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PST File access is denied after upgrading to Windows 10

After upgrading to Windows 10, I can no longer start Outlook and get the following error:

Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. File access is denied. You do not have the permission required to access the file
C:\Users\Robert\Documents\Outlook Files\Robert.pst.

How do I give myself access to my own pst-file again?

This issue is most likely to happen when you made the switch from logging on to Windows with a local account to Microsoft Account while the pst-file somehow was in use. In that case the permission adjustment for the pst-file was skipped.

There are other reasons for this to happen as well, but the method to recover is the same.

Cannot start Microsoft Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window. The set of folders cannot be opened. File access is denied. You do not have the permission required to access the file C:\Users\Robert\Documents\Outlook Files\Robert.pst.
It might be a bit of a shock at first but this issue is relatively easy to recover from.

Regaining access

To regain access, you can modify the permissions for the file yourself in the following way:

  1. Browse to the file location as indicated in the error.
  2. Right click on the file and choose Properties.
  3. Select the Security tab.
  4. Press the Edit… button.
  5. Select your user account.
  6. Select the “Full control” permission.
  7. Press OK until all dialogs are closed.
  8. Start Outlook again.

Permissions for Robert.pst - Full control
Give yourself Full Control to your pst-file.

Resetting all permissions for your user account

Now, theoretically speaking, your pst-file might not be the only file in your user’s storage location with the incorrect permissions. To be sure that all the files have the correct permissions again, you propagate the permissions for your user’s personal folder in the following way:

  1. Browse to C:\Users
  2. Right click your user’s folder and choose Properties.
    • In the example above, this folder is called: Robert.
  3. Select the Security tab.
  4. Verify that at least the following users or groups have “Full Control” access to this folder:
    • System
    • your user account
    • Administrators
  5. Press the Advanced button.
  6. In the bottom left corner, select the following option: Replace all child object permissions entries with inheritable permission entries from this object.
  7. Press OK.
  8. Read the warning and press Yes.
  9. Wait for permissions replacement process to complete. Depending on he amount of files you have in your user folder, this could take a few minutes.
  10. Once the process is done, you’ll be returned to the Properties dialog for your user folder. Press OK to close it.

Advanced Security for Robert - Replace all child object permission entries with inheritable permission entries from this object (click on image to enlarge)
Better safe than sorry; Make sure you have access to all your own files again. (click on image to enlarge)


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