(Solved) “Outlook could not create the work file” When I start Outlook

So today’s question is how to resolve “Outlook could not create the work file” error?

I have been getting a lot of questions on my Youtube channel, on how to resolve this. And today, with this article, I would try to answer this.

Being a Microsoft Outlook expert and a user for more than 6plus years even I have also faced this error a lot of times. And to your surprise, I have even resolved it every time it occurred.

And do you know how much time it takes to resolve “MS Outlook could not create the work file” error when you start Outlook?

Only 15 minutes.

Yes, you have heard it right.

It takes only 15 – 20 minutes to fix this up.

However, to rectify this pop-up correctly, you first have to understand why this occurs and the steps of resolution.

So Let’s Dig In

Reasons Outlook Show This Error

There are situations when you launch your MS Outlook and it shows an error “Outlook could not create the work file. Check the temp environment variable.”

This error pops up primarily when you open Outlook and since it’s an MS Outlook error, there can be many reasons for its occurrence:

  • Presence of unnecessary temporary files in your system
  • U3 and other jump-drive software
  • An incorrect data value of Cache variable for User Shell Folders
  • Switching or upgrading Windows from an old system to a new one.

Manual Steps To Resolve This Error

Method 01: Delete All The Temp/%Temp% Folder

  • Click on ‘Start’ button and type ‘Run’
  • Now type ‘temp’ and hit ‘Enter’
  • Now your system will open a folder containing all your temporary files. So select all and press ‘shift+delete’ to completely delete the files
  • Follow the same procedure to delete “%Temp%” folder

Method 02: Creating a backup of REG file

Follow the below steps to create a backup of REG file before doing any types of modification in the Registry Key stored in your Registry Editor

  • Click on ‘Start’ button and type ‘Run’
  • Now type ‘regedit’ and hit ‘Enter’
  • In the Registry Editor, go to ‘File’ and then click ‘Export’ as shown below
    image 01
  • Mention a name for your file with .reg extension
  • Now in the ‘Export Range’ select ‘All’ and click ‘Save’
    image 02
  • Now locate and click the following subkey:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\User Shell Folders
  • Now click ‘Modify’ after right-clicking the Cache Key
  • And to exit ‘Registry’ editor, click on ‘Exit’ in the file menu

Note: The Cache string value varies from versions to versions.

Windows XP
DWORD: Cache
Type: REG_EXPAND_SZ
Data: %USERPROFILE%\Local Settings\Temporary Internet File

Windows 8, Windows 7, or Windows Vista
DWORD: Cache
Type: REG_EXPAND_SZ
Data: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files

Windows 10, or Windows 8.1
DWORD: Cache
Type: REG_EXPAND_SZ
Data: %USERPROFILE%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\INetCache

Author Words

However, if the above-mentioned methods doesn’t work and your Outlook still shows the same error “Outlook could not create the work file. Check the temp environment variable” then the only way to fix it by using Outlook PST Repair.

This is one of the best online application to resolve and fix any types of Outlook errors. The software not only resolve minor error but it can also fix errors related to data corruption and damage. So a one-stop shop for Outlook users facing errors of any types.

Even being a reliable software, I always suggest my readers to go for manual procedures first and then go for any tool. But always keep a backup of your emails and data before you start repairing or fixing the errors.

See no one wants to lose their crucial data for a wrong step.

So hope, now you know how to resolve this issue for free.

To know more such tips and tricks keep following this blog.

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