How to Fix Outlook Cannot Open Your Default Email Folders Error

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 15, 2024 • Filed to: Recover Emails • Proven solutions

Do you use Outlook to communicate in your corporate house? The extensive features and user-friendly experience of this Microsoft's email service make it a top property among businesses, professionals, and corporate offices.

But while opening your emails, sometimes Outlook displays an error "cannot open your default email folders." Are you experiencing the same? Yes! Must be wondering how to fix it? Worry not! This article will guide you with the steps for fixing the error with simple troubleshoots and also with the Stellar PST Repair software.

Part 1 - How to fix Outlook cannot open default email folders error

You use Outlook to send and receive emails. But when the pop up displays the message - cannot open your default email folder, it can be troublesome. Usually, there are two possible causes for cannot open default email folder error:

Follow these detailed troubleshooting steps to fix the error quickly and regain access to your default email folder.

Solution 1 – Rebuild .ost file

To rebuild.OST file, first remove the old profiles that you are not using. Follow the below-mentioned path to remove it:

Control Panel -> Mail -> Show Profiles

Select the profile and click on remove to delete the profile.

removing old profile

Now create a new .ost file with these steps:

Step 1 – Launch Outlook and open Account Settings

In Outlook 2010 or higher versions, you can find this option in the "File" tab.

account settings option highlighted

Step 2 - Click on the Account Settings to open Microsoft Exchange

You can find this Microsoft Exchange option in the email tab

Microsoft exchange highlighted

Step 3 – Reach offline folder file settings

Follow the below path to reach offline folder file settings:

Microsoft Exchange Settings -> More Settings -> Advanced -> Offline Folder File Settings

Step 4 – Save Outlook.ost file

Browse the location to save your .ost file and click OK.

path to rebuild .ost file highlighted

This creates your new OST file.

Solution 2 - Turn Off Compatibility Mode

If you are running Outlook in the compatibility mode, that could also be the possible cause for the "cannot open your default email folders outlook 2010" error. Turn it off with these steps:

Step 1 - Find Outlook.exe file.

You can look for this .exe file in the installation folder of Outlook. The path to it can be found in the C: disk of your computer.

Program Files -> Microsoft Office -> Office XX

You can find here the Outlook.exe file. Or you can also find it by typing outlook.exe in the search box.

Step 2 - Right-click on the .exe file and look for the compatibility mode in properties. If you can see a check in the box for compatibility mode, uncheck it and apply.


Solution 3 - Run Your Outlook in the Safe Mode

Faulty plug-ins can cause errors in the smooth functioning of the Outlook. When you run Outlook in the safe mode, it disables all the installed add-ins and allows you to access your default email folder of Outlook.

Enable "Safe Mode" in the following way:

Step 1 – Open the dialog box with the Win+R keyboard shortcut and type outlook.exe /safe


Step 2 – Select the option- default outlook and click on OK. Your Outlook will begin in a safe mode.

Now see to it does the message - outlook cannot open default email folders still appears or is it resolved.

Solution 4 – Use ScanPST.exe to Repair Outlook PST

ScanPST.exe, the Inbox Repair Tool of Microsoft, also help to fix errors in the PST file. Follow the below steps to use it:

Step 1 – Locate the ScanPST.exe file in your Outlook installation folder to launch the application.

Step 2 – Begin the scan and select the file that needs repair. Click on the repair to begin the repair process.


When the procedure completes, a pop-up message displays the outcome of the repair process. If the file is repaired then you won't face any trouble while launching your Outlook.

Part 2- What to do when all the above methods fail to fix this error

If none of the discussed solutions worked, then Stellar Outlook PST Repair software to repair the OST file will surely fix this error. It restores all your corrupt PST files with full precision and integrity. From severely corrupted PST files to complete mailbox, this excellent software is capable of repairing all data.

For repair, there is no limitation of file size. Moreover, for precise PST recovery, the software also gives you a preview of mailbox items. You can even download the free trial to understand its features in a better way.

Here are the detailed steps that will help you to fix the cannot open your default email folder error.

Step 1 – Locate PST File

Launch the software, search, and select the file that needs repair.

find the outlook PST file

Step 2 – Begin PST File Repair

After selecting the PST file, begin the repair by clicking on the "repair." The estimated time of the scan depends on the PST file size and the level of corrupt data.

software repairing the file

Step 3 – Preview The Repaired File

When the scan completes, you can see a list of all the repaired files in the panel on the left side. You can easily preview any of the desired files by double-clicking it.

list of recovered files

Step 4 – Save

After reviewing and confirming your required files, you can save them on the desired path.

file saved at the desired location

Your PST file is repaired, and you can resume working on your Outlook now.

The Bottom Line

The reason for the Outlook error- cannot open your default email folders, can be any. You can easily fix it with the above discussed quick troubleshoots. If the problem persists, repair your Outlook PST file with the Stellar PST Repair software. It can quickly fix the error and gives you access to your default email folder in the quickest possible time.

Recoverit author

Amy Dennis

staff Editor

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