Outlook 2007 = Painfully Slow

Post ImageI started running Office 2007 recently, and for the most part I really like it. The new ribbon interface is incredibly intuitive, and the “live” preview of changes is really handy. PowerPoint is the one that impresses me the most thus far – it’s simply amazing what you can do with the new version! You really have to try the new interface to see what I mean, words just don’t do it justice.

I also upgraded from Outlook 2003 to Outlook 2007. If I had to describe Outlook 2007 in one word, it would be slow. I like the interface tweaks, and the instant search is handy, but the application itself is almost unusable. Downloading POP3 email takes at least ten times as long as Outlook 2003 (it is significantly faster using Exchange). Displaying messages takes longer than it used to. Loading the program takes longer. Outlook 2007 is just painfully slow. It’s amazing that this kind of a problem made it past the betas and into the final release.

I’m not the only one who has noticed the problem either. There’s a huge thread here, and a simple search turned up these posts.

I haven’t decided what I am going to do yet, but I might have to go back to Outlook 2003 until they release a fix.

UPDATE (3/14/2007): If your Outlook 2007 is slow, try this tip to help speed it up. Worked for me!

14 thoughts on “Outlook 2007 = Painfully Slow

  1. And here I thought that it was only me who found it slower. Initially I thought that it was just on my home machine which is lacking in the RAM department, but it’s slower on my work machine too. But you’re right, Exchange does make some difference.
    And I can’t help it. I love the interface.

  2. I have the same issues with it freezing up at the end of a POP3 send/receive. I can’t stand all the stupid suggestions of archiving my PST – what’s the point of having cool fast search if I’ve dumped off all the stuff I want to search? Is it just me, or do many MVPs tend to give 1st learn support responses of the kind that clearly don’t provide any resolution to the issue?

    I was wondering what a fresh (non-upgrade) install will be like on Vista, but still with the same PST.

  3. I agree with you…the suggestions from the MVPs were quite simply, dumb. I shouldn’t have to resize my PST file for it to work!

    I have heard that it runs much more quickly on Vista. Haven’t seen any hard evidence though.

  4. ** I have found probable reason! ***

    Netmon trace of IP traffic shows OL 2007 sending AUTH <crlf> instead of USER<crlf>

    Trace of OL 2003 shows correct USER<crlf> as first command (after TCP connect of port 110 of course).

    So, can I ask if MS intend to release an update for that?

    Guys, this is so bad that there will be a few million teddy bears out there who blindly upgrade to OL 2007 only to find that their POP3 email Send/Rec is 10% of its usual speed!!

    Sending AUTH as the first command to most POP3 servers of course results in:

    " -ERR An authentication mechanism MUST be entered"

    As per……

    +OK POP3 server ready.
    -ERR An authentication mechanism MUST be entered
    USER x
    +OK please send PASS command

    Or some other -ERR…
    I have seen "AUTH not valid in this state" or such too…

    I’ll look at the RFC but 2003 remember does not do the AUTH thing. I have 8 POP3 accounts that OL 2003 used to query in a minute or two (with 80 spams downloaded). OL 2007 takes 6 minutes. Plus I reckon there are other problems in the UI threading…..

    Someone please tell me I’m dreaming…


  5. Thanks Mike,

    In hindsight, the 3 second delay on some POP3 servers – because of AUTH – is not the reason I now wait 6 minutes for an average of 80 emails (7 real & 70 odd junk).
    I’m running OL 2007 on Windows Server 2003 SP1 (NT 5.2 :). Near enough to XP. New Core Duo 4GB RAM – SATA-2 etc. A "hot" machine. 🙂
    Something _else_ chokes OL 2007 for 10 to 18 seconds several times during a send/rec session.
    I still think MS need to make AUTH a checkbox option. Like "[] Send AUTH" or whatever for each account. As AUTH is not wlcome on most POP3’s – at least that would help keep internet traffic down. Gosh, all those -ERR messages wasting bytes….!!!

    Have a nice day.


  6. I had Outlook 2007 installed on a very fast machine running XP and after trying every fix floating around the internet I moved back to 2003. The performance was ridiculously bad, locking my whole computer for 10-15 second spans during Send/Receives. I probably lost a couple days worth of productivity because of this release.

  7. For work with Outlook files recommend use-converter form ost to pst,because my friends and i were enjoyed about it,tool is free as far as i know and has many features:it effectively convert your mailbox from *.ost to *.pst format,program is very easy to use and does not require high computer skills, you can use it without prior training,tool allows to process either undamaged files or corrupted ones.

  8. To speed up Mircosoft I very often create PST.-Files to sort my mails and to make my inbox “lighter”. E-mails are indexed automatically (at least lookeen offers this option) but if you index mails when you are not actually working with Outlook it is much faster, my indexing normaly takes place between 6 to 8 in the morning and 6 to 8 in the evening, Outlook has too many advantages to replace it with Thunderbird so some of the problems have to be fixed.

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