Fix Outlook Error “Cannot Start Microsoft Outlook the Set of Folders Cannot Be Opened”

“The set of folders cannot be opened network problems are preventing connection to Microsoft Exchange” error encounters while using Outlook. It is a frustrating error that prevents you to initialize Outlook properly. Here, in this technical guide, we will discuss different methods to fix this Outlook error cannot start Microsoft outlook the set of folders cannot be opened along with its causes. 

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Microsoft keeps releasing a new version of the Outlook email client to make its application more responsive and less defective. Moreover, it also launches a new set of features to enhance the application working.  Despite all these, some errors occur that interrupt the working of the MS Outlook. One such error is cannot start Microsoft Outlook the set of folders cannot be opened.  So here we will focus on this error along with its causes. Let’s first discuss its causes and symptoms in the below segment. 

Other forms of this Outlook error:

1. cannot start outlook the set of folders cannot be opened.

2. cannot open outlook window the set of folders cannot be opened.

3. outlook cannot start Microsoft outlook the set of folders could not be opened.

4. cannot start Microsoft outlook cannot open the outlook window you must connect to Microsoft exchange.

5. cannot open outlook the set of folders cannot be opened.

6. cannot open outlook the set of folders.

If you are getting any of the mentioned error message on your computer screen then you can get rid of them by learning and applying the discussed methods.

Reasons Behind this Outlook Error:

Before we discuss the fixes to the error, it is important to understand the causes and its symptoms. Below are some of the main causes along with the symptoms:

  • One of the main symptoms of this error is very obvious and you can recognize it easily. Just click on Outlook’s icon, a pointer will be displayed and keep hanging for some while.  Then you will see the Outlook error.
  • One of the major reasons responsible for this error is a broken Navigation Pane configuration file – profilename.xml, where “profilename” is used for Outlook profile name. The symptom of it is that the file size becomes 0 KB. No one is aware of the actual cause responsible for this. But entire versions of Microsoft Outlook are affected with this from older to the newest. 
  • Another reason behind the error “ cannot start outlook the set of folders cannot be opened is that the Outlook is in compatibility mode. Also if you use profile buildup in an older Outlook version. 
  • The error can occur when Outlook data file becomes faulty due to improper uninstallation or reinstallation of Outlook. 

Here, we discussed some major causes and symptoms of the outlook error. Now, let’s move towards the solutions. 

Fix Outlook Error “cannot start Microsoft Outlook the set of folders cannot be opened”:

Before you initialize with any methods, you require to ensure the following instructions:

  • Switch off the entire backup applications such as iCloud that is used to back up the data file. Because Outlook can not access the file if the file is in use already.
  • Make sure that the file is not removed or eliminated from its actual location.
  • Add-ins can also stop Outlook from accessing the data file.

Now, let’s move ahead to the solutions to this Outlook Error.

Solution 1. Make a New Outlook Profile

Sometimes this issue is occurring due to a corrupt Outlook profile. So to fix the error “error the information store could not be opened in Outlook”, you need to make a completely new Outlook profile. Just go as per the instructed steps below:

  1. First, put control in the search box >> choose Control Panel.
  2. Switch View by to Large icons >> press on User Accounts.
  3. Now, tap on Mail > >Show Profiles buttons accordingly.
  4. Choose your profile >> press on the Remove button.
  5. Then press on the Add button present in the Mail Profiles window and provide the name of the new Outlook profile.
  6. Hit on OK to save changes. Now,  you can choose the Auto Account Setup or Manual Setup. And then go as per the on-screen instructions to finish the process successfully.

Now, check whether the issue is resolved or still persists. If the error still encounters then go to another solution. 

Solution 2. Reconfigure Navigation Pane Parameter

The navigation pane contains entire folders of Outlook data and icons such as Contacts, Tasks, Calendar and etc. When you reconfigure the navigation pane parameter, it will eliminate entire folders. But it can fix the issue “the information store could not be opened in Outlook”. Just according to the below instructions:

  1. Turn off the entire application related to Outlook.
  2. Click  Win + R keys to view the Run box >> put outlook.exe /resetnavpane in it and tap on Enter.

If you are able to access Outlook usually after executing the command, it’s OK. If not, then go as instructed below:

  1. Open the Run box, and then type the %appdata%\Microsoft\Outlook command and hit Enter.
  2. Get the Outlook file in the Outlook folder and rename it as Outlook.old.
  3. Again view the Outlook to see whether it works or not. If the error still encounters then redirect to the next solution. 

Solution 3. Repair Outlook Data Files

Sometimes the error “the set of folders can not be opened” occurs due to a corrupt Outlook file. Outlook data files store entire data like email messages, tasks, and events. Once these files get corrupt or damaged due to any reasons you may face these frustrating errors. So you need to execute the inbox repair tool of Outlook that will scan and repair the corrupt Outlook files. 

So here we discussed different methods to fix the Outlook error. Even after using the above solutions properly, you fail to fire your issue. And also if you are running out of time or nontechnical users, then you may use a professional utility. One such utility is DRS PST Recovery, the tool recovers any type of corrupted Outlook files easily. You can get rid of any Outlook error without data loss and in no time with this tool. 


Here, in this write-up, we discussed various fixes to the error: “cannot start Microsoft outlook the set of folders cannot be opened”. I hope at the end of the blog, you will be able to successfully resolve the Outlook error. But still, if you find any difficulty then leave a comment in the comment box. 

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