Error Message “Your Outlook Data File cannot be configured”

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parryjm

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 32 bit
Email Account
IMAP
I recently encountered the following error message when starting Outlook 2013 – “Your Outlook Data File cannot be configured” and it was pointing to my “.ost” file. I suspect an Outlook file became corrupt as a result of a momentary power interruption while Outlook was running on my computer. Wasn’t sure what to do, so I ran the Microsoft Outlook Inbox Repair Tool (Scanpst.exe) once on the suspected “.ost” file. It found errors, so I selected the repair option. This did not resolve the issue. Not knowing what else to do, I contracted with a technical person to get my Outlook back up and running. Needless to say it took him many hours to get my Outlook back up and operational.

I recently found out that you may need to run this Scanpst.exe repair tool several times before all errors are fixed. Don’t know if I had run this tool several time until it said no error were found. Do you think this would have resolved my Outlook problem?

I also came across a Microsoft article about repairing Outlook Data Files (.pst and .ost). It talks about re-creating an offline Outlook Data File (.ost). It basically says to close Outlook and then delete the “.ost” file and the next time Outlook starts, it will create an “.ost” file. Is this accurate? If I have two different “.ost” files, could I have deleted both and they would have both been created the next time I started Outlook? Do you think this could have also resolved my Outlook problem?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
Yes, that is accurate and is the recommended way to fix corrupted ost files, except... you have an IMAP account, and if you are using the Contacts (this computer only) and Calendar (this computer only) folders for you calendar and contacts, make sure you expect those folders before deleting the ost file or you'll lose the contents. (The same applies to the other 'this computer only' folders - export regularly to backup those folders. )
 

parryjm

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 32 bit
Email Account
IMAP
Diane,

When I look at the folders in my Outlook 2013 for Mail, Calendar, People and Tasks, I only find 3 folders containing “(This computer only)” within Mail. None under Calendar, People or Tasks.

For “JamesParry@gmail.com (2)” – associated with my Outlook.com account where my calendar resides.
Mail - "Drafts (This computer only)" is empty

For“JamesParry@gmail.com” – associated with my G-Mail account for all my e-mail.
Mail - "Sync Issues (This computer only)" is empty
Mail - "Local Failures (This computer only)" is empty

Based on what you are telling me, since I have nothing in any folders that contain “(This computer only)”, I can simply deleted the two "ost" files and when Outlook started, it would recreate these two files. Do I understand this correctly?

When I look in the Outlook folder, I see the two physical “.ost” files…
JamesParry@gmail.com(2).ost - size is 684,232 KB [file associated with my G-Mail account]
JamesParry@gmail.com (2).ost - size is 16,424 KB [file associated with my Outlook.com account]

Given the size of the above ost files…

What is actually stored in the “JamesParry@gmail.com(2).ost” file that is associated with my G-Mail account? Does the information in this file get recreated from my G-mail account on the Google IMAP Server?

What is actually stored in the “JamesParry@gmail.com (2).ost” file that is associated with my Outlook account? Does information in this file get recreated from my Outlook.com account for my calendar events?​
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
If your calendar and contacts are in the outlook.com data file, then you are ok. This is the one you want to delete - JamesParry@gmail.com(2).ost - size is 684,232 KB [file associated with my G-Mail account]

The imap data file (above) holds all of your email that is in your account online. If you are subscribed to the all mail folder ([Gmail]\All Mail), it contains 2 of everything. (Unsubscribe from that folder - See http://www.slipstick.com/outlook/sync-outlook/synchronizing-outlook-google-accounts/#subscribe if you don't know how to unsubscribe. )

The outlook.com ost has everything that is in the outlook.com account online - any email (probably none since you use a gmail address for the Microsoft account) and your calendar, contacts and tasks. Anything you add to the calendar or contact folder in outlook should sync up to the server, everything should sync down. If you log in to outlook.com, everything there should also be in the ost.
 

parryjm

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2013 32 bit
Email Account
IMAP
Diane,

My Outlook Profile called “Outlook” has three data files defined…

JamesParry@gmail.com” which points to the file “JamesParry@gmail.com(2).ost”. This is where my G-Mail messages reside.​

JamesParry@gmail.com (2)” which points to the file “JamesParry@gmail.com (2).ost”. This is where my Calendar, Contacts & Tasks reside on Outlook.com.​

“Personal Folders” which points to the file “Outlook.pst” where all my saved e-mail messages are stored.​

I simply want to eliminate the “(2)” from the name of the physical file on the first data file above. In other words, instead of “JamesParry@gmail.com(2).ost”, I would like it to just be named “JamesParry@gmail.com.ost”.

What is the easiest and safe way to do this?

I’m thinking I need to first close Outlook before doing anything. Can I simply rename the physical file in the Outlook folder? If I then go into “Mail” within the Control Panel, what are the precise steps that I need to do?
 

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
I think you need to delete the account and any ost files of the same name, since outlook creates the ost file automatically and doesn't offer a way to change it. The data file names are stored in the registry in a binary value and aren't easily edited.
 
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