Outlook 2007: The Data File Personal Folders was not Closed Properly

Updated on September 15th, 2020

Kuljeet Singh

Summary: ‘The data file was not closed properly’ is an error message that appears when Outlook 2007 fails to open due to some problem with the PST file. The message usually appears when the PST gets damaged or corrupt. In this guide, we help you fix “the data file was not closed properly” error message in Outlook 2007 and restore the PST file.  

Outlook is a widely used email client. However, this does not rule out the fact that users have to face issues with their Outlook at some point in time. One such prominent issue, as faced by Outlook 2007 users, is:

“The data file ‘Personal Folders’ was not closed properly last time it was used and is being checked for problems. Performance might be affected while the check is in progress.”

Though this message doesn’t stop you from accessing the Outlook, it certainly prolongs the accessibility time and affects its performance.

The whole sequence includes:

  • User opens Outlook
  • An error message is displayed, “The data file ‘Personal Folders’ was not closed properly. The file is being checked for problems. Performance might be affected while the check is in progress.”
  • Then after a few minutes, a new message appears, “Data file check complete”
  • Once it completes, you can open and access emails and other Outlook components

If you’re experiencing this problem frequently, then follow the methods discussed in this post to resolve the issue.

Reasons for ‘Outlook Data File was Not Closed Properly’ Error

The error message data file personal folder was not closed properly in Outlook 2007 occurs when the Outlook PST file’s header gets damaged or corrupt. This may happen due to several reasons, such as,

  1. Abrupt system shutdown or system crash
  2. Virus or malware intrusion
  3. Incompatible or faulty add-ins
  4. Large or oversized PST file
  5. Outlook did not close properly
  6. Outlook data file is accessed by other programs on the system

This error may sometimes also be displayed when you try to open Outlook after rebooting the system, without closing Outlook. Though you might be one of those ardent Outlook users who empty the “Deleted Items” folder, close all tabs, and then click the Exit button, yet, the error remains unresolved.

Steps to Resolve Data file Personal Folders was not closed properly Error

The first step is to analyze the cause of the problem. In this case, Outlook is taking too long to respond. Thus, the first thing that you should check is the size of the Outlook data file. Over time, the size of the Outlook PST file becomes too large. As a consequence, it takes longer for users to open and access their Outlook account. Moreover, large PST files become prone to integrity issues and corruption. Thus, it can also be an issue of corruption in PST Files.

You can follow these steps to fix the ‘data file personal folder was not closed properly’ error in Outlook 2007,

Step 1: Reduce the Size of PST File

Most probably, the error is related to the oversized Personal Storage Tables or PST File. In that case, reduce the size of PST file and resolve the error. The steps are as follows,

  • Start Outlook and go to the File tab. Click on Data File Management
  • Click on the Personal folder (PST) file that you want to compact
  • Click on the ‘Compact Now’ button

Step 2: Repair PST by using ScanPST.exe

If compacting PST does not fix the problem, then try to repair the PST with Inbox Repair tool (SCANPST.EXE). The steps are as follows,

  • Close MS Outlook and navigate to Outlook 2007: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12\

You can also locate the Inbox repair tool in other Outlook versions.

  • Double-click on SCANPST.EXE program file to launch it
  • Click the ‘Browse’ button and choose the .PST file that requires repair
  • Click ‘Start.’ The SCANPST.EXE utility will scan the .PST file and find errors
  • If there are errors detected during scanning, the program will display the ‘Repair’ button
  • During the process, a backup file is created to avoid data loss. Save the backup file at a preferred location
  • Then click on Repair button to start repairing the PST file errors and corruption
  • After the repair process gets completed, open Outlook. If the error is fixed, Outlook should open without the error message: “The data file personal folders was not closed properly…”

IMPORTANT NOTE: Repairing Outlook PST with ScanPST.exe utility may result in the loss of unrecognized emails. This may also include important emails as the tool tries to remove damaged items from PST file to fix corruption. To avoid this situation, use a professional and reliable software such as Stellar Repair for Outlook Technician version.

With this software, you can resolve the error when Outlook inbuilt utility fails to perform as per expectations. Moreover, this software avoids data loss and recovers deleted or lost mailbox items.

The steps are as follows,

  • Download, install and launch Stellar Repair for Outlook Technician version
  • Click ‘Browse’ to choose the damaged PST file and then click on the Repair button to initiate repair process. The software scans the corrupt or damaged file and displays a preview of scanned file
  • Click on ‘Save Repaired File’ to save the repaired PST file at the preferred location. Choose the PST as a saving option and Click OK

The software saves a new PST file at your desired location. You can either import this PST file to Outlook or replace the existing PST file with this new PST file after renaming.

Why Use Stellar Repair for Outlook?

  • Scans and repairs the corrupt PST file
  • Recovers all email components including emails, calendars, contacts, and more
  • Provides preview of scanned PST for data verification
  • Resolves Outlook related errors, compacts and splits PST file-size for better file management and avoid PST file damaged due to oversize


Though the manual methods may help you resolve the error, it is still not sure whether the performance of Outlook 2007 will be restored. Thus, if the Outlook 2007 still displays data file is not closed properly error and when the Outlook data becomes inaccessible or manual methods are unable to fix the error, then use Stellar Repair for Outlook -Technician software. The software can help you resolve PST and Outlook errors including “The data file Personal Folders was not closed properly.”

About The Author

Eric Simson

Eric Simson is an Email Platform Consultant and is associated with Stellar Data Recovery from last 6 years. He writes about the latest technology tips and provides custom solutions related to MS Outlook, MS Exchange Server, Office 365, and many other Email Clients & Servers. 

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  1. Yesterday, I had reviewed the root causes carefully and found that SP2 was missing for Office 2007 package. After the successful implementation of the SP2 service pack, My Outlook 2007 folders are closing without reporting any error/issue.

    1. To repair PST file, you can use Scanpst.exe tool which is included by default in MS Outlook. You can find the scanpst.exe tool here:
      C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12
      Through this scan, the PST errors on different phases and repair it.

  2. I have also faced same error message again & again. Then I uninstalled MS Office and reinstalled it but still get the same error. Please help.

    1. To fix PST file error, try this method:
      1. Click on Start
      2. Go to Control Panel > Mail Profiles
      3. Select Properties of your profile
      4. Remove .PST file
      5. Then Launch MS Outlook again.

  3. I recently upgraded from Outlook 2007 to Outlook 2016 and facing “Personal folder not closed properly” error. Then I get a popup message:
    “A data file did not close properly the last time it was used and is being checked for problems. Performance might be affected while the check is in progress.”

    How can I fix both errors?

    1. You can try an inbuilt utility like Scanpst.exe which is provided by Microsoft. Through this, you can easily scan the errors and fix it.

  4. I already ran scanpst.exe but it gave me the error saying “An error has occurred which caused the scan to be stopped. No changes have been made to the scanned file”.

    I don’t know how to go about fixing these errors.

    1. Have you scanned Outlook PST file using a free demo of Stellar PST Repair?

      If yes, then share your findings with us.

  5. Thank you so much for this article, I have spent all day attempting repair with the guidance of others to no avail. Your article was easy to follow and to the point. Many Many Thanks!

    1. Try Stellar Outlook PST Repair. You can check result using a free demo of this one Outlook repair tool.

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