is at stake and you might lose it permanently. This is actually one of the drawbacks of using inbox repair tool.

Hence, it is always recommended to choose a safe and secure tool for repairing and recovering the Outlook PST file. The tool effectively works on all the Outlook versions including the latest 2019. The best feature of the software is, it is designed with the read only mechanism that keeps the original file unaltered.
Free Download for Windows

Method 2: Repair Outlook PST File using an effective tool

SFWare Repair Outlook (PST) tool has an automated process to repair PST files. Download SFWare Repair PST tool and install. Launch the software.

The main screen displays three options, select one as per the need:

Open PST File, Select PST File, Find PST Files

first step to use PST repair tool

Select one of the options and go for either Normal Scan or Smart Scan from the next screen. Scanning process depends on the requirements given.
Select PST File to Repair
Provide the destination path to save repaired PST files. Now, Click on Repair option to start the repairing process.
End Screen
Once the process gets completed, it recovers all the PST files.


An Outlook PST File contains your messages and other Outlook items and is saved on your computer. Any harm to those files will take you to the edge of stress. With the above mentioned methods, you can easily resolve PST file related errors.

By the end of this article, hope you have found the solution for “Outlook PST file missing” error. You are welcome to share your thoughts in the comment section below regarding how effective the article was for you.

Frequently Asked questions:

How to Recover missing PST files?

You can easily restore missing PST files using Previous Versions option. However, you can access your files using the previous version only when you have created a Restore Point before your PST file went missing. You can also use SFWare PST repair tool, the tool that not only repairs the PST file but also helps in recovering Outlook data files without any hassle.

How to locate PST file without a specific path?

If you are unable to find where the PST file is located, you can find the path of the PST files in the error message itself.

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