Outlook 2007 Does Not Shutdown – On Exit, OUTLOOK.EXE Remains in Task Manager

I recently noticed that when I close Outlook, that the next time I open it, it doesn’t prompt me for my password (my personal folders are password protected). Come to find out that when I shutdown Outlook, it isn’t actually closing and removing itself from memory. When I open the Task Manager after shutting down Outlook, OUTLOOK.EXE remains active and taking up a large amount of memory – typically 90+MB.

Does anyone else have this problem? I found the post below in a forum, however there wasn’t an answer associated with it. Are we stuck with a version of Outlook that will not close? Does this have anything to do with the fact that my Address Book is unavailable as well – See Post: Microsoft Outlook – Address List Cannot Be Displayed.

I have recently installed Vista Ultimate (32 bit) and Office 2007.

I have discovered a problem with Outlook 2007 in that it does not always close down on exiting the program. When this happens, the next time you try to start Outlook nothing happens, when I go into task manager I see outlook.exe running 2, 3 or more times. When I kill these in task manager Outlook will then load.

It seems like something is keeping Outlook active after I exit the program but I am unable to find out what it is.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

69 thoughts on “Outlook 2007 Does Not Shutdown – On Exit, OUTLOOK.EXE Remains in Task Manager”

  1. I disabled mcafee add-in, issue solved. I have big pst files on my outlook profile, those might be involved because we do not have this issue on every wks.

  2. Yes, but it is the same problem with previous versions of Outlook and in my case, solved the problem in Outlook 2007 too.

  3. if you upgraded from 2003, i’d recreate the profile. i had the same problem. i renamed my old pst, and then created a new profile, then renamed the old pst to the new one and voila, it worked great.

  4. Jake, I think I am having the same problem after I upgraded outlook from 2003. I disabled all of the Add-ins but the issue remains. Can you detail the steps to fix it? that is, without the help from the Tech guys. Thanks in advance.

  5. I managed to get Outlook to exit properly after disabling the Sharepoint addin – I remember now I didn’t install that addin with the first machine I had OL2007 on and didn’t have this problem.

  6. Solution

    I had the same problem with Outlook 2007. I ran scanpst.exe on both my outlook.pst file and archive.pst and the problem went away.

    scanpst.exe is located in:

    c:\program files\Microsoft Office\Office12 (or Office11 for office 2003)

    the default location of pst files are:

    c:\documents and settings\user\local settings\application data\microsoft\outlook

    *this folder is hidden by default, go to Tools->Folder Options->View->Show hidden files and folders

  7. Hi Bryan,

    I tried this fix and found there was an error on the Outlook.pst file. The repair was quick so We’ll see what happens.

    Thanks and hopefully, you’ve broken the code.


  8. i can’t get to the outlook.pst file to run scanpst.exe on it. can anyone spell it out very simply, step by step, for the technologically limited? i can’t delete files in outlook and sent items stay in the outbox rather than being sent. help!

  9. I am having the same issue.

    I have done a search for *.pst on my PC and nothing was found. Where is my .pst file liable to be. I am running Outlook 2007



  10. I have the same problem and after careful inspection it appeared that iTunes COM Add in was causing the application to not successfully close.

    Once I disabled iTunes Outlook Addin everything worked successfully.

    Tools > Trust Center > Add-ins > Select COM Add-ins from the drop down then click Go > Uncheck iTunes Outlook Addin > Click OK.

    Hope this helps others.

  11. Definite help Matty……did it for me, Thanks

    PS For those who are tech challenged like me and have 2003, here’s Matty’s steps in more detial (he’s right on, just thought for others like me this would help)
    1. Open Outlook 2003
    2. From the Tools menu, choose Options.
    3. Click the Other tab.
    4. Click the Advanced Options button.
    5. Click the COM Add-Ins button.
    6. In the add-ins “iTunes Outlook add-in” and “Outlook iTunes Sync add-in” please uncheck and disable this.
    7. Deselect the checkbox for each third-party add-in in this list.
    8. Click OK.

  12. What if you sync your iPhone to your Outlook calendar? Will this disable that functionality?

    I can’t wait for the iPhone 2.0 update… then hopefully I’ll just be able to sync everything with Google – Calendar, Docs, Gmail, etc.

  13. This is driving me insane!!!!!!

    I have run scnpst on what I think ismy .pst file.

    I have stopped auto emptyiomg of all deletes.

    Yet Outlook will NOT close down. My wife who also use my machine will repeatedly hit the outlook icon consequently I go to alt.ctrl.del and there are up to 10 lots of outlook open.

    have tried all of the suggestions and just ntothing is working.

    Is here any thing else out there that I should try.

    I hav an xp machine running sp2 and I am using Outlook 2007.

    An suggestions would be really appreciated.



  14. I had the same problem with outlook, and tried disabling various add-ins as suggested by people on this thread.
    Eventually, I found that Skype defaults to allowing Outlook Contacts to be viewed automatically. I found that by going to the View menu in Skype, and unchecking the “Show Outlook Contacs” menu item, that the issue was fixed. Thnaks to all the helpfull people that put me on the right track to solve the issue.

