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Methods to fix Outlook PST file cannot be accessed while in use

Methods to fix Outlook PST file cannot be accessed while in use

Tony Landry
by Tony Landry — 3 weeks ago in Development 4 min. read
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As we all know, Microsoft Outlook has been a renowned E-mail management tool across the world. Outlook application uses two types of data files named OST and PST respectively where all your information such as email, contacts, notes, calendars, etc. are stored in your Personal storage table file and all the offline changes which are made are stored in Offline storage table. These changes directly synchronize online when connected to the internet.

With all its features, Outlook has easily been a favourite application among workplaces. However, there are various errors that make using Outlook usage a problem.

One of the most common errors that Outlook users encounter is outlook.pst is in use and cannot be accessed. In the article below you will learn about the Outlook error and simple methods on how to fix Outlook PST file cannot be accessed.

Causes for Outlook Outlook.pst is in Use and Cannot Be Accessed

“Cannot open your default e-mail folders. The file C:\Users\admin\Documents\Outlook Files\outlook.pst is in use and cannot be accessed. Close any application that is using the file, and then try again. You might need to restart your computer.”

“File C:\Users\admin\Documents\Outlook Files\outlook.pst is in use by another application. Close Microsoft Exchange and all other mail-enabled applications and try again.”

Usually, multiple users across the world have reported the below-listed reasons for the error mentioned above.

  1. If the Outlook application is not closed in a properly
  2. Over-sized PST file
  3. Header corruption
  4. Malfunctioning of the Outlook application
  5. Virus Intrusion and corruption of the PST file
  6. In a few cases, anti-virus and anti-spyware programs also lead to damage to the PST file

In the section below, we will guide you through hassle-free methods on how to fix the PST file corruption.

How Do I Outlook PST file cannot be accessed?

Outlook PST file cannot be accessed error can be addressed by following the steps mentioned in the section below.

  1. End all the running tasks in the background related to Outlook
  2. Run Outlook in safe mode
  3. Run scanPST. Exe error

End all running tasks in the background related to Outlook

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open the task manager
  2. Click the Process tab from the menu bar
  3. Locate anything related or named as ‘outlook’, ‘communicator’, ‘Lync’, ‘UCMAPI’
  4. Now close task manager and then launch MS Outlook

Run Outlook in Safe Mode

  1. Press ctrl+Rto open run and enter “exe / safe”. Ensure that there is space between / and safe.
  2. If outlook still encounters the error, then there must be an issue related to Add-ins.
  3. So Disable all add-insone by one until Outlook does not become error-free, for add-ins click on File > Option > Add-ins.
  4. Go and manage all add-ins and then click on ‘Go’.
  5. Unchecked all add-insone by one until you find the bad add-in to make Outlook error-free. Remove that Add-in as soon as possible.

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If the above method doesn’t resolve the issue, try using the inbuilt Microsoft repair tool called scanPST.

Note – If all the above methods didn’t fix Outlook PST file cannot be accessed error. You will need a reliable Outlook repair tool like Remo Outlook PST Repair, which can effortlessly resolve the Outlook .pst file cannot be accessed error.
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Repair Outlook error using scanPST.exe (h3)

As we all know, Outlook comes with a Microsoft inbuilt tool called scanpst.exe. Outlook users can make use of scanPST.exe to repair the damaged or corrupted PST file.

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With ScanPST you can easily fix the issue of the PST file with respect to corruption, virus intrusion, or an oversized PST file.

However, ScanPST is recommended only for minor corruption or issues with the Outlook.

It is strictly recommended not to use ScanPST to repair your PST file, as it directly works on the original file and the chances of further damage is higher.

We recommend you to use a better and safer option to repair PST file and recover your data with Remo Software.

Remo PST Repair for Outlook is the safest option to fix any problems with the Outlook PST file in no time. With its advanced repair algorithm, the tool only works on a copy of a file (Read-only mechanism), thereby ensuring the file is safe.

The tool is completely free to download and try. Waste no time go get your PST file with Outlook PST file in use cannot be accessed error fixed now.

The tool also helps the user in recovering the lost outlook data like emails, calendars, reminders, cc, and bcc. This utility supports all Outlook versions namely Outlook 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019.
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Final Thoughts

All the above-mentioned methods in this article will certainly help you fix your Outlook error, the PST file in use cannot be accessed error.

Always make sure you keep a backup of the Outlook PST file regularly to avoid data loss in the future.

In case you encounter any Outlook error in the future, make sure you use Remo’s Outlook PST file Repair to get rid of any error. Do let us know your thoughts or If you have any questions in the comment section below.

Tony Landry

Microsoft support specialist, experienced in tackling beasty Outlook and Windows OS errors. Enjoys tweaking and exploring new horizons to develop content for email transfer protocols, server connectivity and Computer maintenance. Loves Cycling and hiking.

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