"Outlook Data File Cannot be Accessed" in Outlook 2016

Trying to setup up a POP account in Outlook 2016 and keep on getting this message.

A search on the internet reveals that I need to click on the "Change Folder" button but I am not even getting that.
A button like "Change Folder" is missing <=there should be an option like in this example to "Change Folder"

In it's place I get:

"Select a data file in the list, then click Settings for more details or click Open File Location to display the folder that contains the data file"

There are around 5 different PST files in the list. And each one which I have selected as default I get "Outlook Data File Cannot be Accessed" . Very annoying problem. Hoping someone here can help.
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furunoAsked:
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Whitney BuckleyCommented:
Hello Furuno,


I understand you are having an issue with the Outlook PST file error of "Outlook Data File Cannot Be Accessed". I know that can be frustrating, no worries though, I will be more than happy to help get your issue resolved. Can you tell me what for of Windows you are running?
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furunoAuthor Commented:
Hi Whitney, it's Windows 10.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
I assume there is an existing PST file that you want to use? Are you able to locate it in Windows? If you can, then within Outlook, go into File, Open, Outlook Data File and see if you can view it that way.

If that fails, see if you can use the scanpst tool to check and make sure the file isn't damaged.

Alternatively, can you try creating a new file instead of using an existing one?
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Whitney BuckleyCommented:
Thank you for that information. There are several reasons why you are having the error occur. It could be a corrupt file among other things.

However, lets first try having you see if creating a new profile will solve the issue.

1. Press Windows Key + X to open Win+X menu and choose Control Panel from the list.
2. In Control Panel click on Mail.
3. When Mail Setup window opens, click on Show Profiles button.
4. Click the Add button.
5. New Profile window will appear. Select E-mail Account option, enter your profile name and the required account information. Click Next.
6. Click Finish and your account will be created.




If this does not fix the issue please let me know so we can further troubleshoot the issue to get your problem resolved.
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furunoAuthor Commented:
I have tried creating new PSTs e.g. Outlooknew.pst but when I select them I get this same stupid error message
"Outlook Data File Cannot Be Accessed" ?
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furunoAuthor Commented:
Whitney, I tried creating a new Profile, also thinking that would solve the problem - it did'nt! but thanks for the suggestion.
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Whitney BuckleyCommented:
This error can appear if the Inbox folder isn’t specified. To fix this problem follow these steps:
Go to File > Account Settings > Account Settings.
Click the Change Folder and click the + next to the folder name to expand it.
Click Inbox and click OK.
Close Account Settings and click Send and Receive button.
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Brian BEE Topic Advisor, Independant Technology ProfessionalCommented:
If you could clarify those question I had, it might point us in the right direction. Basically I am trying to narrow down the problem. We know it isn't the file now or the profile. Still try opening the PST file directly in Outlook.... assuming you have one, that is. Other than that could be Windows or the Outlook install. Try running windows in safe mode and see if that works. You can also run Outlook in safe mode (Start, Run, outlook /safe)
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Outlook 2016 changed recently. You must create a new Email account from Control Panel, Mail. That was suggested earlier. You said you just created the new Profile. You also have to create the Email account there now as well. Use the Manual Setup, NOT Wizard and point the email file to your existing file.

I have done this the new way and it works fine (but takes some getting used to).
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furunoAuthor Commented:
Whitney, I am not even presented with the option to "change folder"!  

Brian, the profile can open. But send/receive does not result in mail going in or out. It just results in "Outlook Data File cannot be accessed" error message. However, I will try safe mode  when  in front of said system

John, I noticed this new setup of Outlook also. (Only last week I was setting up an email account where File>New account proved fruitless. However, setting up going via the Mail icon in the Control Panel - the account was setup in 2mins! How MS can embed such a fundamental flaw in their software is flabbergasting)
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Given your most recent update, make a backup copy of the PST file and try to fix errors with SCANPST.EXE (located in the Outlook program folder)
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furunoAuthor Commented:
I have done this already! It found two error which SCANPST claims to have fixed.

But I (and the user) are quite prepared to start off with a totally new PST...
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
You can make a new PST file , get it working and then import the existing PST file (not open it)
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furunoAuthor Commented:
I have tried making a new PST (in fact nearly 6 of them so far) but, when I press on Send/Receive, I keep on hitting against this brick wall  "Outlook data files cannot be accessed"...
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
That seems strange. Make sure you have the correct parameters in the account. Even so, I do not think that would cause Outlook not to access the data file.

Make a new, test, Windows User Profile. Log into the new Windows Account, set up Outlook and try testing in the new Windows Account.
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Lindsey SmithFreelancerCommented:
Hi,
As many experts have shared the solutions to rectify the error. But, if you are still facing the error then you can read this article -
https://msoutlookworld.blogspot.in/2016/06/ms-outlook-data-file-cannot-be-accessed.html
It explains the possible reasons behind the error and also provides solutions for it. Hope this article will solve your issue.

Thanks & Regards
Lindsey Smith
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furunoAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the great comments guys.

Can the active Outlook PST file be stored anywhere on the C: drive?
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Can the active Outlook PST file be stored anywhere on the C: drive?

Yes but it is best stored in the Outlook Default.   (C:\Users\username\Documents\Outlook Files)
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furunoAuthor Commented:
ok thanks

will update on this case soon
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furunoAuthor Commented:
solved by:

1) Creating  new Profile followed by 2)  setting this as default. (For some reason when I changed this profile /PST as default this time, Outlook asked for a confirmation which it did not ask for before)

Must be done in this sequence.

I was fixating on message "outlook data files cannot be accessed" rookie mistake...

Everybody - thank you!

For anybody else reading this - as per advice of Whitney and John,  I strongly suggest using Control Panel to access settings in Outlook - much more reliable.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
Thank you for the update and I was pleased to assist.
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