Why is Microsoft Outlook not closing?

Modified on Tue, 24 Jan 2023 at 01:07 PM

If Outlook is not closing, it usually means that another application is accessing Outlook's message store.

Symptoms which indicate that Outlook is not closing properly include receiving an alert telling you that Outlook is checking data file when you open it. If you use two Outlook profiles, when you switch profiles, you aren't presented the screen to select the profile and Outlook opens directly to the first default profile.

MS Office addresses the problem and forces Outlook to close. This should eliminate most of the problems with Outlook not closing and the need to check the *.pst file on the next start. You can download it from Microsoft Office Suite Service Pack 2 (SP2)

Below is a list of software known to cause problems in most Outlook versions. This list is intended to give you an idea of which kind of programs might cause Outlook to remain running in background, most often Fax software, anti-spam or anti-virus software, or PDA sync software. However, the culprit on your computer may be a different program.

See Disable Add-in or uninstall the software.

Antivirus programs that support scanning email for viruses will tend to keep Outlook open. Disable email scanning and Outlook should close correctly. It's perfectly safe to disable this setting - it gives you advanced warning of viruses but as long as you can control your urge to open every attachment you receive; you'll be just as safe with it disabled. The antivirus programs that can affect Outlook include, but are not limited to, the following programs:

  1. Kaspersky Antivirus Pro version 5
  2. Panda AntiVirus Outlook Plug-In (pavexcli.dll)
  3. Norton Antivirus with e-mail scanning and script blocking enabled.
  4. Once you identify the program that is causing Outlook to remain loaded, check their support site for updates and additional information, or Disable or uninstall the add-in.

Many spyware and adware programs hook into Outlook and other email clients. Removing them will usually correct the problem and allow Outlook to close properly. The following is a short list of add-ins which are reported to keep Outlook running after it's closed.

  1. Outlook Change Notifier - Apple iTunes addin for syncing with iPhones, iPods etc.
  2. WinFax Pro. Disable WinFax or remove the WinFax Fax log from the profile. Remove them by opening Tools, Options, Mail Setup tab, Data Files and delete if present.
  3. ActiveSync (especially when a PDA is cradled)
  4. Blackberry software
  5. Stamps.com (when using address from Outlook's Contacts)
  6. Outlook Express (when sharing Contacts with the Windows Address Book (WAB)
  7. Franklin Covey Plan Plus
  8. Mapilab's Messenger Journal utility
  9. Earthlink's Spamblocker (the installation file is ELSBSetup.exe)
  10. Outlook Attachment Sniffer
  11. TechSmith's SnagIt 7 with Outlook integration enabled.
  12. Cloudmark Spamnet
  13. OneNote 2003 (with Outlook 2000)
  14. Fourelle Venturi Client
  15. Internet Download Manager - uninstall.
  16. iProtectYou
  17. TMAntispam - the antispam part of Trend Micro's PCCillin Internet Security 2005 suite
  18. Infuzer
  19. FSecure 2005 antispam add-in
  20. Prophet 2004 (by Avidian) - check for updates
  21. Intuit Quickbooks
  22. iTunes calendar sync add-in
  23. iPhone Add-in
  24. ABBYY FineReader 9.0
  25. WMPNETWK or sharing files within MS media player 11

Before uninstalling or disabling add-ins, check for an updated version. It may fix the problem.

In Outlook 2003 and earlier, add-ins are found on the Tools, Options, Other tab.

  1. Click the Advanced Options button.
  2. Click COM Add-ins button and uncheck add-ins to disable.
  3. While most add-ins are listed under COM add-ins, some may be in Add-in manager.
  4. Return to Outlook.

In Outlook 2007, you need to go to Tools, Trust Center, Add-ins.

  1. Select COM Add-ins from the dropdown at the bottom of the dialog.
  2. Press Go.
  3. Uncheck the add-ins you suspect might be keeping Outlook open.
  4. Close the dialog.

Most add-ins will be listed in COM Add-ins, but a few may be listed under Exchange Client Extensions, which on the dropdown with COM Add-ins.

Office 2007 SP2 addresses the problem and forces Outlook to close. his should eliminate most of the problem with Outlook not closing and the need to check the *.pst file on the next start. Download it from Microsoft Office Suite Service Pack 2 (SP2)

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