Problem Solving: Outlook .pst. Another process has locked a portion of the file

This solving problem sheet will assist you in solving the problem of OBM receiving errors on the outlook.pst which is usually locked by outlook itself.


A file backup on any operating system, which includes outlook .pst files (personal folders) could show the following message:

[Error][New File] File=”C:\Users\User\outlook\.pst” error=”The process cannot access the file because another process has locked a portion of the file. “

 The error is caused by outlook still being in operation. Outlook will lock any .pst files from being copied, even when shadow copy (server 2003,2008 or win Vista/7) is enabled. Users might forget to close outlook before leaving the office.

Use the following steps to unlock the outlook.pst file before the backup starts: 
  • Create the file closeoutlook.cmd by entering the following line in notepad:

       if errorlevel 1 goto end
       if errorlevel 0 taskkill /im outlook.exe /F

  • Save the commands in a file called closeoutlook.cmd, in a folder/subfolder on your C: drive
  • Open Backup-connect Online Backup Manager.
  • Go to the filebacktask which is causing the error.
  • Select the tab Command Line Tool.
  • At the Pre Commands click on the [Add] button.
  • Add the following lines (see example):
    1. Name: Closeoutlook
    2. Working Directory: C:\
    3. Command: closeoutlook.cmd
  • Click [Ok] and Save the backuptask.

Next time the backup runs, and outlook is still opened / running, our software will automatically close Outlook to unlock the outlook.pst file, allowing it to be backed up.

Additional Information: 

This solving problem sheet can only be used for OBM which contains a command line tool. 

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