Fixed – Unable to Access PST File or Start Outlook after Upgrading to Windows 10

When you upgrade to Windows 10, some issues are known to occur. Trouble using Outlook is one of them. To troubleshoot this issue, please follow the steps explained in this guide.

  1. Disable add-ins

Sure, add-ins improve Outlook functionality, however, at times, they can interfere with the normal functioning. To rule out the issue with add-ins, please follow the steps below:

  1. Press Windows + R key on your keyboard
  2. Then type Outlook/safe and hit Enter
  3. If Outlook starts normally, follow the next steps
  4. Choose File > Options > Add-ins
  5. In Manage drop-down, select COM add-ins
  6. Clear all checkboxes and close Outlook

Then open Outlook again, and enable add-ins one by one. Restart Outlook each time you enable an add-in. This will help identify the trouble causing add-in.

  1. Make sure Outlook is not running in compatibility mode

Compatibility mode is designed to run older versions of software on Windows 10. Outlook is optimized for Windows 10, so there’s no reason to use compatibility mode. At times, running in compatibility may cause issues with opening Outlook.

To disable compatibility mode, right click on Outlook shortcut and choose Properties. In Compatibility tab, make sure ‘Run this program in compatibility mode’ is disabled. Click on Apply and confirm your choice.

  1. Delete Outlook cache

Clearing Outlook cache may restore functionality. To delete Outlook app data folder, you can follow the simple steps.

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run dialogue
  2. Enter %localappdata%
  3. Look for Microsoft and locate Outlook folder
  4. Delete it and restart Outlook
  5. If this doesn’t fix your issue, you can try assigning permissions as described in the next step.


  1. Change permissions

When opening Outlook, you may also receive error messages as shown.

‘Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook Window. The set of folders cannot be opened. File access is denied. You do not have permission to access the file’.

This happens when you log in to Windows with a Microsoft account instead of a local account. The permissions are not assigned correctly in this case. To regain access, you can follow the steps here.

  1. Right-click on the Start button and choose File Explorer
  2. Select the location of the file (indicated in the error message)
  3. Right-click on the file and select Properties
  4. Select Security > Edit > Select your user account
  5. Select Full Control permission and click Ok
  6. Repeat the same steps for System and Administrators as well
  7. Then restart Outlook and check if the error persists


  1. Repair PST file

Outlook saves a backup of all email accounts in a file called PST. It is saved locally on your system. If this file gets corrupt, your Outlook may not start properly or have trouble functioning normally. To repair this file, Microsoft offers a built-in tool called Scanpst.exe. You can run this tool using the steps below.

  • The location of Scanpst is different for all Outlook versions. So, it’s easy to find it using Search. In the Search bar, find Scanpst.exe
  • Double click on the application and browse the location of the PST file. (If you do not know the location of the PST file, here’s a tip for you to find it. On your Outlook page, select File > Account Settings > Account settings, and then choose the second tab; data files. All your PST files along with its location will be listed).
  • Then click on Repair to repair the file

Disadvantages of using Scanpst

The tool can take a long time and may require you to run it multiple times before the error can be fixed. These methods also involve risk of losing valuable data. Hence, it is best to use professional tools designed specifically for this purpose.

Remo offers a tool called Remo Repair PST designed to fix issues with PST files. It extracts contents of your corrupt PST file. Then, it repairs the issues and generates healthy files.

It is a simple to use software and users without technical knowledge can use it with onscreen instructions provided. Once the file is repaired, you can view the file using Preview feature. Detailed steps along with screenshots are explained in this guide Outlook 2016 PST repair software.

More on Remo Repair PST

  1. Supports all versions of Outlook including the latest Outlook 2016
  2. Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 2003 up to 2010.
  3. Generates repaired PST file in a 2003-2016 format for easy import
  4. The tool also recovers deleted emails from Outlook. The guide how to recover deleted emails Outlook 2016 explains the recovery process in detail.
  5. Works in a read-only mode, so no damage is caused to your original file

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