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How to fix ‘cannot open your default email folders’

We take great pride in ensuring a Worry-Free Experience™ for our customers. While our support team is available 24/7 to assist with your needs, we realize from time to time, you might have important questions you need answered quickly.

The Intermedia Knowledge base is a great place to start. With articles, FAQs, videos and technical support documents developed by our support experts, we give you quick access to the information you need – from recovering deleted items in Outlook® to setting up ActiveSync on an Android™ device.

To make it even easier for you to get answers to your questions, we thought we’d share technical tips from one of our more popular Knowledge Base articles. This article will show you how to fix the Outlook error that reads ‘cannot open your default email folders’.

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How to fix ‘cannot open your default email folders’

While this issue does not come about often, it can be aggravating and confusing when it does rear its ugly head. Fortunately, the cause is simple and the fix is quick and easy.

You may receive an “error” text as follows, and we hope you never see this outside of this blog:

“Cannot open your default email folders. The information store could not be opened.”

This error occurs for one of two reasons:

  1. Your .OST file, aka your offline Outlook Data File, has become corrupted and needs to be repaired/replaced, or
  2. You’re running Outlook in “Compatibility Mode”.

We advise checking the causes in the order above as the issue is usually caused by the first and not the second reason.

Rebuilding your .OST file

To troubleshoot a bad .OST file, first remove any old profiles you do not use via the control panel as shown above, and then delete your old .OST file and create a new one by following these instructions.

Turning off compatibility mode

If you make it through these steps and the issue continues to persist, you’re likely using a 64-bit operating system running Outlook through Windows® compatibility mode. Luckily, turning this off is incredibly easy to do.

First, navigate to the following directory: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office XX\Outlook.exe

Next, as shown above, select  “Outlook.exe” and then select “Properties” – this should be at the very bottom. From there, go to the “compatibility” tab and uncheck the “Run this program in compatibility mode” check box. Select “apply” and then restart your computer and open up Outlook to ensure “compatibility mode” is completely turned off

If all goes well, the error should be gone, and your previously barren inbox will be re-populated with all the missing emails. Congratulations! You have successfully restored your inbox.

If the issue persists, don’t panic! Read more about the subject in the Intermedia Knowledge Base.

Or, if you’re an Intermedia customer, just give our support team a call at 800.379.7729 and they’ll help walk you through it.

About Kirsten Barta

Kirsten Barta is Sr Marketing Communications Manager at Intermedia