Fixed! Microsoft Windows 7 & Outlook search not working, cannot access the specified device path or file.

I thought to post this article to hopefully save you from hours of frustration in trying to fix this issue –


Windows search does not display any results, the message “see more results” returns an error message:

search:query=(Your_Search_item) Windows cannot access the specified device path or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.

Similar issue applies to Outlook. Outlook simply cannot search anything.


I found out eventually that the error was due to a corrupt Structured Query Schema bin file. By deleting the corrupt file, Windows will then recreate a new file. And voila! Problem solved.

How? Follow my instructions below:

Step 1:

Click on the “Start” button. In the menu that appears, click on “Control Panel.” From the “Control Panel,” click on “Folder Options.”

When the Folder Options menu opens, click the “View” tab.

Change settings to show hidden files: Scroll down until you see an option called “Hidden Files and Folders” Cick on  “Show hidden files, folders, and drives”

Change settings to show operating system files: In the same window, uncheck (untick) the box that reads “Hide protected operating system files (Recommended).” Do this if the folder you want to unhide is a system folder.

Step 2:

Locate the file StructuredQuerySchema.bin from the path below – note that you need to to replace ‘YOUR_USER_NAME’ below with your correct Windows user name.


This should fix your issue! Make sure you do the reverse of Step 1 to re-hide the folders.

I hope you find this article useful.  Please feel free to click on the ‘like’ button and leave me a good comment below, thanks!


  1. REF: Fixed! Microsoft Windows 7 & Outlook search not working, cannot access the specified device path or file.

    Thanks Bobby, this article solved a problem that I was trying to fix for days. Next time I have a window system problem, I will be sure to check your website first.

  2. Rohan Pathak says:

    Thanks a lot! This problem had been bugging me for the past year. Every few months I had end up restoring my system.

  3. Fixed! Thanks Bobby – I spent ages trying all sorts of things and finally this worked 🙂

  4. Arek Ejsak says:

    Bobby you are master 🙂
    I searching resolved form 3 weeks. Your article is the best. !!!

  5. Thank you Bobby Jimenez!!!! I was googling for several hours trying to fix this problem. I tried all of the suggestions, sfc /scannow, turning off and on the search, rebuilding the index etc.. Nothing worked.. Then, this worked perfectly!!! Thanks again!

  6. Thank you Bobby Jimenez. I don’t know what happened but I have had this issue for over a year now and I have tried every fix I could find online, even some of the Registry changes but nothing would fix it. I still have a few issues with it but at least now I can do searchs!! Thank you so much.

  7. Thanks Bobby. After hours of searching i came across your site!

  8. Thanks so much, This was driving me mad, and the Microsoft fix tool didn’t detect the error. BTW when I found the file it appeared to have been associated with VLC so I suspect that is what corrupted it

  9. خیلی خیلی تشکر.من یک هفته است که این مشکل برایم پیش آمده است ولی الان درست شد.

  10. Thank you, thank you so much!!!! My problem has been bugging me for the whole day! I was attempting to perform system restore a number of times but it all failed. I am indeed lucky to find this website of yours.

  11. Bobby, you saved the day! Thanks for sharing what must’ve taken a very long time to figure out.

  12. I can’t thank you enough! I have been dealing with this problem for almost 2 YEARS and this was such an easy fix! Wish I had found your site earlier. 🙂

  13. Excellent. Fixed a friends Server 2008 R2 web server. Thank you very much. Was so frustrating not being able to use the start menu and run command for programs and searching!

  14. Andrew Kong says:

    Many thanks Bobby!

    I was on the verge of re-installing Windows – you’re a genius!


  15. Thanks a lot my friend.

  16. Vikas Malik says:

    Thanks a lot…. My issue resolved within a min….

  17. You’re the MAN. Thank You So Much!