Exit Confirmation for Microsoft Outlook

One of the chief complaints I hear all of the time is that Microsoft Outlook does not provide exit confirmation when closing. Since most Outlook users keep it open at all times for new mail notification, it’s nice to know when you close it accidentally. Unfortunately, Outlook does not have an option to display exit confirmation, but with this quick tip you can easily simulate its functionality.

Begin by opening Outlook and creating a new email message. Address it yourself or some made up email address in case it ever gets delivered accidentally. You don’t need to provide any subject or body. The message details are irrelevant.

Now set a delayed message delivery by clicking the Options button and selecting the Do not deliver check box and choosing a date in the far future. Then send the message to your Outbox by clicking Send.

This message will always remain in your Outbox until the delayed delivery date is reached. Whenever you try to close Outlook you will receive a dialog box notifying you that you have unsent messages in your Outbox. Selecting No, or Don’t Exit in Outlook 2007, in this dialog box will return to Outlook without closing it.

Now choose your Outbox folder and open the message for reading and then close it again without resending it. This will mark the message as read so that it doesn’t keep your Outbox highlighted for unread messages. That’s it!

By the way, in order for this tip to work your Outlook profile needs to have a POP3 or IMAP email account added or you must be running in Cached Exchange mode. Okay, so what do you do if your running an Exchange account? Just add a POP3 email account to it. It doesn’t even have to be real. The message must be sent from the POP3 or IMAP account in order for this to work.

Tired of seeing the error message that your bogus account failed during Send and Receive?

  1. Choose Tools > Send/Receive > Send/Receive Settings > Define Send/Receive Group… (or press Ctrl+Alt+S) to open the Send/Receive Groups dialog box.
  2. Select the All Accounts item and click the Edit… button.
  3. In the Send/Receive Settings dialog box, choose your bogus POP3 or IMAP account from the Accounts list.
  4. Deselect the Include the selected account in this group check box, click OK, and close all remaining dialogs.

The bogus account will no longer be included when sending and receiving.


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  • I tried this trick and a variety of others to no avail. Our enterprise has all the options for adding other accounts grayed out to keep users from messing around. Yes, we are on Exchange. Thanks for the tips though. Was nice to know there were other folks looking for an answer.

  • Follow up: Discovered that If I didn’t look at the message in the outbox and left it unread, it wouldn’t close without the warning. So, my user is pleased, I look smart, and the article was completely correct! A Win Win Win. 🙂


  • Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I’m glad that you found this post useful and you are most welcome.

  • I can’t seem to get this to work using Outlook 2010. Has anyone tested that?

  • Hi Glenn,

    I haven’t had a chance to try this in Outlook 2010 but it should still work since this warning feature still exists.

    Make sure you are using a POP3 or IMAP account to send the email.

    I did find one report of this feature not working…


    …but there was no resolution to the thread so I have no idea what might have been wrong.

  • I am using a POP3 account. Outlook still exits without a warning prompt despite the message still in my outbox. Here’s one more similar (but also unresolved) post:


    I’m thinking there must be a registry setting for this, but can’t seem to find anything.

  • Glenn,

    I would also suggest that you make sure that the “Send immediately when connected” is selected under Send/Receive on the Mail Setup tab in the Options dialog.

  • This is checked.

  • Hi,

    Thank you for this solution. However I found this sentence to be not true:
    “This will mark the message as read so that it doesn’t keep your Outbox highlighted for unread messages. ”
    My Outbox is still bolded with number 1 in brackets, even though my Outbox contains only one ‘dummy’ mail marked as read.
    Despite this I am satisfied.

  • I was racking my brain over this one for a while. I have no problem doing this trick on my Outlook 2003 machine, been doing in for years and it works fine evertime but could not get it to work on my 2007 machine.

    I think I finally figured out why it wasn’t working, well actually I haven’t figured out why it’s not working but I figured out how to make it work and that’s all that matters.

    Follow the instructions above, open Outlook, open a new e-mail, address it to yourself, set the date in th future, send the e-mail. Do not look in or open up your outbox to see if the e-mail is there. It sounds wierd I know but if I look in my outbox at the e-mail, it closes with prompting. If I dont look in my outbox for the e-mail, just look to see that the outbox has a (1) next to it and you will be fine.

    I can’t explain it but it works.

  • j, you’re a genius! I had given up on finding a solution to this issue, but what you suggested works like a charm. The trick is exactly what you describe — avoid the temptation to open the outbox and you get the warning when exiting.

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