Microsoft Outlook can slow down with regular use and data storage. It will start taking more time to launch, navigate between folders or even to send new emails. This can be extremely frustrating and may even force you to look for alternatives, but hold on, there is still some hope.
1. Auto Archive Folders
The most common mistake many people make is to store thousands of emails and entries in the main folder. Many of the old emails are not required on a daily basis, but Outlook will still load them, leading to slower processing. If you archive all the old emails, they will be saved in a specified external folder (can be accessed anytime) and will not be processed.
To archive any folder, right-click on the folder and select “Properties” from the context menu. Now, move to the “AutoArchive” tab and select the option “Archive items in this folder.” Once selected, click on the “Default Archive Settings…” button below it to adjust the settings.
Although the default settings are fine, you may want to customize which emails will be archived. By default, Outlook will archive emails older than six months; you can adjust that according to your needs. For an average user emails older than two months should be adeviate. Now click on “OK” to confirm your settings, and Outlook will archive that folder.
2. Disable/Remove Add-ins
It might seem quite a basic thing to do; after all, removing additional programs working at the same time should definitely speed things up. However, it is very important, not because you get to achieve some speed by disabling less important add-ins, but also because you are removing shady add-ins. Some shady programs can sneak in to Outlook that will make it slow or unreliable. So removing/disabling Add-ins that are less important or that you can’t identify should make things smoother.
To access the Add-ins page in Outlook 2007, click on “Trust Center” inside the “Tools” option, and then click on “Add-ins.” In versions after Outlook 2007, you can find this option under “File -> Options -> Add-ins.” Here, click on “Go” while the drop-down menu is set to “COM Add-ins.”
You will see all the Add-ins installed; just uncheck the ones you want to disable or use the “Remove” button on the right side to remove a specific Add-in.
3. Keep Outlook Updated
Outlook updates are available alongside Windows updates. Make sure you install all Outlook updates, and it always stays updated. Microsoft may push patches that may resolve speed issues or fix bugs.
4. Compact PST File
When you using Outlook and storing data, the PST file keeps increasing. Even when you delete data, the PST file size may still stay the same. This leads to an Outlook slowdown as it will have to process a larger PST file, so compacting the PST file will surely help pick up the pace.
To compact the PST file, go to “Account Settings” under the “Tools” option in Outlook 2007 and the “File” option in versions after it.
In the Account Settings, click on “Data Files,” and then click on “Settings” while a PST file is selected. Now just click on “Compact Now” in the next dialog, and the processing will start.
5. Disable RSS Feed
By Default, Outlook fetches the RSS Feed from Internet Explorer to add to the Outlook client. This can make things quite heavy if you receive a lot of feeds. You can disable this convenient feature to make things less choking for Outlook.
To disable the RSS Feed, go to “Options,” and then click on “Advanced Options.”
The above methods may not be able to make your Outlook experience perfect, but you should see some significant boost in speed. They are also quite easy to follow and don’t require any special software or hacks. Do you know any other cool tricks to speed up Microsoft Outlook? Share in the comments below.