Resolve Error: Outlook Data File (OST) Cannot be Configured in Outlook

Probably, your system has recently experienced one of the following situations – abrupt termination, synchronization error, logical error, virus attack or similar other problem, thus causing corruption in OST file and the OST-file cannot be configured in Outlook. Users might face the challenges related to “Your Outlook Data File cannot be configured”, which points to OST-file, and when the error strikes, they are not equipped with error-solutions. In case error related to ‘Outlook data file cannot be configured’ strikes, then this document help in finding the cause of this error, the effects of error, and the solutions to resolve the error.

A momentary power interruption when Outlook is still running on the computer may result in corrupt OST-file. When the situation arises, the first resolution step is to run the Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe) command in the repair mode, on the suspected Outlook storage Tables or OST file. Though the problem should be resolved by running the scanpst.exe command in repair mode, there are chances that the repair tool is unable to resolve the issue, attributed due to a major reason that the OST file has gone severely corrupt.

It is better to understand the error and the causes for this error, before starting with the resolution steps.

Cause of Error

  1. The missing OST file from the MS Outlook on a particular system is the most common reason for this error.
  2. The second prominent reason is corruption in OST file due to external factors such as virus attack, synchronization error, power failure and internal factors such as logical errors. If the system is affected by any one of these errors, and the user tries to access the Outlook profile, then the error message “OST cannot be configured in Outlook” is displayed.
  3. Sometimes, Skype for Business opens before Outlook and interrupts with the normal working of Exchange and then the OST file cannot be configured in Outlook. This can be resolved by opening the Outlook before skype for Business.
  4. Outlook starts running on Cached Exchange mode. Check if Outlook is running in Cached Exchange mode. On the bottom right corner, the Outlook should read “Connected To: Microsoft Exchange” and should not read “Online With: Microsoft Exchange”.

Resolve with Simple Remedies

Outlook users may resolve the error with the following steps:

In case of missing OST file:

  1. In case the path of OST-File is changed, then recheck the path of data-files and reset it to the original path on that system.
  2. OST file might get deleted from the system. To overcome this problem, delete the Outlook application and re-install MS Outlook. Next, download the OST file using the Exchange server.
  3. Just delete OST file and re-create OST by downloading a copy of that file using the Exchange server.

Note: The deletion of OST file and restarting it may not lead to achieving the desired results. Contents of ‘Contacts’, ‘Tasks’ and ‘Calendar’ folders might be deleted. Better to deploy Stellar Converter for OST tool to convert the components of OST file into a PST file and avoid the data-deletion from that OST file. Later you can import PST file to MS Outlook to access emails.

Delete OST file and re-create OST by using the Exchange server.

Users can access their account on MS Outlook through OST-file, where OST fetches data from its replica saved and scored on the mail server.  If there is a problem with OST file available on the user-system, then it is possible to delete the file and re-create OST by downloading a copy of that file using the Exchange server.

  • Shut down Outlook application
  • Go to Control Panel and search for Mail from the “Search Control box
  • A dialog box appears with the name of “Mail Setup”. From the available options, select E-mail accounts
  • From the given options, choose the Data Files tab, and select Exchange account, followed by selecting “Open File Location” on the mini toolbar
  • Next, return to File Explorer Window, after closing the Account Settings and the Mail Setup box.
  • Go to corresponding File Explorer Window and right click on Exchange Data file followed by clicking on Delete button.
    • Shut down the system and restart. A new OST file is created for the Outlook account on rebooting the system. Hopefully, this step should be able to resolve the error

In case of corrupt OST file:

Use the inbuilt Inbox repair exe-file – scanpst.exe to repair the OST file if the corruption level is not so high. For severely corrupted OST file, use OST to PST Converter to repair inaccessible OST file into an accessible PST file.

Steps to Convert OST into PST

  1. Install, Run and Open OST to PST Converter Software
  2. Select the OST file with Select Outlook File option. In case, the file-location is not known then find the OST file with Find Outlook File option
  3. Click on the Convert button and verify mailbox components
  4. Click on Save Converted File and select PST from the given options. PST file is saved at the preferred location.

Exceptional Case

Sometimes when a user tries to upload the Outlook on a machine, it complains that the OST-file is missing and displays the following error message:

‘Outlook Data File (OST) Cannot be Configured in Outlook’

Steps to resolve the error by Resetting with E-mail configurator

In this case, the user on a computer is synced to a particular domain that is no longer available to open the email. This is particularly experienced by users having a roaming profile. For example a user profile existed in C:\users\<username>.<domain> but recently, it got changed to C:\users\<username>

The original folder is no longer available on the new machine, and when the user tries to upload Outlook on the machine, then the machine complains of an error: “Your Outlook Data File cannot be
configured on Outlook”.

In this case where there is an absence of user profile in a particular domain then the Outlook should be directed to look for the OST file in the existing Directory. This is achieved by “Resetting it with Email Configurator”.

  1. Go to Control Panel and click on User Accounts followed by clicking on E-mail
  2. There are two options: either the Outlook Data file is stand alone, or it is synchronized with Exchange.
  3. For stand-alone OST: Update the OST-location with Data Files option
  4. Synced with Exchange: Go to Account Settings and Turn-off ‘Cached-mode’ and renew the Outlook profile, followed by clicking to turn on the ‘Cached modus’.

Note: Make sure that the path of OST file as searched for, is available and Read-Write permissions are available to the user.


When an error is critical, and the user is unable to access the application, then specialized tools and software become part of user’s arsenal. These commercially available tools are easy to use and do not require extra expertise. Additionally, this commercial software has an advantage of offering support and training throughout the product lifecycle. Users can integrate the testing software into their environment to test the product’s functionalities before final selection.


  1. Clay June 27, 2019
    • Shelly Bhardwaj August 14, 2019

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