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Microsoft Outlook 2007 Running Slow ? Fix the Problem Now

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Microsoft Outlook 2007 Running Slow ? Fix the Problem Now
Microsoft Outlook 2007 is painfully slow; it is much slower than even its predecessor, Outlook 2003. The software freezes during start-up, the status bar shows "Loading Dataset.." for minutes and you can perform no actions on your email items unless that initial "Send/Receive" is complete.

If your work productivity is taking a hit due to the poor performance of Outlook, here are some suggestions and fixes to supercharge Outlook 2007:


One other thing you can try which may help in certain circumstances is to run SCANPST from within windows against your Outlook data files to repair any data corruption (be sure to close Outlook first).

SCANPST is found by clicking MY COMPUTER- then click Tools > Folder Options > View and check the item that says “show hidden file and folders” and then click okay.

Now go to C:\ > PROGRAM FILES > MICROSOFT OFFICE > OFFICE12 (it’s in the folder OFFICE12)

Double click to run it. Then point it to your Outlook file which is usually in MY COMPUTER > C:\ > DOCUMENTS AND SETTINGS > YOUR LOGIN > LOCAL SETTINGS > APPLICATION DATA > MICROSOFT > OUTLOOK and it should be there as a xxxx.pst file.

2. Disable RSS Feeds in Microsoft Outlook 2007

Microsoft Outlook 12 installs with a set of RSS feeds - if you are not using Outlook to read RSS feeds, it's best to remove them from Outlook so that no resources are spent in synchronization of these feeds with the web.

Go to Tools - Account Settings - RSS Feeds. Select all the RSS feeds and hit the Remove button.

3. Disable Outlook Add-Ins You No Longer Use – VERY IMPORTANT FOR EVERYONE TO DO

Go to Tools - Trust Center and click the Add-ins tab.
There's a GO button at the bottom of the dialog screen, click that button and uncheck (disable or even remove) the Outlook add-ins (like GoogleDesktop, iTunes Add-in, Acrobat PDF Maker, Mindjet Mindmanager, BCM, Unified Messaging, Sharepoint etc) that you no longer use. 2 things you should not remove if you use them:

  1. Do not disable the Windows Search Indexing addin if you have this installed.

  2. Do not disable the Exchange add-ins if you’re connected to a corporate network.

It should look something like this:

If you have upgraded to Outlook 2007 from Outlook 2003 or XP, chances are that the old addin are not compatible with the new release and may be the reason behind the slugging performance of Outlook.

This one change significantly increased the speed of my Outlook 2007 installation. It also helped to reduce the number of instances of loading dataset.

4.Download Microsoft’s published Outlook Fix Files
First, update your Microsoft Windows XP/Vista AND Office (which includes Outlook) by going here (Choose Express method and install whatever it suggests).
Microsoft have released an update designed to improve performance in Outlook 2007, especially for large mail stores. This update fixes a problem in which a calendar item that is marked as private is opened if it is found by using the Search Desktop feature. The update also fixes performance issues that occur when you work with items in a large .pst file or .ost file.

  • You can read more details about the update in this blog:

Here is a direct link to the download: Update for Outlook 2007 (KB933493)

  • updates for Microsoft outlook

  • consider installing the junk mail update

  • and the IMAP improvement update

5.Reduce the size of your Outlook.pst personal folder.

Despite the wonderful things technology can do these days, for some reason Microsoft Outlook isn’t very good at handling large data files. Delete any items that you do not want to keep like emails with really large attachments. If you don’t want to delete anything, consider archive them to a separate Outlook data file (do a search in Google on ”archive Outlook 2007”). Actually, I didn’t delete anything from my initial 4Gb Outlook data file – I just archived all the deleted and sent emails into separate files categorised by year.

