How to Fix a Slow Microsoft Outlook

by Justin H. Pot

For many, Outlook is more than an email program--it's a life management tool. Your calendar, your contacts and your communication all in one place. Unfortunately, that place can become a very stressful place to be when Outlook slows down. And it can get really slow. If you're experiencing a slow Microsoft Outlook don't worry--there are remedies.


Empty your trash and junk mail folders. Check both folders to make sure nothing you need is in either, then right-click both folders and click the "Empty" command. This will reduce the size of your primary PST file, which can in turn help speed up Outlook.


Compact your folders. Click "File," then "Data Management." Click your primary Outlook profile, then click "Settings." Click "Compact Now" and follow the on-screen instructions to complete compacting your drive. Repeat this for all the accounts you regularly use.

Outlook never deletes files; it simple labels them "Deleted." Following the above steps will completely delete all the emails you previously deleted, meaning Outlook will have smaller files to deal with and will run faster.


Disable any unnecessary plug-ins. Click "Tools," then "Trust Center," then "Addins." Remove anything you don't regularly use, as these are slowing down Outlook.

About the Author

Justin H. Pot is a freelance journalist, writer and blogger based in Boulder, Colo. He's written for local newspapers in the United States and his native Canada, and also blogs for the environmental website

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Siri Stafford/Digital Vision/Getty Images