Outlook: “The Path Specified for the PST File is not Valid”

Microsoft Outlook: How to Fix the error Outlook.pst file not working
The Path Specified for the PST File is not Valid fix outlook error

You might be already familiar with Microsoft Outlook which comes bundled with the Microsoft Office lineup. Outlook is quite popular with users. If you are too a user then you might have come across this error which says, “The Path Specified for the File Outlook.pst is not valid”.

This error of path not valid for File Outlook.pst in Microsoft Outlook can be solved easily. If you are looking for a solution to this problem of Outlook files not working then you have come to the right place. We will help you fix this MS outlook error in this post.

First of all, let us take a look at what is this .pst file. If you add your email account to Outlook or when you do the same with your profile, the data of that profile such as calendar, contacts, mails, etc.  are saved in a .pst file. This file gets locally stored in your PC and some of the previously loaded files can be accessed even without an internet connection. That happens because of this file only.

So, this file is an important file for the system to work fine. The following are some of the important things to know before we dive in to sort the problem:

  • The .pst file is stored with the name:
  • Outlook.pst in the old versions of Outlook (up to 2010 versions)
  • mail_id.pst in the newer versions of Outlook (2013 and beyond versions) Eg: [email protected]
  • The default location of the .pst file are different from version to version
  • In the Old Outlook versions(up to 2010 versions) the file is stored in: C:\Users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst
  • In the newer Outlook versions( 2013 and beyond) the file is stored in: C:\Users\%username%\Documents\Outlook Files\mail_id.pst
  • The error “The Path Specified for the File Outlook.pst is not valid” can occur
  • If the Outlook application could not locate the .pst file in the whole system.
  • The .pst file could be located on the external storage like a server or network drive and Outlook is not able to access it.
  • The .pst file that is present is corrupted or deleted.
  • The size of the mailbox has reached its maximum and causes issues with Office Programs

In this post, we are going to see different ways of fixing the “The Path Specified for the File Outlook.pst is not valid” error in detail.

Solution 1: Please check whether is deleted or not

Sometimes we delete files and maybe the .pst file got deleted with other files. You need to double-check whether accidentally you have deleted the .pst file. Don’t worry, you can undo it if you have not emptied the Recycle bin without checking the .pst file.

Step 1: You can Double Click the icon of Recycle Bin from the Desktop and open the Recycle Bin.

Step 2: Search for the .pst file in the bin. If there are a lot of items in the bin then:

  1. Please type *.pst in the search bar located at the top-right corner of the window
  2. Press on the arrow next to search bar.

Step 3: Once found

  1. Right-click on the .pst file
  2. Choose Restore from the context menu

With this the file must have been restored back to the location. Check if the issue has fixed. If not, try the below fix.

Solution 2: Check if the file got moved elsewhere

Step 1: Open the Windows Explorer pressing together the keys Windows button + E.

Step 2: In the search bar located at the top-right corner of the window, type *.pst and press Enter

If you know the name of the file exactly, then type the name and search for it. For example, if you know the name is Outlook.pst.xxx search for this name. This way the search results will load faster.

Step 3: Once the .pst file is found, please move the file to the location that is mentioned in the error message.

Solution 3: In the Mail Setup, Update the .pst file

In case you have intentionally deleted a .pst file (maybe because it is old or you never want to use it again), then you should remove the old .pst file and update it with the .pst file to be used in the Mail Setup. Please follow the below steps for it:

Step 1: Open the Run Dialog by holding the keys Windows + R together in your PC

Step 2: Please type control and hit Enter in the Run Dialog box

Step 3: Type Mail in the search bar located at the top right corner of the Control Panel window. Next you can Click on the Mail option that shows up

Step 4: Click on the Data Files button in the Mail Setup window that opens

Step 5: In the Account Settings window,

  1. Please make Sure that you are in the Data Files tab
  2. Click on the file you want to use as the .pst file henceforth
  3. You can Click on Set as Default
  4. A confirmation Dialog appears, please click OK

Step 6: You can opt to delete a .pst file that may not be required anymore. To do so, in the Account Settings window, please do the following:

  1. Click on the file you want to delete
  2. Click on the Remove Option at the top

With this, a new .pst file will be associated with Outlook and Outlook should be able to open it. You can Check this fix out whether it works in your case. If not try the next fix.

Solution 4: In the Mail Setup, Restore to the previous version of the .pst file

This fix can be done if the backups of the pst file are taken before.

Step 1: You can go to the Control Panel and Open the Mail Setup. Refer the Steps 1,2,3, from Fix number 3

Step 2: In the Mail Setup window, please click on the Data Files button

Step 3: In the Account Settings window that opens, you can do the following:

  1. Please Make sure that you are in the Data Files tab
  2. You can Click on Add option
  3. In Create or Open Outlook Data File window that opens, please click on Documents
  4. Next, you can right-click on the Outlook Files folder and click on Restore previous versions from the context menu.
  5. Next, Outlook Files Properties Window opens up, in the Previous Versions tab, please click on the version you want to revert back to and then you can press the restore button.

Solution 5: You can Repair the .pst file

If there is a .pst file already present in the location specified in the error message that pops up, it means that the file has got corrupted due to some memory or other issue and Outlook is not able to open it. In this case, you can try to run the built-in repair tool for Outlook by Microsoft. It is called – Scan PST.

Below are the steps to be followed to scan a .pst file:

Step 1: Find out the location of the .pst file. Below are the steps for it:

  1. Please go to the Control Panel and Open the Mail Setup. You can refer the Steps 1,2,3, from Fix number 3
  2. In the Mail Setup window, you can click on the Data Files button
  3. In the Account Settings window that will open, please click on the .pst file that you want to repair 
  4. In the Outlook Data File window that opens up, Under the Filename section, the location of the file will be present.

Step 2: Run the SCAN PST application. To do so, we should know its location.

The locations are different for different versions of Outlook.

Outlook 365

C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16

Outlook 2016/2019

32-bit Windows –  C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16

64-bit Windows –  C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office16

64-bit Outlook –  C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office16

Click-to-Run  –   C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16

Outlook 2013

32-bit Windows –  C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15

64-bit Windows –  C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15

64-bit Outlook –  C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office15

Click-to-Run –   C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office15

Outlook 2010

32-bit Windows –  C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14

64-bit Windows –  C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14

64-bit Outlook –   C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14

Outlook 2007

32-bit Windows –  C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12

64-bit Windows –   C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office12

Outlook 2003

32-bit Windows –  C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\<locale ID-

64-bit Windows –  C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\<locale ID-

Outlook 2002/XP

C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MAPI\<locale ID- \scanpst.exe

Outlook 2000

C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MAPI\<locale ID- \NT\scanpst.exe

Based on the Outlook version of your system, you can go to the appropriate location and click on SCANPST.EXE   

Step 3: Now you can open the Outlook Data File window (the window that opened in Step 1, point e) Please select the entire Filename and Copy it. (Keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl+A and then Ctrl+C)

Step 4: When the SCAN PST application opens up,

  1. Please Paste the filename in the ‘Enter the name of the file you want to scan’ section
  2. Then you can Click on the Start button

Once, the scan is complete. You can restart your system and try opening Outlook Application. Check if your problem has been solved.


Hopefully, we could help you out by providing this post and solve the issue you were facing with MS Outlook. Thank you for visiting our post. Please come back for more and if you face such issues then you can post it in the comments section. We would be happy to help.

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