6.Compact your data file(s) for Outlook – ANOTHER IMPORTANT STEP FOR ALL TO DO

One other thing you can do to speed up Outlook 2007 is to compact your email folders so that they are not as large and fragmented. It’s best to delete out any emails with large attachments or even to archive some emails if your file is larger than 1GB first (although my data file was 1.6Gb and after compacting it is now 400 MB. Wow!). Note: if your data file (.pst file) is large, than compacting might take an hour or two. Therefore, you might want to do this overnight. This is another step that made a BIG BIG difference to the speed of my Outlook.

In Outlook 2007, click on File and then Data File Management.

Click on the Data Files tab and then double-click on the data file that you want to compact. ( I suggest you do each in turn if you have more than one)

Now go ahead and click on the Compact Now button to reduce the size of the personal folder file.

Exchange users can compact as well.

Tools - Account settings - Select Exchange and click Change - click More Settings - Advanced tab - Offline Folder Settings - Compact Now

7.Windows Search Indexing – either let it complete entirely the once or turn it off

The Windows search facility for Outlook is a nice piece of kit. However, if you’re desperate and happy with the former search facility (which was slower), you might want to consider turning of indexing. The old search facility trawled your emails for whatever your specified. The indexing facility works by categorising each email you receive as it comes in. They are then tagged which means later, when you want to search on something, it’s much quicker.

You can imagine that the continuous process of tagging emails as they come in might slow your system down, especially if there is a backlog of emails that need indexing. If you like Windows Indexing, you have an alternative option: leave it on but just make sure it completes indexing the WHOLE email data set – might be worth leaving the machine running overnight. In this way, indexing has no backlog work and any emails you get coming in from there on are much quicker to index with a minimal disruption in performance.
How to turn it off:

Tools - Options - Search options - uncheck all folders. It’s a shame to do this as the indexed search is useful.

8.Fix Microsoft Word and Make It Run Quicker Too

Remove Word Add Ins

Many attachments that come through email are written in Microsoft Word. Therefore Outlook and Word are often closely related. If you speed up Word, you might speed up Outlook (especially if you use the attachment ‘preview’ facility in Outlook 2007).

In Word 2007, Under Word Options (found by clicking the “start” circle icon on the top left), then Add-Ins then click the “GO” button at the bottom - remove unnecessary add ins like Acrobat PDFMaker.

After I took the PDF add-in out, Outlook performance and Word performance improved.

What do I do if I need to convert a Word document into a pdf file? I will turn the add-in back on when I need to save a Word document in .pdf format; immediately thereafter, I take the add-in out again.
OfficeIns v1.03 - Office Add-ins Manager

This tool does not require installation (it runs when you click on the icon), and makes fiddling with Office Add Ins very easy.

Go here:

Click on the add in you don’t want to load then File-Change StartUp – Load on Demand (or disable)


9. Other Little Outlook Settings Tweaks

Remove the ‘Preview” Attachment Facility

Turned off attachment preview if you are not too fussed about it. Personally, I’ve left it on because I love it.

Trust Center -> Attachment Handling. Check the box to “Turn Off Attachment Preview”. This sped up opening of emails.
Turn off Header Shading and Line Break Mangling

Options -> Email Options. Personally, I’ve left it on.

10. Remove Archives From Outlook Display

This method just removes the link from Outlook; it does not delete the file (so worry ye not about losing the data). It’s particularly worthwhile if the archive file is too large. My archive.pst was about 1.8GB.

Quit MS Outlook, Go to the folder where your archive(s) are stored, rename, for example archive.pst to archive_somedate.pst, restart Outlook and let it create a new archive file.

You can always add the archive file to Outlook again (when you need it) by doing the following in Outlook

File – Open – Outlook Data File – navigate to the archive file.

11. Contig Software is Free and Can Help Defragment Files and Tidy Them Up

download and instal contig first from

Once installed: start>run>cmd.exe

Type in at the command prompt:

contig -v -s %userdir%/local settings/application data/Microsoft/outlook

I got huge performance gain with this. My 2gb OST file was in 1500+ fragments before. Contig managed to assemble it to 5 fragments and now OL2007 is tolerable.

