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After shutting down Outlook forcefully and trying to restart it, the following error is displayed:

'Microsoft Outlook' exited without properly closing your Outlook data file. 'Microsoft Outlook' must be restarted. If this error message recurs, contact support for assistance.

Outlook then exits.

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2 Answers

up vote 29 down vote accepted
  • Run Process Explorer and choose "Find Handle or DLL" from the Find menu.
  • Search for '.ost'. This will display all open handles to your Outlook data file.
  • Choose to close all handles to your .ost file
  • Start Outlook again
  • optionally - run C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\SCANPST.EXE
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I've found that for me this occurs because Outlook crashed for some reason but the Lync 2010 client still has a handle to the .ost file. Exiting Lync completely allows Outlook to restart.

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I had this exact problem and closing Lync fixed it. –  Puddingfox Aug 23 '11 at 14:14
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Ran into the same problem, Microsoft Communicator turned out to be the greedy file handler. –  Dan Ling Jun 21 '12 at 14:20
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protected by Community Jun 28 '12 at 19:40

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