A lot has happened since my last Ask The Pros contribution. We’ve just finished a very productive meeting in New York, PC Pitstop product distribution has expanded greatly, and our commitment to the excellence of PC Matic is running high.

The release of Windows 7 received all the expected hype but I wonder if the results will be as as good as retailers and MS hoped. We won’t know that answer until the holiday figures are in.

Enough chatter, the question below is about Microsoft Outlook but it can be applied to many other programs. Just substitute your problem program for Outlook.

KEITH ASKS For some reason when I try to shut down my Outlook program it will not close and so I have to restart the system and close again before it will actually close down. Can someone explain why this happens and how do I make it terminate on the first shutdown?

ANSWER It drives me nuts when this happens. I haven’t had as much trouble with it recently and that’s probably because I’ve removed lots of unused programs that were installed on my system. This problem is usually the result of Outlook being open, used, or accessed by another program. The biggest offenders are antivirus and protection programs, PDA (personal digital assistant) software, and fax software.

Any sort of antivirus program scanning your emails for trojans and other nasties would keep your Outlook open. It’s perfectly safe to disable the auto function for email and manually scan before opening.

I’m not including a list of software known to cause problems with Outlook but be aware that there are many many that can cause trouble. The reason I’m not including a list is because it’s not the program, it’s just the settings that need to be tweaked. If you are having the same problem but with a different program, stop and think about what might be accessing the offending program. Something as simple as accounting programs, spyware removal programs, music or phone programs are all apt to access software on your system. Look for these and you’ll find your culprit.

Thanks everyone, see you next time.

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