If Microsoft Outlook is your default email client application, then you are using the software frequently, which may result in the accumulation of unnecessary data. If not cleared, this gathered data can degrade the performance of Outlook. Also, there are a lot of other factors that contribute to performance issues with Outlook. Therefore, to work with Outlook at its full efficiency, you need to take care of certain aspects that affect the health of the application.

There are many workarounds that can help you optimize the software and enhance its efficiency. In this write-up, we will discuss some popular techniques to boost your Outlook performance.

  1. Run a version update for both Outlook and Windows.
  2. Archive older entries from your Mailbox
  3. Remove/Disable unnecessary add-ins from Outlook
  4. Disable RSS Feeds.
  5. Remove unused calendars.
  6. Compact oversized PST files.
  7. Repair Corrupt PST.
  8. Always use the Cached Exchanged Mode.
  9. Move email attachments to local drives.
  10. Check System specifications for the Office version that you are using.

Popular Workarounds to Optimize Outlook performance

  1. Run a version update for both Outlook and Windows.

    If you do not update your Windows OS and system applications, it will affect the overall performance of your system. Specifically, for Windows platforms, regular updates fill the missing voids in the system OS, which ultimately makes the system more reliable and efficient. In the case of Outlook, a version update includes recent features and functionalities, which might prove beneficial for you.

    You can easily update the software by going through the following steps:

    • Launch Outlook
    • Go to File >> Office Account.
    • Account Information

    • Click on the Update Options.
    • Click on Update Options

    • Finally, select the Update Now option.
    • Select Update Now

  2. Archive older entries from your Mailbox
    Outlook provides an exceptional feature to move old items from your mailbox to a folder called “Archives.” Older items get accumulated in the mailbox, which consumes space affecting the performance of the software. Moving your unwanted or old mailbox items to the Archives folder will help you free up some space in your mailbox.

    You can move your old mailbox data to the Archives using the Cleanup Old Items functionality provided by Outlook.

    • Launch Outlook
    • Go to File >> Info.
    • Select Cleanup Old Items.
    • Select Cleanup Old Items

    • Now, select the appropriate archive options from the Archive dialog box, provide a destination path to save the archived files, and click OK.
    • select the appropriate archive options

  3. Remove/Disable unnecessary add-ins from Outlook
    Outlook comes with several add-ins to support certain features and functionalities. Once you have utilized a feature that requires adding a specific add-in to your Outlook program, the add-in will be of no use unless you use that feature again. In the meantime, that installed add-in consumes a memory space every time you use Outlook. This may affect the performance of the program causing it to slow down while processing specific tasks.

    One effective way to make your Outlook faster is to disable unused or unnecessary add-ins from your Outlook program. To do that, follow the steps:

    • Launch Outlook.
    • Go to File >> Options >> Add-ins.
    • Click Go to launch the COM Add-ins dialog box.
    • launch the COM Add-ins dialog box

    • Uncheck unused/unnecessary add-ins and click on OK.
    • Uncheck unused/unnecessary add-ins

  4. Disable RSS Feeds.
    RSS Feeds is yet another crucial feature provided by Outlook, which enables a quick read panel for those who want the latest updates from their favorite websites. If you are no longer using this feature or have never used it, then it is recommended to disable it to boost your Outlook performance.

    You can disable it from the RSS Feeds group located in the Advanced settings options.

    • Launch Outlook.
    • Go to File >> Options >> Advanced.
    • Uncheck all options under the RSS Feeds group.
    • Click OK.
    • Advanced option

  5. Remove unused calendars.
  6. Outlook facilitates the sharing and publishing of calendars among users. This feature works quite well, so users tend to share and publish many calendars among each other. This leads to the accumulation of a huge amount of data, which ultimately affects the performance of the application. If not essential, it is highly recommended to remove unused shared or published calendars from Outlook.

  7. Compact oversized PST files.

    Oversized PST file is another factor that degrades Outlook performance. If you haven’t archived your old mailbox items and emails are getting loaded every day, then, in no time, your PST file gets overloaded with data. To overcome this data overloading situation, Outlook provides an in-built feature to compact the size of your PST file.

    In Outlook 2010 or later versions, follow these simple steps to reduce the size of your PST.

    • Launch Outlook.
    • Go to Account Settings >> Data Files tab.
    • Select the PST you wish to compact and click on the Settings option.
    • In the Outlook Data File dialog box, click Compact Now.
  8. Repair Corrupt PST.
  9. Corrupt or damaged PST can be repaired by manual as well as automated means. Outlook provides an in-built utility (known as the Inbox Repair tool or ScanPST) to repair your corrupt PST files. You can locate the SCANPST.EXE file by searching it in your C drive.


    Corruption issues in PST degrade the performance of your Outlook application, and in the worst cases, it might affect your system as well. In case you are unable to get the desired results via Inbox Repair, you can look for third-party tools to fix the error. Kernel, in this regard, has launched a powerful tool to repair your corrupt PST files. Kernel for Outlook PST Recovery is a prominent tool to repair your corrupt PST files.

  10. Always use the Cached Exchanged Mode.
  11. For Exchange accounts, Outlook reads the data file over the network, which takes more time to process the data.

    Using the Cached Exchanged Mode will allow Outlook to take the data file from the Exchange Server and cache it to your system. Thus, speeding up your Outlook performance.

    To enable the Cached Exchanged Mode, go to Account Settings >> Exchange Account. Then, click on the Change button. In the Change Account dialog box, check the “Use Cached Exchange Mode.”

  12. Move email attachments to local drives.
  13. Outlook stores all the email attachments that you open or download. If the number of email attachments is large, you will face fluctuation in Outlook performance. To overcome this situation, you must move the attachments to your local storage.

    You can turn the message into edit mode and then move them to your local storage.

  14. Check System specifications for the Office version that you are using.
  15. Sometimes user downloads the most recent versions of Office which might not fit their system specifications. In such cases, you can’t get the optimal performance of the software.

    Always check the system requirements before installing any version of Microsoft Office Suite. Typically, the system requirements are specified by Microsoft in the software description section.