“Cannot Display The Folder” in Outlook: 7 Ways to Fix the Error

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Have you ever encountered an error message in Outlook stating, “Cannot display the folder. Microsoft Outlook cannot access the specified folder location. The operation failed. An object cannot be found.”? If so, don’t worry, this article will help you resolve the “Microsoft Outlook cannot display the folder” error quickly and efficiently.

Cannot Display The Folder in Outlook 7 Ways to Fix the Error

When this error occurs, Outlook may not function properly. You might notice that all folders have disappeared, and attempting to open any folder results in the “Cannot display the folder” message. This issue can arise from various causes, including a corrupt Outlook profile, OST/PST file corruption, problematic add-ins, cached Exchange mode, folder permissions, and more.

Above-mentioned issues can also cause your Outlook to not respond.

In this article, we have outlined seven effective solutions to help you resolve this error and get your Outlook back to working smoothly.

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“Cannot Display The Folder” Outlook Error

Here is a quick overview of the easy solutions for quick resolution.

  • Resolve issues by repairing or deleting the Offline Storage Table (OST) file, allowing Outlook to recreate it.
  • Disabling add-ons from third-party software providers that might be causing issues.
  • Install the latest updates to Outlook, addressing bugs and improving stability and performance.
  • Ensure Outlook has access to folders by adjusting permission settings.
  • You can also try toggling from Outlook New to Classic Outlook.

Let’s discuss these and more solutions in detail with instructions in the next sections.

4 Easy Ways to Fix the “Cannot Display The Folder” Error in Outlook

The solutions below involve simpler steps within the Outlook interface or basic file management tasks that users can perform without much technical knowledge.

Solution 1. Manage OST File (Repair or Delete)

Fix Outlook Now Advanced SystemCare will automatically fix your Outlook errors and other PC/driver issues that might lead to the error.

The Offline Storage Table (OST) file is crucial for Outlook to function offline. If it becomes corrupted or oversized, you might encounter the “Cannot Display The Folder” error.

  • Begin by closing the “Outlook” application completely using “Task Manager”.
End Outlook in Task Manager
  • Proceed to navigate to one of the following directories based on your computer’s configuration and the Office version installed:
    • For 64-bit systems: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
    • For 32-bit systems: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\root\Office16
    • Alternatively: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office
  • Locate the file named “SCANPST.EXE” and double-click it to launch the application.
Open Scanpst.exe
  • In the “SCANPST.EXE” window, browse to select the Outlook data file that you want to repair.
  • Click on the “Start” button to start the process.
Select PST data file that you want to repair
  • Once the repair is complete, restart “Outlook” and check if the issue persists.

If repairing the file does not resolve the issue, you can try deleting or renaming the Outlook OST file to allow Outlook to recreate it. Follow these steps:

  • Close “Outlook” and open the “Run” command box by pressing the ‘Win+R’ keys together.
  • Type the following command in the Open box: %LOCALAPPDATA%\Microsoft\Outlook
  • Locate the “OST” file in the folder that opens and create a backup copy in another location.
  • After creating a backup, delete the “OST” file or rename it.
Create a backup copy of Outlook Data File in another location
  • Restart your computer and open “Outlook” again.

Outlook will generate a new OST file. Verify if you can now access the folder without encountering the error.

Solution 2. Turn Off Third-Party Outlook Add-ins

Third-party add-ins can sometimes interfere with Outlook’s functionality, leading to errors.

  • Open the “Outlook” application.
  • Click on “File” in the top menu, then select “Options”.
  • In the Options window, click on “Add-ins”.
  • At the bottom of the Add-ins page, next to “Manage”, select “COM Add-ins” and click on “Go”.
Select COM add ins
  • In the COM Add-ins window, uncheck the boxes next to the add-ins you wish to disable.
Turn off Add-Ins in Outlook
  • Restart “Outlook” normally and check if you still get the error.

