Vivek Agarwal’s Portal/Java Blog

An IBM Gold Consultant’s weblog about IBM, Lotus, WebSphere, J2EE, IT Processes, and other IT technologies

Does the Microsoft Outlook process not die when you close Outlook?

Posted by Vivek Agarwal on October 6, 2009

This is a quick blurb that may help somebody out with an issue that irks the heck out of me. I used to routinely encounter a problem with Microsoft Outlook 2003 on startup complaining -“The data file Personal Folders was not closed properly. The file is being checked for problems.” Outlook would then spend 30-60 seconds checking the file. While it would always pass the check, Outlook would not complete loading and allow me to read new messages until this check was done. It was more an irritant than anything else. Additionally, if I exited from Outlook, the Outlook process would never die off completely (unless I killed it in Task Manager or Process Explorer), compounding the problem further when I restarted Outlook.

I have tried several things over time to resolve this issue but none worked reliably until I used ScanPst. ScanPst is a Microsoft utility that can be used to repair corrupted PST files. On my Windows XP system, it is located at “C:\Program Files\Common Files\System\MSMAPI\1033\SCANPST.EXE”. Anytime I run into the issues mentioned above, I close Outlook (ensure that the process is dead), launch ScanPst, scan all my PST files (I do have a few :)), and repair any PST files that are reported as needing repairs. Relaunch Outlook, and voila – the problem is gone!

PS: You can find more information about ScanPST and using it at


One Response to “Does the Microsoft Outlook process not die when you close Outlook?”

  1. […] } Sometime back I had blogged about the Outlook process not exiting when I closed Outlook, and while that posting covered one […]

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