I often close Microsoft Outlook by accident. Is there a way to have Outlook present a prompt that lets me cancel or confirm the closing operation?

Here's a little trick to help with that. Create a message to yourself. Before sending it, click the Options button and select the Do not deliver before check box. Enter a delivery date and time that's some time in the future, but the exact date doesn't really matter. Send that message. Now go to the Outbox and open the message, then close it without resending it. The message should appear in the Outbox in normal type, not italics.

As long as that message remains in the Outbox, closing Outlook displays a prompt that items are still in the Outbox. Figure 1 shows the prompt; you can click No if you closed Outlook unintentionally and don't really want it to quit.

Corrections to this Article:

  • I neglected to mention that this works only in two specific situations--if you’re using Outlook 2003 configured in Cached Exchange mode or if there is a POP3 or IMAP4 account in the profile. Thus, an Outlook 2002 user or someone connecting Outlook 2003 directly to an Exchange mailbox (rather than with Cached Exchange mode) could add a POP3 or IMAP4 account to get the prompt on exit. It doesn’t even have to be a real account. You can use bogus credentials and then adjust the send/receive settings so that Outlook doesn’t try to send or receive on that account. Choose Tools, Send/Receive Settings, Define Send/Receive Groups, then edit the All Accounts group settings and uncheck all the options for that POP3 or IMAP4 account. I also found that the easiest way to create a persistent item in the Outbox is not to send a message with a delayed delivery date, but to use the New, Post in This Folder command.