Outlook data file cannot be accessed | Fix error 0x8994010f

Outlook is quite good not only for emailing but also for managing meetings, contacts, calendars, etc. While it maintains an offline backup known as an Outlook data file for all your Outlook data including emails. You may experience issues while sending and receiving emails whenever the Outlook data file cannot be accessed.

While sending and receiving emails, you will receive Sending reported error (0x8004010f): ‘Outlook data file cannot be accessed.’ or Receiving reported error (0x8004010f): ‘Outlook data file cannot be accessed’ respectively in case of inability to access the data file.

However, everything goes smooth as long as the email is in the drafts, but the problem arises when you click send or emails are arriving in your inbox.

This article tells you the reasons for the 0x8004010f error and how to fix it. In the end, we will also address the root cause of the error.


Why Outlook keeps showing 0x8004010f error?

The 0x8004010f generally looks like this when you check the email progress in the Show Progress option under the Send/ Receive tab.

Outlook Data File Cannot Be Accessed

As the name suggests, the error happens when the Outlook data files that are of .ost and .pst formats are not accessible by the Outlook app. Outlook data file cannot be accessed means there was some error when Outlook tried to read or edit the data file or it could not be found. This error is prevalent in Outlook app versions: Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and older.

However, there can be two reasons behind the inaccessibility of the file:

The Outlook data file is corrupted or cannot be read

Corrupt files refer to the files that have been altered accidentally by hardware or software failure and no longer serve the purpose. The large files are more prone to getting corrupt than the small files.

Later in this article, we will tell you how you can prevent the corruption of your Outlook data file. However, if you wish to read it now, either scroll down or use the quick links in the table of contents above.

The file is removed from the destination folder

The Outlook app searches only the preset location for the ‘.pst’ and ‘.ost’ data files. If you have moved the files from their original place, Outlook wouldn’t be able to access the files and would report the 0x8994010f error.

Moreover, this error can also appear if you have renamed the data file.


How to fix the “Outlook data file cannot be accessed” error?

Now that we know the reason behind the problem, we can accurately troubleshoot the problem. Perform the following troubleshooting steps to fix the 0x8004010f error that arises due to the inability of Outlook to read data files.

Disable Cached Exchange Mode

Cached exchange mode creates an offline copy of all the Outlook data for a seamless working experience even when disconnected from the internet. Enabling the Cached exchange mode increases the size of data files. It also puts the files at the risk of corruption by interfering with the files repeatedly.

Use the following steps to disable cached exchange mode:

  1. Firstly open Outlook and go to File tab.


  2. In the File tab, click on the square icon for Account settings and then select Account Settings from the drop down menu.


  3. Now Select the Account and click on Change.


  4. Uncheck the checkbox shown in the below image then click Next.


  5. A screen with the message “The operation you selected will not complete until you quit and restart Microsoft Outlook” will appear, click Ok.


  6. In the next windows, click Finish and restart your Outlook app.

Locate the Outlook data file and move it back to the specified location

Check the directory for the Outlook data file if it is there or not. The name of the Outlook data file is either Outlook.pst or Outlook.ost. Search the files on your PC or laptop and place them in the directory for the data file set in the Outlook app. Use the following steps to know the directory specified for the Outlook data file:

  1. Firstly open Outlook and go to the File tab.
    Outlook data file cannot be accessed

  2. Now click on the Account Settings icon and select Account Settings from the drop down menu.
    Outlook data file cannot be accessed

  3. Now go to the Data Files section by clicking on the option shown in the below image. You can see the data file location against the account name or username. You can also click on the Open File Location to open the data file directory.
    Outlook data file cannot be accessed

Create a new Outlook profile for new data file

Creating a new Outlook profile is worth it while troubleshooting most Outlook problems. Creating a new profile gives Outlook a new and fresh start by creating new data files.

We have already covered how to create a new Outlook profile/ID. In this article you will also get to know the other reasons for which your Outlook is not sending emails.

Run Outlook on Outlook Web App (OWA)

Using Outlook on a browser or OWA (Outlook Web App) doesn’t create any data file. Try sending emails from the Outlook Web App to eliminate the problem. You can also login to OWA when you see a similar error while receiving an email.


Why do PST data files get corrupted?

There can be few reasons for your ‘pst’ files getting corrupted repeatedly.

The most significant reason of them all is hardware or software failure that is causing unfavorable alterations in the data file.


How to save your Outlook data file from getting corrupted?

There are several runarounds for avoiding data file corruption and the data losses caused due to it. We recommend practicing the following things to prevent data file corruption:

Open outlook file in the Outlook app only

Outlook data files are supposed to be opened from the Outlook app only. Do not try to open the data file from the file explorer. Especially do not open it from the apps and software that can edit .pst and .ost files and claim to repair it unless necessary.

Don’t create copies of the Data file in the same directory

Multiple copies of the data file create confusion for Outlook regarding which one to edit after every process. Having multiple data files can render one or more data files to get corrupt.

Also, we suggest you not to move the Outlook data file out of the specified folder and move it back to the original place after some time. Doing so would interfere with the newly created data file automatically created by Outlook.

Moreover, we recommend you not to move the data file unnecessarily.

Don’t rename or change the contents

Outlook won’t be able to find and recognize the data file if you rename it. Also, changing the contents manually will result in non sync of files with Outlook and eventually it will get corrupt.

Protect your Data file with a Password

Well, this is not quite a compulsory thing to do if you are the only one accessing the computer. However, suppose there are other users too who use your computer that can potentially make alterations to the data file. In that case, you should protect your Outlook data file with a password. But don’t forget the protection password because it may land your Outlook data file inaccessible.

Click to know how to set a password to help protect your Outlook information.


Conclusion

If you face problems because of the reported error (0x8004010f): ‘Outlook data file cannot be accessed’, know that the fault lies in either the Outlook data file or its location. After reading this article, you can fix the problem and also avoid the problem in the future.

You can use the information provided in this article on all the versions of the Outlook app, namely Outlook 2019, Outlook 2016, Outlook 2013, Outlook 2010, Outlook 2007, and older.


FAQs

What does Outlook data file cannot be accessed mean?
Outlook data file cannot be accessed means that Outlook is unable to either read or edit the data file or locate it.

How do I fix the “Outlook data files cannot be accessed” error on a shared mailbox?
Presumably, the only way to fix the problem is to remove the shared mailbox account and re-add it to your Outlook. Temporarily, you can draft your email from the Outlook app and use mobile or web to send the email.

Why cannot Outlook access data files after moving pst?
Outlook only searches for the data file in the preset directory. Moving the ‘pst’ data file will make Outlook unable to find it.

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