How to optimize and speed up Microsoft Outlook

These tips help you speed up Microsoft Outlook 2016/2013/2010/2007. We have 3 tips out of which, one is a visual explaining how to optimize MS Outlook. Disable unwanted Add-ins, Compact & Combine PST Files, Archive Mail & Contacts Folders! While these tips will help you to speed up Microsoft Outlook, as well as keep it running without hogging on the CPU resources to kill other applications.

Speed up Microsoft Outlook

Use these tips to optimize and speed up a slow Outlook 2016/2013/2010 on Windows 10/8/7. This will improve Outlook performance for sure!

  1. Disable unwanted Add-ins
  2. Compact & Combine PST Files
  3. Disable RSS Feed feature
  4. Repair Outlook PST & OST files
  5. Archive Mail & Contacts Folders.

1] Disable Unwanted Add-ins

Speed Up Microsoft Outlook[Steps To Disable Outlook Addins – Click To Enlarge]

As with any program, many applications install their own plugins to Outlook as well. This makes up for a heavy CPU usage, making your computer slower and may also hang it for a while or two. The method to disable Outlook addins is described in the image. Click the image to open its full size in a new tab.

2] Compact & Combine PST Files

Speed Up Microsoft Outlook

Outlook slows down as the different PST files become larger and larger. One method is to compact the PST files:

  1. Right click on the account (example Outlook) in the navigation pane towards the left
  2. Select Properties and then, Advanced
  3. Click COMPACT NOW

Another method involves combining different (POP3 only) accounts into a single PST file so that Outlook doesn’t have to load different PST files that make it slower. Do check our article on how to combine multiple Outlook Inbox(es).

3] Disable RSS Feed if you do not use it

Open Options > Advanced Options. Here, uncheck Sync RSS Feeds to the Common Feed List to disable the RSS feed feature. You should also delete all unrequifeeds stored in Outlook by going to the Account Settings.

4] Repair Outlook PST & OST files

You may repair corrupt Outlook PST & OST personal data files with Inbox Repair Tool

5] Archive Mail & Contacts Folders In MS Outlook

Most of us tend to keep very old emails and contacts that we no more use. While there is an option to export the entire PST file and then go ahead deleting each mail that we don’t need anymore, it is better to set up MS Outlook to archive files automatically. When you turn on Auto Archive in Outlook for any folder, MS Outlook checks for mail items older than the time period you specify and archives them into Archive.pst into a folder you specify.

To (auto) archive a folder, right-click on the folder and select Properties. Go to the Auto Archive tab (see image below). Set up: (a) threshold for archiving; and (b) the folder where you want the old items to be archived. You may specify additional settings or even use the default one.


Do note that until you set up Auto Archive, Microsoft Outlook will not optimize folders in PST files. This explains how to optimize MS Outlook for speed.

If you have any further tips, please share with us.

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Arun Kumar is a Microsoft MVP alumnus, obsessed with technology, especially the Internet. He deals with the multimedia content needs of training and corporate houses. Follow him on Twitter @PowercutIN