I use Outlook 2007 at home as an IMAP client and RSS feed reader. I have a problem that when I close outlook, the window exits, but the process remains running. This prevents me from opening outlook again and on Win7 prevents rapid shutdown of my computer.

How can I have Outlook 2007 exit for real?

Edit: Here's what the addins dialog reports

  • Active: None
  • Inactive: MS Outlook Mobile Service, MS VBA for Outlook, OneNote Notes for Outlook Items, Outlook Change Notifier, Windows Search Email indexer.

10 Answers 10


Have you installed any add-ons? Lookout, Xobni, SpamBayes, etc.... they may be doing housekeeping work when you exit, and the Outlook process lets them keep doing their thing. Here's a list of add-ins that might be causing your problem.

How recently have you updated Outlook? Microsoft Office Service Pack 2 introduced a new mechanism for Outlook to exit, which should solve your problem.

This KB article explains the change and the download is available here

  • I'm current w/ windows update, and I don't seem to have any troublesome addins (see list in question text) – Scott Weinstein Jul 16 '09 at 21:19
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    +1 I have to say Joel's edit is impressive. Including making his answer Community Wiki. :) – BinaryMisfit Jul 17 '09 at 16:04

Here's a list of add-ins that might be causing your problem.


I am assuming you also don't have iTunes installed as the COM addin also caused a similiar problem.

There was a known issues with Outlook 2007 exiting, however I can't find the exact knowledge base article. Microsoft Office Service Pack 2 introduced a complete new mechanism for Outlook to exit, which should solve your problem.

This KB article explains the change and the download is available here


You may have an issue with one of your .PST files. There is a way to do a .PST scan that also repairs any issues. I'd give that a try to see if it improves anything.


  • I ran C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\SCANPST.EXE w/o any improvement – Scott Weinstein Jul 16 '09 at 21:34
  • @Scott: Darn, that had worked for me a few months back... – RSolberg Jul 16 '09 at 21:35

As others have mentioned COM Addins cause a world of pain for Outlook users, next after them are your antivirus/antispam software. I often solve this issue by uninstalling the antivirus and antispam software, if it works, try to re-install it again to see if it still works.

If it doesn't it's time to contact that vendors support.

  • I think you're right about contacting the vendor (MS) - I've tried everything here! – Scott Weinstein Aug 7 '09 at 1:21

Maybe you need to wait for a while, even though the window dissapears, it may be doing cleanup stuff

The process never exits?

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    I don't know about never - that's a long time :), but it doesn't exit in the 1hr time frame. – Scott Weinstein Jul 15 '09 at 12:43

I had this problem some time ago. I removed the avg addin and some other add in and the problem went away. it was a real hassle for the time that i didn't understand what was happening.

  • Tim, What is the 'avg' addin? – Scott Weinstein Jul 16 '09 at 21:42
  • antivirus software. by AVG – tim Jul 17 '09 at 22:14

To check if it's taking its time to eventually exit or it's running forever, check to see if the process's memory is decreasing (e.g., by using the memory delta information in either Task Manager or Process Explorer). If teh memory usage is constantly going down then it might eventually exit on its own. If it's staying the same or periodically increasing, then it might be stuck in which case you may just have to kill the process.


If you have Skype, it defaults to allowing Outlook Contacts to be viewed automatically. If you go to the View menu in Skype and uncheck “Show Outlook Contacts”, that may solve your problem.


i have just noticed this behavior with outlook 2003. After finding this thread, i removed the iTunes add-in and now outlook is closing down properly. Wow. 2010 anyone.

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