Shutting Down Outlook

Shutting Down Outlook

  • Comments 53

This is one of those things that I thought only happened to me. For years, I've been running multiple Outlook profiles: one for my personal e-mail, and one for my Microsoft e-mail. It's quite common for me to exit Outlook and fire it up again so I can check a different e-mail account. As a matter of fact, I do this many times each day. Unfortunately, a quick re-start of Outlook doesn't always work, because the OUTLOOK.EXE process usually hangs around for awhile before it terminates. I'm not afraid to admit that I'm quite used to popping up Task Manager to see if the process is closed, and if I get too impatient, I close it myself. Come on...admit've done it too (dad...if you're reading this, I'll explain what Task Manager is later). :-)

Like I said, I thought it was a problem that was unique to me. However, I received an e-mail today that not only confirmed that I wasn't alone, but it actually contained a suggestion for eliminating this problem altogether! If this information is to be believed, closing Outlook by clicking on the X doesn't always shutdown the OUTLOOK.EXE and WINWORD.EXE processes right away; but, if you use File/Exit, both processes shut down immediately. Of course, I've been trying to test this tonight, but Outlook is closing immediately in all cases...kind of like the car that doesn't squeak when you drive it to the dealership.

While searching the internet for similar cases, and I've found a few other solutions:

  • KnockOut - a tool that sits in your system tray and lets you know if the Outlook or Word processes are currently running
  • Shutdown Addin - a tool that helps Outlook shut down more quickly, and if it doesn't after a period of time, the addin forcefully terminates the process
  • A list of software that may cause problems

If you can confirm that File/Exit does the trick, please post feedback!

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  • Cannot get OL hanged right now :), but it's quite easy to prove that "File->Exit" and "Close Window" have 2 different code paths: just open any folder in new window: you now have 2 OL instances... closing any of them won't terminate outlook.exe, but File->Exit will... I think it's reasonable to say that "hidden" outlook instances will behave the same way: outlook.exe just exits.
  • Personally I use KnockOut on my PCs - it's a rain pain that Outlook & Word never seem to kill themselves.

    I'm not a File -> Exit man as I normally Alt + F4 most apps to close the window....
  • Interesting. I had always assumed the delayed close was entirely due to MAPI. I found it annoying as well.

    But this seems to do the trick. Thanks, Mike.
  • Just tested and it didnt work - it hung around for atleast 15 seconds
  • IMHO, using KnockOut is not a good option - when running on my machine it is consuming about 10MB of memory!Instead, it's much, much better just pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc and killing apropriate process(es).
  • I have noticed this as well. Windows Media player 10 has the same behavior. There are a lot of these newer apps when you hit close the GUI goes away but the app continues to hang around. And yes you basically have to go kill the process.
  • no, man you're not alone, we all do.
    and yeah, in the past there was a MAPISP.EXE process, but that has gone in recent outlook versions... still outlook stays there for a while....
  • To paraphrase that old saying about democracy vs. other governments...

    Outlook is the worst email client, except for all the others.
  • What is really sad is that this has happened for the last few outlook versions and no one at Microsoft has ever bothered to address it. The fact that an MS employee is complaining about it just makes it worse. Why not get some one to fix it?
  • Hi Michael,
    Great tip, worked fine when i tested that.

    Good day,
    Windows Server Update Services Wiki
    I Blog on
  • In my day job (Codeweavers CrossOver Office) we have this problem. Seems some threads never die or something if you use the X to kill the app but file/exit seems to fix the problem. For the longest time I thought it was a Window Managment issue where the WM was not properly sending a Quit Message to the Win32 API.
  • Not sure how many folks are having this problem but I've been having it on several machines all running...
  • I have the same problem with a VB. NET Projet
    reading the appointments.Item in OUTLOOK (2003)

    I search and find nothing....
  • My problem is that Outlook is closing too quickly - it shuts down in the twinkling of an eye (on clicking the "x" or File + Exit). It frequently needs to clean itself up when I switch it back on ....
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