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Summary: When Outlook crashes, it can be a difficult situation, and you may see an error message that says “Outlook exited without closing Outlook data file.” This article will assist you in identifying the causes of this error and provide you with several solutions to fix it. Additionally, you can explore the Kernel for Outlook PST Repair tool to maintain the health of your PST files and recover from corruption.

Many professionals prefer MS Outlook to communicate daily tasks with internal and external teams. Now, users are even adopting it for personal use. It is brilliantly curated to manage a regular flow of emails, contacts, calendars, tasks, etc.

However, an error within Outlook is on the rise where the message states- “Microsoft Outlook exited without closing Outlook data file.”

Just like several common Outlook errors, users are also experiencing this issue. So a wise call would be to be well-prepared, and this article helps you by deep diving into the top 8 methods to resolve ‘Outlook exited without closing Outlook data file.’

What causes ‘Outlook exited without closing Outlook data file’?

Several reasons are responsible for this issue, and some of the leading causes are-

  • The abrupt or sudden closing of Outlook.
  • Not closing the previous Outlook session.
  • Using outdated Windows or Outlook versions.
  • Problematic add-ins.
  • Corrupted Outlook user profile.
  • Exceeding the Outlook PST file size limits.
  • Corrupt, damaged, or inaccessible Outlook data files.
  • Anti-virus program interference with Outlook.
How to Resolve the ‘Outlook exited without closing Outlook data file’ Error?
  1. Update the Platforms
    Using an outdated platform can make it vulnerable to errors, threats, and bugs. Updating the platform can enhance security and fix minor issues. It’s recommended to ensure that your Windows operating system and Outlook are up to date before trying other solutions.
  2. Restart and Reboot the System
    Restarting your system removes all the temporary data stored in the computer’s memory instantly. A quick restart could resolve the ‘Outlook exited without closing Outlook data file’ error. You can also opt for a system reboot if it doesn’t.
  3. End Outlook Running in the Background
    It would be best to ensure that no previous Outlook sessions are running in the background.

    • Press the Ctrl, Shift & Esc keys together to open the Task Manager window.
    • Search for “Outlook.exe.”
    • If it is there, then click on it and select the End task option given the End task
  4. Remove Faulty Add-ins
    Adding several add-ins to your Outlook is not helpful in the long run. In fact, at times, they even go faulty, and you better remove them before they cause permanent damage. To begin with, you can launch Outlook in Safe Mode, which limits the add-ins, making it easier to identify the problematic ones.

    • Press the Windows & R keys together to open the Run window.
    • Type “Outlook.exe/safe” and select OK to launch MS Outlook in Safe OK
    • Once Outlook has started, select the File tab. Click on Options at the bottom of the left panel.
    • Move to the Add-ins tab and select the Go the Go button
    • Uncheck all the add-ins to remove them and select OK
    • Start Outlook again and check for the issue.
    • If not, then you need to identify which add-in is creating the ‘Outlook exited without closing Outlook data file’ error by removing them one at a time.
  5. Fix MS Office
    If you are still facing the issue even after removing add-ins, a major reason could be an underlying problem with the Office installation. However, you can easily repair it if any MS Office product is not working as it should.

    • In your system, open Control Panel.
    • Under Programs and Features, select Uninstall a Control Panel
    • From the entire list, select Microsoft Office.
    • You will see an option for Change in the top bar; click it and select the Online Repair/Repair option.
    • Follow the given instructions to complete the repair process. Later, restart Outlook.
  6. Fix Outlook Data File:
    Outlook stores all its user’s information, including emails, contacts, tasks, calendar entries, etc., in a PST file format. However, an oversized Outlook PST file can result in corruption, damage, or inaccessibility, and you may start experiencing other issues, including the ‘Outlook exited without closing Outlook data file.’ To resolve this, you need to repair the PST files urgently, and there are 2 methods to do so-

    • Using ScanPST
      Microsoft has an in-built utility known as the Inbox Repair tool or ScanPST, which helps users identify minor PST issues and further repair them. This tool comes in handy when it involves fixing minor issues in small-sized PST files. You can quickly locate ScanPST and begin the repair process.
    • Using a Professional PST Repair Tool
      Professional PST tools come into the picture when corruption is severe and cannot be handled without expert support. The Kernel for Outlook PST Repair is an authentic tool that recovers the user’s entire mailbox and its complete structure and further saves them into the desired output format. There is no limitation for the number and size of PST files, and it can easily tackle severe corruption cases.

      PST Repair Tool

  7. Create a New Outlook User Profile
    A new user profile could give you a clean start keeping aside the issues that the previous one had.

    • Launch Control Panel and select User Accounts.Launch Control Panel
    • Click on Mail.Click on Mail
    • Select Show Profiles in the Mail Setup popup.Show Profiles
    • It will launch the Mail popup, and click on on Add
    • Mention the profile name and select OK
    • Follow the given instructions to configure the new email account. And delete the previous profile.
  8. Uninstall and Reinstall Outlook
    If none of the above methods have worked for you, the last resort to solve the ‘Outlook exited without closing Outlook data files’ error is to uninstall the program and install it again.

    • Launch the Control Panel. Under Program, select Uninstall a Program.
    • Out of the entire list, select Microsoft Office and click on the Uninstall option.
    • Install the platform again from the official website.


The ‘Outlook exited without closing Outlook data file’ is becoming one of the common Microsoft Outlook issues. Although it can be resolved quickly but only if you follow the right approach. To begin with, ensure you are using the latest version of Outlook and Windows operating systems. Additionally, you can remove faulty add-ins & any Outlook sessions running in the background and repair Outlook data files and MS Office. Lastly, if nothing works, you can create a new user profile or reinstall Outlook. All these methods have been discussed at length above.

Kernel for PST Repair