Top Tips to Speed Up Outlook 2007

While Outlook 2007 offers many new features that do indeed offer real benefits it can come at a price - performance. On my Core 2 Duo with 2GB of RAM Outlook 2007 originally took a good 20 seconds to fire up from a fully booted PC and appeared to be constantly sluggish. So what can be done about it?

Tip 1: Delete attachments

A little-known feature in Outlook is the ability to keep an email but delete one or several attachment. Firstly, sort your inbox by file size (descending) and open a message (by double clicking so it opens in a new window) where you no longer wish to keep the attachment. Right click over the attachment and select Remove. Now save the email, repeat with all relevant emails in this mailbox and then repeat in any other mailboxes (including your sent items).

Tip 2: Split emails into Archives

Maybe you disabled the autoarchive facility when you first saw it because you didn't understand it? Archiving old emails into a separate file still allows you to access less frequently used material when required but keeps your system running faster as it does not have to trawl through all of this rendundant content regularly. Click File | New | Outlook Data File. Enter a name for the file - a new folder will now appear in the folder list on the left. You can add sub-folders to this by right clicking, which is useful if you want to create a similar hierarchy to your current inbox. Once done simply select multiple files in your main inbox and drag/drop them to the same inbox in your new archive folder. Repeat for all other folders (e.g. Sent Items and any others that you may have created). Close the new data file by right clicking over the title and selecting Close [Folder Name]. Now when Outlook loads it only loads you nice lightweight folder! Outlook 2007 is known to be far less tolerant of large PST data files than Outlook 2003. Aim to keep your main PST file under 500MB - the smaller the better.

Tip 3: Disable unessential Add-ins in Outlook 2007

Click on Tools, Trust Center and Add-Ins. Now select one of the various options from the dropdown menu at the bottom and uncheck any add-ins that you don't use (which for me was an Adobe Acrobat one and Restart Outlook and see if this makes a difference.

Tip 4: No need for fax? Ditch it!

If you do not send or receive faxes on your PC then uninstall the facility as this has been known to cause issues with Outlook 2007.From Control Panel select Add/Remove Programs, select Add/remove windows components and uncheck Fax Service.

Tip 5: Enable Outlook 2007 logging to see if anything is going wrong

Outlook has an error logging capability, which could be useful if something is going wrong. Click Tools, Options, Other, Advanced Options and then tick Enable Logging. Logs will be stored in C:\Documents and Settings\[Username]\Local Settings\Temp\Outlook Logging\. Look for any errors, especially in OPMLog.log - perhaps relating to the checking of email on one or more of your POP3 accounts.

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Stan's Thoughts on Politics said...

We have started using Exchange shared calendars here at work, and would like to know if there is a way to setup a notification list for when the public folder calendar is changed. Is this possible?