How to resolve Outlook Error Cannot Open Your Default E-Mail Folders

Among the errors that occur in MS Outlook, one of which is “cannot open your default e-mail folders. The information store could not be opened". It may be confusing for user when they encounter this error message while trying to access their Outlook profile. The article will be describing the same Outlook error along with its possible causes and solution to troubleshoot the error.

Causes of the Error

The main reason for the occurrence of the error, as claimed by Microsoft is due to corrupted navigation pane settings file. In order to check if the navigation pane settings file is corrupted or not, we can check its file size. If it is corrupted, the size of the file will be 0KB. Other causes of the error are as follows:

Solutions to Resolve the Error

1. Repair the Outlook Data File (OST/PST)

The error may occur when the MS Outlook is reinstalled with some issue during uninstallation that may lead to damage/deletion of Outlook Data file. To resolve this, we can follow the steps below:

  • Open Windows Explorer in the system and go the following path “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\(versions of Outlook being used)”
  • Search for scanpst.exe, an inbuilt utility to repair both OST and PST data files.
  • Once repair utility is found, double-click on scanpst.exe
  • Click OK when the pop-up of scanpst.exe appears
  • Browse the location of Outlook data file and select it.
  • Start the scanning process by enabling Repair errors option and click on Begin scan
  • Close the window after scan is completed
  • Restart the MS Outlook

2. Disable Compatibility Mode in Outlook

Steps to turn off the compatibility mode in Outlook are as follows:

  • In Windows Explorer, go to “C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\version\Outlook.exe”
  • Click on Outlook.exe and right-click on it
  • Select the Properties from the list of options
  • In the Outlook Properties window, go to Compatibility Tab
  • Uncheck the box of ‘Run this program in compatibility mode’
  • Click on Apply and select OK to close the window

3. Recover Navigation Pane configuration File

Since the corruption of navigation pane settings file may lead to the error discussed above, we can follow the steps below to fix it:

  • Click on Start button of Windows system, and type “Outlook.exe /resetnavpane” and press enter
  • It will reset the settings in the navigation pane file.
  • Restart Outlook to see if it functions properly.

4. Start MS Outlook in Safe Mode

Starting MS Outlook in safe mode is one of the easiest ways to detect any problem on Outlook start up that can be caused by add-in. To open the Outlook in safe mode, steps are:

  • Click on Outlook icon holding the Ctrl Key or go to Start >> Type “Outlook /safe” in the search box and press enter.
  • Click Yes when pop up appears asking for the confirmation to start in safe mode.
  • If Outlook starts in safe mode, error was due to some add-ins.
  • Disable the add-ins one by one in Outlook to detect which one is causing error
  • Restart the Outlook again


The article has been aimed to help users resolve one of the common errors, i.e., “cannot open your default e-mail folders. The information store could not be opened" encountered when using MS Outlook. The reasons for occurrence of the error have been described in the content along with the various solutions to resolve the error.