Sunday, January 27, 2013

Tips & Guide to Optimize Outlook 2007 , 2010 and Win XP, Win 7

Good links.

Good software

• Tip 2: Archive Emails: Archiving is basically removing your older emails from your active PST file into another PST. There are auto-archiving options available in Outlook and you can set them up.
• Tip 3: Multiple PST Files: Outlook manages all emails, contacts, etc. in a Data File (PST file). It allows you to have multiple PST files open at a given time. Through experience, it has become very clear that the sluggishness of Outlook is directly compared to the size of the PST files it is working with. So, after deleting and archiving, if the size of your PST is still more than 600-700 MB, then break it up into multiple PSTs. I have 3 PSTs open: Personal Mail, Project Mail, and Everything Else.
• Tip 4: ReIndex: After you have carried out your deleting, archiving, and moving around of the email, rebuild your search index. With Outlook 2007, you get Windows search integration which help in lighting fast searches. However, since you just moved everything around, the index is out of sync and though it will get in sync over time, it’s best to delete the old index and make a new one. This ensures that you get right search results after maintenance.
• Tip 5: Compact your PST: Through the Data File Management menu option in the File menu, you can compact your PSTs. As I mentioned, when you delete email, Outlook doesn’t free up space. You need to manually fire the command to compact it. Compacting not only frees up space, it can also help when you defragment the PSTs (next tip).
• Tip 6: Defragment your PST Files: This always gives a big boost to Outlook performance on my computer. You can either defragment the whole disk using the Disk Management Tools in Windows XP. Or you can defragment the individual PST files using the great tool from SysInternals that is mentioned at the article I linked to at the beginning of this post. Note: Outlook should be closed when you are doing this.
• Tip 7: Rules Maintenance: If you use rules to filter your emails and move them around, now is a good time to review them. There can be many old rules that probably are not relevant anymore, and you might want to change the rules to work with you new PST structure.
• Tip 8: Maintenance Mode Tip – Turn off Search Service: while carrying out the maintenance, turn off the Windows Search Service. As you move around large number of emails, it can slow things down as it will try to update the index (which you will rebuild anyway, if you follow my advice).
• Tip 9: Maintenance Mode Tip – Turn off Preview Pane: Since you will be clicking and selecting a lot of email, you don’t want to waste time for a preview being generated each time. This will help reduce overall time for the maintenance task.


Problem #1: Downloading e-mails take forever because I have a bunch of rules that need to be processed.
Reason: Every rule gets processed on every e-mail. if you have a lot of rules, and get a lot of e-mails, you're guaranteed to have problems.
Solution #1: Add "Stop processing more rules" to the end of every rule.
Solution #2: Use Hosted Exchange. For anywhere between $7 and $15 a month, you can upgrade your POP3 e-mail account to a hosted Exchange account at your own domain name. This way, when you use Rules in Outlook, they run on the server, and not on the client. You also get a bunch of other benefits, like disaster recovery, syncing with your smartphone, push e-mail, and Outlook Web Access. I know that may not sound like an attractive option, but once you try it, you'll never go back.

Problem #2: Outlook takes *forever* to open.
Reason: Your Outlook file is way too big. You're probably not archiving your e-mail often enough.
Solution: Follow the "7-6-6" rule for AutoArchiving. Simply, every 7 days, archive anything older than 6 weeks to an archive folder, and create a new Archive file every 6 months. And whenever you see your AutoArchive folder open, close it. Finally, compact your PST & OST files often.

The simple tips help keep my Outlook performing well. Like everything else, it just requires a little maintenance. With these tips, my Outlook consistently opens in under 3 seconds.

Optimizing Win XP

Speedup Folder Browsing

You may have noticed that everytime you open my computer to browse folders that there is a slight delay. This is because Windows XP automatically searches for network files and printers everytime you open Windows Explorer. To fix this and to increase browsing significantly:

Open My Computer
Click on Tools menu
Click on Folder Options
Click on the View tab.
Uncheck the Automatically search for network folders and printers check box
Click Apply
Click Ok
Reboot your computer

Speed Up Boot Times I

This tweak works by creating a batch file to clear the temp and history folders everytime you shutdown so that your PC doesn’t waste time checking these folders the next time it boots. It’s quite simple to implement:

1. Open Notepad and create a new file with the following entries:
RD /S /q “C:\Documents and Settings”UserName without quotes”\Local Settings\History”
RD /S /q “C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Local Settings\History”
RD /S /q “D:\Temp” <–”Deletes temp folder, type in the location of your temp folder”
2. Save the new as anything you like but it has to be a ‘.bat’ file e.g. fastboot.bat or deltemp.bat

3. Click ‘Start’ then ‘Run’

4. Type in ‘gpedit.msc’ and hit ‘ok’

5. Click on ‘Computer Configuration’ then ‘Windows Settings’

6. Double-click on ‘Scripts’ and then on ‘Shutdown’

7. Click ‘Add’ and find the batch file that you created and then press ‘Ok’
My earlier posts (here and here) on this topic mentioned the steps I have been taking to improve the responsiveness and performance of Outlook 2007. Well this one is to detail the relief that has come out of these steps. The patch I mentioned in the earlier posts has helped a lot. My Outlook is definitely less sluggish (to a point where it’s almost normal).

As for the problem with freezing of Outlook when the last email is being downloaded, after I reduced the size of my PST from over 2GB to a little below 1GB, the freezing has become a second as compared to a few seconds earlier.

I strongly recommend the following steps:

•Install the Microsoft Patch
•Reduce the size of your PST by archiving old emails, deleting non-important emails, dividing your emails into multiple archives.
•Compact the Size of your PST.
•Defragment your hard drive or at least the PST files (you can use contig from sysinternals to do that).
Do all this and I am sure that you will see an improvement in your Outlook performance. Oh yeah, as lots of people before me have said: DO NOT use RSS from within your Outlook. Turn it off. If you want a desktop aggregator use RSSBandit.

Contig v1.55

Update for Outlook 2007 (KB933493)

Improving Windows XP Performance

Modified by | Original design by Elque 2007