Outlook - how to fix the issue when a user is unable to find emails in PST or personal folder

In this article, I have outlined the steps to fix the issue when a user is not able to find the emails he saves in his PST or personal folder. Please read the article below to know about it in detail.


A personal folder is provided within the outlook that may contain messages, forms, files etc. This personal folder helps you to organize your messages, for archiving emails/messages as well as manage the volume of messages sitting in your mailbox by dragging them to the appropriate personal folder.

I have written a completely different article on personal folder or PST folder on TEC and related troubleshooting. Please see the below link to know more about it.

How to change the destination of e-mails to the personal folder in Outlook 2003 and 2010

Likewise I have written a lot of outlook related articles on TEC which would help users or job seekers for learning purpose. Please see the following link to read those articles. The links below have a lot of sub links for your convenience.

How to resolve the issue if the Outlook shows disconnected

How to report Spam emails in Outlook 2010

How to enable and disable the Cached mode in Outlook 2010 and 2003

There are various reasons why a PST folder doesn't show emails in it. Let's discuss a few of them in this article which are the most common ones.

The most primary reason is when a PST folder gets corrupt. This happens due to some e-mail contents not compatible with the software or when the emails present in the folder have large attachments. In this case, we would need to repair PST file. The procedure is given below in this article. Secondary reason is when a PST folder exceeds its size limit. Just like Outlook, even a PST folder can reach its maximum size and when it does, user won't be able to see any emails in the folder. In this case, the resolution would be to create another PST folder and move items from the impacted PST folder to the new folder.

Another scenario is when the PST folder goes missing in the system. It shows default size of 265 KB. That means, it has to be retrieved by the server team on which the network drive and the impacted PST folder rests. In this case, user would need to contact server team as he won't be able to troubleshoot it by himself.

One more scenario is when the network drive does not synchronize with the office network due to some issues, like the user happens to work remotely or does a frequent to and fro login from remote location. Because a PST folder is stored on shared drive, it would not open up in outlook due to some sync issues. In this case, we need to run synchronize the network drive with the office network. The procedure on how to do it, has been discussed below.

One of the scenarios is when network drive is missing from the computer. This also happens when a user works remotely and from office location too frequently. In this case, either logon scripts are run or we will have to manually map the shared or network drive in the computer of the user and synchronize it with the office network manually. The procedure for doing this is given below in this article.

In certain cases, just unmapping the PST folder from the outlook and remapping it would also fix the issue. The procedure on how to do it is also given in this article.

This is a very interesting scenario often faced by the people who login from home and office very frequently. Let's look at a few troubleshooting methods on how to fix the issue. These are very common issues and troubleshooting given as follows, is widely used in MNCs.

Please use the following methods if you are not able to find any emails in the PST.

Method 1 – Running Logon Scripts

Please see the below simple and easy steps to run logon scripts in a user's computer to fix the issue discussed above.

Step 1 - On the desktop screen click on the Start

Step 2 – Click on Run

Step 3 - In the Run window, type the logon script of the company with domain. The format must be \\domain name\netlogon\logonscript.vbs. Domain name differs as per company network and location.

Step 4 - Close and Re-launch Outlook to check if you are able to access the emails in the PST.

If the above method does not resolve the issue, please use method 2.

Method 2 – Synchronizing Network or Shared or P drive with office network.

Please see the below simple and easy steps to know how to synchronize the network drive with office network.

Step 1 - Go to My Computer

Step 2 - Click on Tools

Step 3 – Click on Synchronize

Step 4 - A new window opens "Items to Synchronize"

Step 5 - Click on Synchronize again,

Step 6 - After the Synchronization process, Close and Re-launch Outlook to check if you are able to see the emails under the PST.

If the above method does not resolve the issue, please use method 3.

Method 3 – Unmap and Remap the PST folder

Please see the following simple and easy steps to know how to unmap and remap PST folder

Step 1 - In Outlook, Right click on the PST which you are not able to expand, and then close the PST to un-map the PST in the Outlook

Step 2 - Click on File

Step 3 – Click on Open

Step 4 – Click on Outlook Data File

Step 5 - A new window opens "Open Outlook Data File

Step 6 - Click on the Dropdown to select the path to map the PST which you have un-mapped earlier.

Note: PSTs are stored in your P drive under Mail folder

Step 7 - Now select the PST which you have un-mapped and click on OK to re-map the PST.

Step 8 - You should now be able to access the PST in Outlook.


These were the simple methods to troubleshoot the issue with emails missing in PST folder. My articles would help people from many groups and serve as a learning guide. My intention behind writing these articles is to share knowledge and enhance my own skill.

These would help the people who lack technical knowledge to fix the issue themselves without asking for any kind of help from IT people at office or at home. This would save their precious time.

Freshers who look for job in IT help desk in MNCs can learn a lot from these articles. I have kept the most frequently asked interview questions in mind while writing them so that these could serve as a learning guide for them.

Technical support engineers can use my articles to provide resolution to their clients on spot and gain positive customer feedback, save FCR without taking any help from other support groups and enhance team performance.


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