  15. Thanks all. Disabling the Skype outlook contacts was the trick for me too. I thought it was the Salesforce.com add-in but that seems fine.
    Awesome, Bruce!

  16. You guys a lucky that your issue is resolved with the Skype issue.

    I do not have Skype and still am having the same issue.

    I have run all the diagnoistics in the world I have run scnpst several times and still the issue remains.

    if anybody else has an ideas I would appreciate hearing.



  17. Bruce, you’re a certifiable genious! 😉 Thanks a lot, disabling Outlook Contacts in Skype solved my problem.

  18. Oh Bruce, I could kiss you. I was loathe to think that it was my Kaspersky making it not shut down – who wants to disable that? I tried your Skype solution as a first resort, and not only did it fix the problem with Outlook shutting down (which was preventing me from doing a successful backup on my .pst file), it also got rid of an annoying contact that kept generating an error message whenever I tried to click on it. Now I don’t have to wait 3 minutes for the stupid .pst scan to complete just because I had to force a shutdown. Kudos to Bruce!

  19. If you are using Outlook 2007 it’s a little different. Go to TOOLS>TRUST CENTER>ADD-INS. At the bottom click GO beside Manage “COM Add-ins”. For me, I had to remove a recent iTune Outlook add-in and that fixed it for me. I wouldn’t have found that without Bruce.

  20. I had this problem running XP with Outlook 2007. I disabled Itunes add-ins, rebooted the computer, then disabled all add-ins, restarted outlook and then enabled the add-ins I previously had except Itunes. I’m not sure what step actually fixed the problem, but I don’t have the problem any more.

  21. I had it when the .pst files were very large. Autoarchive & delete & then compact the files under properties for personal folders & no more problem

  22. The problem is with the NVIDIA drivers, an update did the job though it took our IT guys two days to figure out.

  23. Skype was the culprit in our machine too. Thanks for the information. Somebody should tell Microsoft and Skype about this.

  24. Bruce is the man! solved my issue too. Skype also stops WAMP2 server from running too for any web developers out there.

  25. Bruce, your a genius….Ive been trying to find a fix for that for 2 freakin years. Microsoft tech support had NO clue and after passing me on to no less than 5 teachs they gave up and said it was something else I was running (technically correct but NOT helpful)

    Thankyou thankyou thankyou

  26. Bruce,
    You’re the MAN !!
    After reading al lot of well intended solutions, this simple skype thing did do the trick!!
    Maybe you should let the guys from skype know about this little (but irritating) issue.
    Anyway, i’m a glad you’ve solved this problem.

  27. Good to know that there’s lot of people having issues with this.

    I’ve disabled all of my add ins, com add ins, uninstalled my antivirus, stopped auto-deleting, disabled RSS syncing, etc. as well as scanning all of the PST files that Outlook is using.
    Is there something I’m missing?!? This has been an ongoing issue for months now.

    I am running 2 profiles – one is a local POP3 profile, and the other is downloading messages from an IMAP store. It happens every time with the pop3 profile, but only rarely with the IMAP profile.

    Outlook 2007 w/ contact mgr, vista home pro

  28. I had this problem and I disabled the Microsoft Search Email Indexer. The DLL was mssphtb.dll. I could not disble it b/c Outlook would freeze; so I reneamed the dll in the c:\windows\system32 directory. Hopefully this helps someone else….

  29. More thanks to Bruce’s discovery. Outlook 2007 on Vista Ultimate 32bit with MS BackUp; OL staying resident after shutdown, receiving mail in background, could not backup .pst’s (line for backup program not appearing in file menu!, and couldn’t do manually as pst files would show in use). Had just loaded Skype and ‘show contacts” was on; turned off, though fix wouldn’t work until rebooted. Once rebooted, ‘backup’ line reappeared in OL file menu, and OL process would stop on exit. All back to normal. Thanks for the great help!

  30. Again, thanks to Bruce for the discovery! Skype was causing the same issue for me as well, and I had no idea! All I did was disable the view Outlook contacts option and good to go, Outlook process ended after exiting Outlook!

  31. I actually told Bruce about it and he copied me.

    Just kidding!

    I fixed mine by running SCANPST.exe and disabling non-essential add-ins

  32. Cheers Bruce,

    The Skype solution seems to have worked for me too. How did you stumble across that one, if you don’t mind me asking?


  33. Hi Kaine,
    Stumbled is the correct description. I started by reading the posts on this forum, and tried each proposed solution without success, however it was evident from the posts that another product or addin was causing the problem. After removing add-ins as the problem, I had none, I looked at other programs. It was then that I notice all my Outlook contacts appearing in Skype. So once I figured out how to stop that, problem solved (at least for me)

    Best regards.. Bruce

  34. Have been having this problem for a long time. Just disabled the Microsoft Search Email Indexer. I was running Outlook 2007 on an XP machine.

  35. Cool beans. For me it was the stupid iTunes Add in. Apple can’t write software either. iTunes is a disaster area of code. And to top it off it corrupts MS stuff… No better than Microshaft. We are all feeling the real result of outsourcing. These comapnies claim of “cost savings” is only for the eilte executives who don’t have to deal with this stuff day in and day out.

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