Pst Recovery - Rectifying “Unable to expand the folder” Error in Microsoft Outlook

Published: 22nd September 2009
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If you have permissions to access your someone else's Outlook PST file and open personal Outlook folders, respond to the request, create items and any other operation, Microsoft Outlook allows you to add another person's mailbox in Outlook folder list. It allows you to quickly access another Outlook PST file and use it as required. But in some situations, when you try to access additional PST file, you might come across a number of error messages, which indicate PST file corruption and prevent you to access PST file items. This behavior of Microsoft Outlook renders all of your mission critical data inaccessible and cause serious data loss situations. At this point, to gain access of your significant data, you are required to go for PST Recovery solutions using appropriate tools.

In a practical scenario, when you attempt to add another mailbox to Outlook or try to access previously added PST file from the Outlook Folders list by double clicking it, the operation may not complete successfully and the file can not be accessed. In Microsoft Outlook 2002 or Microsoft Outlook 2000, when you try to access a shared folder like Contacts, you might come across below error message:

"Unable to expand the folder. The set of folders could not be opened."

In Microsoft Office Outlook 2003, following error message may occur when you perform above operation of accessing additional PST file:

"Unable to expand the folder. Microsoft Office Outlook could not access the specified folder location."

This problem occurs even if yo have given proper access privileges to the PST folder, which you want to share.

In such circumstances, the additional PST file become inaccessible. In some cases, the same situations might occur with your mail PST file and you face serious data loss issues. In order to sort out this issue, you need to find out the cause of this problem and then go for PST File Recovery by sorting out this issue.

Root of this problem

There are two possible causes of this problem:

1.You haven't set the "Folder Visible" option for additional MS Outlook PST file.
2.The PST files of MS Outlook are corrupted and thus Outlook can not recognize them. Corruption could occur due to application faults, virus contamination, operating system errors, improper system shutdown and other such issues.
Nevertheless the cause of this problem, the ultimate result would be loss of your business critical emails, notes, contacts, tasks, calendar items, journal items and appointments and then you need to go for PST recovery to sort out this problem as quickly as possible.


There are following two possible situations to sort out this problem, depending upon the cause of the issue:

1-If the problem is due to "Folder Visible" option, turn it on for the PST file, which contains folders that you wish to share or access. To do so, go through underwritten steps:
-On Windows system, which contains additional mailbox with folders that you like to share, right-click on the additional PST file and then click Properties on shortcut menu.
-In the Permissions tab, select the Folder Visible option by clicking the check box in Permissions are.
-Click OK button.
2-In the else case, if problem is due to corruption to the Outlook PST file, you need to repair and restore the PST file. For this purpose, Microsoft Outlook provides an inbuilt took, known as Inbox Repair Tool or Scanpst.exe. This tools can perform PST File Recovery in a number of situations, where the PST file get damaged due to some internal reasons such as application conflict, file header errors, missing application files and other such issues.

Although, Inbox Repair Tool is quite helpful in resolving PST corruption problems, but in case it fails to handle the corruption, you need to opt for PST Recovery Software to fix the problem.

The PST Recovery Software are powerful and effective third party applications, which carry out thorough scan of damaged PST file and retrieve all of its inaccessible or corrupt objects. These software do not demand sound technical skills as they come equipped with interactive and simple graphical user interface. With read-only and non-destructive conduct, these tools are completely safe to use.

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