Steps to Fix Outlook error “The Set of Folders Cannot be Open”

Amrita Choudhary
Amrita Choudhary

Published On - January 18, 2023

In today’s world, email is one of the essential services for effective communication for business or personal use. In the professional world, everything relies on emails to communicate with each other. MS Outlook is the world’s most widely used email client. Its features like ease to use and work efficiency make it the user’s favorite. But sometimes, like others, it also encounters some errors, which makes the user frustrated. Sometimes the problem is minute and easy to resolve, but occasionally severe errors occur, which cannot be solved quickly.

Several Outlook users have reported the error “The set of folders cannot be open.” Maybe something is wrong with the data files and Outlook. Unfortunately, many users of Outlook 365, 2016, 2013, and 2010 have encountered this Outlook error. Before going through the solutions listed below, ensure you are not running a backup software to keep your important files secure.

Methods to solve the error “The Set of Folders Cannot be Open.”

Open Outlook in Safe Mode

A simple method to solve this error is to run Microsoft Outlook in Safe Mode. It allows Outlook to start without loading the add-ins. Follow the process given below-

  1. Search and open the Run application, and type in ‘Outlook/safe. Then press OK
  2. Note: – If asked, choose your Outlook profile and enter your credentials.

  3. After this, Microsoft Outlook will start working in Safe Mode if it works fine; the problem is with the add-ins.
Disable the add-ins

Now you must disable the add-ins to resolve the error

  1. Open Outlook and then go to the File option.
  2. Click on Options.Click on Options
  3. Click on Add-insClick on Add-ins
  4. Now select “COM Add-ins” in the “Manage box,” and then click on the “Go” button.COM Add-ins
  5. Then uncheck all the add-ins displayed in the list and click on the OK button.
  6. Now restart Outlook and verify whether the same error exists or not. If that error still presents, then move on to the subsequent methods
Update the Outlook application

You need to check if there are any pending updates for the Office application.

  1. Go to File and select Office Account
  2. Move to the Office Updates.
  3. Click on Update Options
  4. Then press on the Update now option to update the Outlook email client.update the Outlook email client
Office installation needs to be repaired
  1. Open Control Panel, then click on Programs & Features from the list.
  2. Then select an office from the list.
  3. Then click on Change and open the Quick Repair tool.
  4. However, if the error is still popping up when you launch Outlook, then run the Online Repair tool.
Start Outlook from the Taskbar

Many users pin the most used applications to their Taskbar to open them quickly. Sometimes, you can avoid the “The set of folders that cannot be opened” error message simply by starting Outlook using the Taskbar shortcut.

Outlook will start ideally through this, but it is not a permanent solution; you need to do it every time you open Outlook.

Create a new Outlook Profile

Corruption in your profile may result in a ‘Cannot start Microsoft Outlook error’. If you cannot open the Outlook window, try creating a new profile by following these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel, and then click Mail.
  2. In the Mail column, click on the Show Profiles on the Show Profiles
  3. In the Mail window, select the existing profile, and then click Remove
  4. Important Note: – Removing a profile will delete all email accounts in that profile. However, a PST file associated with that profile will remain on your system. But to access that file data, you’ll need to open the PST file from within another profile.

  5. Next, click Add to create a new profile. Enter your Profile name when prompted, and then click OK
  6. In Add Account window, fill in the required details and click Next.
  7. Click Finish when your email account is successfully configured and is ready to use.


This blog provided various methods to solve this “The set of folders is unable to be opened.” error, like opening Outlook in safe mode, disabling the add-ins, and many more. But the problem related to Outlook PST file issues remains the same, so we highly recommend you opt for the professional way of Recoveryfix for Outlook PST Repair. Some benefits of this software are that it is the best alternative if Scanpst.exe failed to repair PST files and restore the data to a new healthy PST.

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