Monday, April 14, 2008

Solution to Outlook.exe keep running after exit

For some time I've run into the problem that Outlook 2007 is not closed fully. The application is no longer visible but the process keeps running as can be seen in Task Manager. It is normal that it can take a few seconds up to some minutes but now it never stops running. And if an email comes during this time I got notified about it and can open that email. If I try to start Outlook it shows the application using the same Outlook.exe process. This happens on Vista SP1 and might happen on other Windows versions as well.

The solution in my case was that I found Skype (version 3.6) locking up Outlook because it was set to "Show Outlook Contacts" in the View menu. When I disabled that option Outlook closed as it should.


One symptom I have seen is that I get the notification that "A data file did not close properly the last time it was used as is being checked for problems. Performance might be affected while the check is in progress."

data file did not close properly notification

Another is this message when starting Outlook could be "Outlook failed to start correctly last time. Starting Outlook in safe mode will help you correct or isolate the startup problem in order to successfully start the program. Some functionality may be disabled in this mode. Do you want to start Outlook in safe mode?"

Outlook failed to start

Then "Data file check in process" can be seen for quite a while.

Outlook Data file check in process

Some other tips if this happens are to check the consistency of the PST files using SCANPST.EXE. Check also for other applications that might connect to Outlook or access the PST files like Google Desktop. Antivirus programs could also be the cause of the locks.

If nothing else works you can try to select "Perform an automatic sen/receive when exiting." in Options>Send/Receive...


  1. Restored comments

    Anonymous said...

    PERFECT!!! I have been trying to solve this problem for months. How simple. Thanks for the Skype tip. Inever would have found that.
    May 05, 2008

    JTB World said...

    See also this post on the Outlook blog:
    Data file checks and you
    May 10, 2008

    Anonymous said...

    Perfect indeed!

    Thanks a million.
    May 14, 2008

    mmmattos said...

    I´ve been looking for this quite a long time...
    Thank you!
    June 08, 2008

    Anonymous said...

    I am having the same problem but do not use Skype. I wonder if Windows Live OneCare could be causing the same problem. Comments?

    July 24, 2008

    JTB World said...

    OneCare could be a problem or if you have a Backup program or some plug-in for Outlook like Xobni.
    July 24, 2008

    Michel said...


    Were nearly in august and this tips is still handy!

    This fixed my problem. Great!

    July 31, 2008

  2. Thanks.
    Tricky, yet simple...
    No way I would ever figure that out:)

  3. You are awesome. Trying to figure that out forever.

  4. Awesome. Thanks so much. I was worried about this problem quite a lot as Outlook was eating a lot of memory. Your solution worked like a magic. Thanks,

  5. Thank you thank you thank you - you are a true genius - it worked - God Bless!!


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