The 10 biggest annoyances in Outlook

We show you how to get round them

1. Outlook is too slow. How can I speed it up?

Outlook sometimes seems to have three speeds: slow, slower and slowest. It takes too long to load, and it's sluggish when it sends or receives mail - in short, it takes too long to do anything at all. There must be some way to goose this thing.

There's no single action you can take to speed up Outlook, but a combination of fixes should make Outlook zippier. We can't promise it will ever be a speed demon, but follow our advice and most likely you won't feel stuck in the slow lane.

First, slim down your Outlook .pst file (See next annoyance). That by itself will do a world of good.

Then make sure Outlook has the latest patches via Windows Updates. There's one patch in particular that is important if you have sizable .pst files: Update for Outlook 2007 (KB933493). The patch is designed to speed up Outlook when using large .pst files, and many people have found it has made a significant difference in Outlook speed. In fact, they report that installing that patch alone solved their speed problems.

Next, kill any Outlook add-ins you don't need. Quite a few people have reported that iTunes installs an Outlook add-in - though for what purpose is unclear - and that deleting it speeds up Outlook.

And some people have reported that Windows XP Fax Services causes their version of Outlook 2007 to behave sluggishly for whatever reason. If you don't fax in Windows XP, you may be able to speed up Outlook by removing that feature. (To remove it, choose 'Control Panel', then 'Add or Remove Software' followed by 'Add/Remove Windows Components'.)

Along the same lines, a number of users say the Business Contact Manager seriously slows down Outlook 2007, so if you have that installed, try uninstalling it using the same procedure.

Finally, check your RSS feeds. Outlook's RSS Feeds editor is a great feature, but using it can significantly slow things down. It comes preconfigured to receive a number of feeds that you may or may not want to receive. And over time, you may have subscribed to feeds you no longer read.

RSS_feeds

Select 'Tools', then 'Account Settings' and click the RSS Feeds tab. Scroll through your list of feeds. For the ones you no longer want, highlight them and select Remove. When you're done, click OK.

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