Occasionally, the MS Outlook application can throw an error message which mentions that the last program that used it did not cleanly close the Outlook data file. In this article, we will understand the possible causes behind the issue and showcase 5 useful ways to resolve the issue.
When it comes to desktop-based email clients, the MS Outlook application still continues to retain the trust and affection of its millions of users. Over time, Microsoft has added to Outlook’s feature set and today it can be safely counted as a formidable collaboration and business communication tool. However, the Outlook application does have some drawbacks like its propensity to throw up bewildering error messages. One such tricky error message is the one that mentions that the Outlook data file was not cleanly closed.
Key Causes Behind “The Outlook data file was not cleanly closed by the last program that used it” Error
This specific error message can be attributed to several apparent causes ranging from a corrupted PST file to an Outlook application crash. If the PST data file you are working with has become bloated or has developed errors, it may throw up this error message.
Similarly, if the Outlook application crashed due to a power outage or any software fault, this error can be thrown up. In some cases, software conflicts with external software like antivirus applications or even a malfunctioning add-in can cause this error to flare up. Now if you are looking to quickly resolve this issue, just try out the 5 useful ways listed below.
#1. Try Compacting the PST Data File or Reducing its Size
A large PST file can become unstable and cause this error to show up. To start with, you can regularly archive old emails which would go a long way in improving the performance of the Outlook application. Next, to reduce the size of the PST file, you should try to compact it using the steps listed below.
- Launch the MS Outlook application and go to the File tab
- Next under Info, move on Account Settings and just click on Account Settings
- In the subsequent screen, go to the Data Files tab
- Just select the PST data file and then click on Settings
- Next click on Compact Now to reduce the size of the PST file
#2. Run a Sophisticated Recovery Tool to Repair the PST Data File
The Outlook PST data file has a propensity to develop errors and cause myriad issues. To rule out the possibility, you should attempt to repair the PST file with a class-leading recovery tool like DataNumen Outlook Repair. After the application has recovered the contents in the output file, just replace the existing file. Open up the Outlook application to check whether the issue has been eliminated.
#3. Run the ScanPST Tool
Given the frequency of PST errors, that Outlook suffers from; Microsoft provides its Outlook users with an accompanying recovery tool. It is commonly known as ScanPST or Inbox Repair Tool and you can learn to locate and use it by visiting Microsoft’s Support Site.
#4. Run the System Restore Feature in Windows
Occasionally this problem tends to be rather persistent. In such a scenario, you should simply consider running the System Restore feature present in your Windows operating system, as showcased below
- Locate the Windows Search Bar (Run Box) on your desktop screen and type in System Restore
- Next, open up the Recovery Control Panel
- Under Advanced recovery tools, Click on Open System Restore from the given options
- Choose a date when Outlook was running smoothly and revert the system to that date by following the on-screen instructions.
#5. Consider Using a Backup PST File
In some rare cases, the issue may continue to exist even after you have tried out every one of the solutions listed above. In such a case you need to take the help of a previous PST backup file that you might have kept and replace the current file with it. Once done, try restarting the Outlook application.