12. Speed Up Your PC

Other programs on your PC may be hungry for CPU time and therefore may be hijacking it thus making Outlook run slower. Remove or stop these and Outllook might start functioning better as your CPU is less overwhelmed.

Try this: Start - run - type msconfig - in the startup tab, write down everything with a checkmark, and then uncheck them - click apply - click ok - click exit without restart - then again - Start - run - type msconfig - in the services tab check “hide all microsoft services” - again write down everything with a check mark, then uncheck them, click apply, then ok, then restart the computer. Upon restart, if your Outlook works fine with no hangs, you know it was one of those entries. One by one, recheck the boxes you had unchecked and restart after each. I think you will be able to find your culprit that way.

12. Remove Skype (if you don’t use it)

Skype (especially version can slow things down. If you have several computers, consider having only one of them linked up to Skype (if you use it).


14. Uninstall Business Contacts Manager – most people don’t need it
15. For those who have upgraded from Outlook 2003: Upgrade Rules

There is a problem with Outlook rules and this fix involves upgrading the rules to work in the new Outlook 2007 format.

In Tools->Rules&Alerts->Options there is an “Upgrade Rules” option (I’d upgraded my 8Gb pst from 2003).

Upgrading my rules took about 1 second and FIXED my problems. (I had about 100 local rules)”

16. For those who have upgraded from Outlook 2003: Rename Outlook configuration Files – not for the faint hearted

Shane Keller has offered the following general solution on the Microsoft Outlook Discussion forum, which has been refined through feedback by other users as they implement it:

STEP 1: Turn off Outlook 2007 and locate each of these files in turn and rename as indicated.

For some reason, during the upgrade these four files can become corrupted - the migration from 2003 to 2007 isn’t the smoothest but not having to create all your POP3 accounts again is excellent.

1. extend.dat - you will find this file in the location | Drive Letter:\Documents and Settings\user-directory\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\extend.dat
//change it to extend.old

A user has reported that this file was the only thing that he needed to rename, so at this point try restarting Outlook normally and see if it has improved. If no difference has been made then rename the new version of the extend.dat as extend.old2 and continue on with the remaining files.

2. views.dat - may not find it most of the time

3. frmcache.dat - Drive Letter:\Documents and Settings\user-directory\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\FORMS\FRMCACHE.DAT

//change it to FRMCACHE.old

4. outcmd.dat - C:\Documents and Settings\user-directory\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook\outcmd.dat

//change it to OUTCMD.old

STEP 2: Restart Outlook 2007

1. Send yourself some test emails and watch the messages appear.

This made a big performance improvement to our version of Outlook 2007.

17. For Vista Users ONLY

Run the following command and it instantly speed up my Outlook and Public Folders

Go to Start-Run-CMD.exe then type in the following at the command prompt

  • netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=normal then

  • netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disable


Especially for those connected to an exchange server.

Turning off encryption between outlook and EXCHSRVR, that should help a bit.

19. Still experiencing problems with Outlook 2007 we tried restarting Outlook in safe mode:
If none of the above tricks, try running Outlook 2007 in safe mode (start -> Run dialog and type outlook /safe). The second option is to disable all your email rules and filters. And if Norton antivirus or Zone Alarm is configured with Outlook, disable that association. One of these actions should identify the culprit that's making Outlook to crawl.

It's likely that some of the tricks above would help in improving the performance of your Outlook 2007. If you are looking to improve the performance of Outlook 2003, try removing the MSN Messenger association with Outlook.

Start -> Run -> outlook /safe

My Outlook ran much better when in safe mode! This usually indicates a configuration data corruption problem or a misbehaving add-in/plugin. In my case, it looks like a big part of the problem can be put down to file corruption when upgrading from Office (Outlook) 2003 to Office (Outlook) 2007.

I also found the following URLS helpful

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