Solution 3. Update Outlook to the Latest Version

Outlook updates often include bug fixes that can resolve various issues, including folder display errors.

  • Open “Outlook” and click on the “File” menu.
  • Choose “Office Account” or “Account” depending on your Outlook version.
  • In the “Product Information” section, locate the “Update Options” button. Click on it and select “Update Now”. Outlook will now check for and install any available updates.
Update Office
  • Once the update process is complete, restart “Outlook” to apply the changes.

Solution 4. Adjust Folder Permission Settings

Incorrect folder permissions can prevent access to certain folders, leading to display errors.

  • Navigate to the “Folder” panel, right-click on the public folder, and select “Properties”.
  • If you don’t see “Public Folders,” press ‘CTRL + 6’ on your keyboard.
  • Choose your desired permission level under “Permissions”.
  • Customize permissions by selecting options and checking or unchecking boxes. Ensure visibility by checking the box next to “Folder Visible”.
Adjust Folder Permission Settings in Outlook
  • If permissions are not granted, click on “Edit”, grant the necessary permissions, and save by clicking “OK”.

3 Advanced Ways to Fix Outlook Error “Cannot Display The Folder” 

If the steps provided earlier don’t resolve the issue, let’s move on to more advanced troubleshooting steps that address deeper and more complex system issues. 

Adv. Solution 1. Disable Cached Exchange Mode

Fix Outlook Now Advanced SystemCare will automatically fix your Outlook errors and other PC/driver issues that might lead to the error.

Cached Exchange Mode can improve performance, but it might cause issues with folder display.

  • Open the “Outlook” application and click on “Info”.
  • Select “Account Settings”.
  • Choose the desired email account and click on the “Change” option.
Outlook Account Settings
  • Under “Offline Settings”, uncheck the box labeled “Use Cached Exchange Mode”.
Disable Cached Exchange Mode
  • Restart “Outlook” to apply all changes.

Adv. Solution 2. Set Up a New Outlook Profile

Creating a new Outlook profile can resolve various issues, including folder display errors.

  • Open the “Outlook” program and navigate to “Account Settings” > “Manage Profiles”.
Outlook Manage Profiles
  • In the “Mail Setup” dialog box that appears, select “Show Profiles”.
Show Profiles for OUTLOOK
  • You will see a list of all currently configured profile. Click on “Add” to add a new profile.
Enter a New Profile Name
  • A dialog box titled “Add Account” will appear. Enter your name, email address, and password for the new profile. Click “Next”.
Enter needed details for new Outlook account
  • When opening Outlook, select the option to “Prompt for a profile to be used”, then click “OK”.
Prompt for a profile to be used
  • Close “Outlook” and restart it to apply the changes.

Adv. Solution 3. Modify Default Public Folder Mailbox

Incorrect settings in the public folder mailbox can cause display issues. Some users have found success by changing the default public folder mailbox. You can follow these steps to see if it resolves the error:

  • Open “Exchange PowerShell”.
  • Enter the following command, replacing <username> with the user’s identity and “PublicFolderMailboxName” with the name of the desired public folder mailbox:

Set-Mailbox -Identity <username> -DefaultPublicFolderMailbox "PublicFolderMailboxName"

  • Once the default public folder mailbox is set for the specified user, check if the error is resolved.
  • Save changes and restart “Outlook”.


By following our fix steps provided above, you should be able to resolve the “Cannot Display The Folder” error in Outlook. Whether it’s managing your OST file, adjusting permissions, or updating the software, these solutions cover a range of potential issues, ensuring your Outlook runs smoothly.
Let us know in the comments below how it went for you!

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About the author
Joshua Hohendorf
Joshua Hohendorf - Author

Joshua is an author at WindowsFixHub.

His experience involves Product and Program Management with the knowledge and ability to get things done. Utilizing basic to advanced IT work such as setting up new networks, troubleshooting software, and computer maintenance.