In this post, we take a closer look at the MS Outlook “PST Can not be Accessed – 0x80040116” error, what it means, its causes, and practical ways to troubleshoot the problem.
MS Outlook is a popular email client software that is reliable and easy to use. Once in a while, you may face challenges when using this application. For instance, you may find it impossible to access your mailbox data. This can happen due to varied reasons. When this happens, you may get error messages such as the one associated with the above error.
What does this error mean?
If you get this message, it means that your Outlook mailbox is inaccessible. The PST file stores all Outlook files on your personal computer. These include emails, text messages, attachments, appointments, and contacts. It is important to mention that you may face this error at various levels of accessing your Outlook data. For instance, when opening Outlook or trying to send/open new emails. It may appear as an ‘‘unknown error’’ or a connectivity problem.
When this happens, you are unable to use Outlook and thus cannot read your emails or send/receive messages. This can have a huge impact on your business, especially where delayed communication is likely to lead to financial losses.
Causes of this error
Although the common cause for this problem is a severe PST corruption of the mailbox data, there are other reasons that can trigger this error. For instance, if your PST data has exceeded the set file size limit, there is a high probability that your Outlook application will malfunction.
If you are operating Outlook 2007, your PST file should not exceed 20GB. Later versions of Outlook, including Office 365, can have PST files as large as 50GB. However, your mailbox can misbehave before you reach this limit. For optimal performance, it is wise to maintain the size of your PST file below 12GB and 30GB for Outlook 2007 and later versions, respectively.
You can also experience a software conflict between your antivirus and Outlook. In this case, most antivirus software will block mailbox content and make it inaccessible. To prevent this from happening, it is advisable to configure the antivirus to avoid scanning emails.
Although the actual steps may vary from one antivirus software to another, you will need to exempt the scanning of activities associated with emails, email servers, Post Office Protocol 3 (POP3), as well as SMTP and IMAP accounts. Also, make sure you maintain a current version of Outlook. This is because older versions are likely to conflict with current antivirus definitions.
How to fix the Outlook error 0x80040116
It is always advisable to establish what is the root cause of this error to enable you to fix the issue appropriately. For starters, if you are unable to send or receive emails, confirm whether you are connected to the internet. You can do so by launching your browser and trying to connect to the internet. If the internet connection is stable, confirm whether your Outlook profile is set properly and fix if it isn’t.
Most connectivity issues will be resolved by the time you are done with the above steps if the size of the PST file is ok. If the problem persists, then it is possible that you are dealing with corrupt PST files. Use the DataNumen Outlook Repair tool to fix the problem. Remember to select the option to split out the file if the source file is oversize.