Whenever I open Outlook I get the following message:
"The data file <filename> was not closed properly. This file is being checked for problems."
An icon of two gears has appeared in the lower right hand corner and sits there for three days already now.
How can I get rid of this message and these gears?
Leave Outlook open until these gears icon disappear. If you close it before that, Outlook will start the checking procedure from the beginning the next time you start Outlook.
You can also do a manual check by using scanpst.exe.
The gears icon indicates that Outlook checks
your data file for issues in the background.
If you get this on a regular basis, it might be that Outlook isn't closing properly.
You can verify this by checking if the
outlook.exe process actually stops after closing Outlook. To see all running processes press CTRL+SHIFT+ESC to open Task Manager and then select the Processes tab.
To further troubleshoot closing issues see this guide.