[Solved] Outlook Error ‘Cannot Read from the Source File or Disk’

Summary: Unable to copy PST file, and encountering ‘Cannot read from the Source file or Disk’ error at the same time is a problem, no matter whether you are copying the PST file from one storage device to another or from one location to another on the same device.

The situation — unable to copy a PST file and access the stored mailbox data — becomes dire in a business setup, which if not fulfilled could cause not just data loss but substantial financial and reputation loss.

This blog explains different methods to fix the error and get rid of the issue. Read on to know more…

Solutions for Outlook error: ‘Cannot read from the Source file or Disk’ 

The available solutions to fix ‘Cannot read from the Source file or Disk’ error are as follows:

  1. Close Outlook before copying the PST file

A probable cause of this Outlook error is that you are trying to copy the PST file while Outlook is open. An already open Outlook application prevents copying of PST file. Therefore, you can try to fix the error by closing Outlook and then copy the PST file from one device to the other or one location to another, depending on the requirement.

  1. Change the Antivirus Settings

Many antivirus software scans, hold and sometimes keep Outlook busy, thereby preventing Outlook to open. Further, the error prompt appears on the screen. Therefore, check if this is the cause and accordingly change Settings in the antivirus software installed on your system. If you are not aware of the process steps and method to verify the reason, contact your antivirus provider to get help.

  1. Restart the System and boot using Safe Mode

In several situations, indexing results in this problem and causes the error, i.e. the PST file gets indexed while trying to copy Outlook PST files. To overcome the issue, execute the following: restart your system, boot in Safe Mode, and then copy the PST file from source to destination.

  1. Repair Microsoft Outlook PST file

Another likely cause of this error in Outlook is damaged or corrupt PST file. Hence, try fixing the error and overcome the ‘unable to copy the PST file’ issue by repairing PST file.

Now, the question is how to repair a damaged or corrupt PST file?

Being an Outlook user, you may be familiar with Outlook’s inbuilt Inbox Repair Tool also known as ‘scanpst.exe’. Therefore, run the tool and check if you can repair the damaged or corrupt PST file. Nonetheless, consider two factors before using this tool viz. PST file size and severity or level of damage in PST file. The reason being, if the PST file is more than 2 GB in size or extremely corrupt the scanpst.exe fails.

In situations of Inbox Repair Tool failure, we advise you to use a PST file Repair software such as Stellar Repair for Outlook. Professionals and industry experts say that it is a user-friendly, self-explanatory, and effective software to repair PST file. They also recommend it over ScanPST.exe.

Plus, the software is known for delivering quick results in situations of time-constraint, i.e. when you require to access the stored mailbox data at the earliest. It has given the desired result as per user requirement.


Consider this situation— a business meeting is due in a few hours …and you need to access crucial information stored in a PST file to make the presentation. You are unable to copy the PST file. It popup the error ‘Cannot read from the Source file or Disk’ and access the stored data even after trying multiple times.

What will you do to quickly sort out this problem and access the stored mailbox data?

In such a scenario— if you’re aware that the PST file is damaged or corrupt— we advise using Stellar Repair for Outlook to get a quick resolution.download

  1. Elli Williams July 23, 2019
  2. Toby A. Millet December 31, 2018
    • Eric Simson December 31, 2018
  3. Mavis J. Turner December 10, 2018
    • Eric Simson December 10, 2018
  4. Kathleen G. Black November 26, 2018
  5. Jean L. Washington November 23, 2018
    • Eric Simson November 23, 2018
  6. Jimmie C. Newton November 20, 2018
    • Eric Simson November 20, 2018
  7. Kimberly R. Frye October 25, 2018
    • Eric Simson October 25, 2018

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.