Is RSS making Outlook run slow?

Following on from yesterday’s post about shutting down (or rather not shutting down) Outlook, I’m reminded of these performance enhancing tips. If, when you look at the outlook.exe process in Task Manager (SHIFT+CTRL+Escape, then Processes tab), you see that the memory in use is very high (say, greater than 100,000KB) there may be things you can do to speed up Outlook:
  • If you have chosen to synchronise RSS feeds between Internet Explorer and Outlook, turn this off:
    • In Outlook, choose Options from the Tools menu
    • Click on the Others tab, then Advanced Options
    • Clear the tick against ‘Sync RSS Feeds to the Common Feed List’ then click OK twice
  • You may have a massive Personal Storage File (.pst) so consider creating a new one to reduce the amount of data held in memory when using Outlook:
    • Find out if your .pst is big by right-clicking on your .pst root folder (the topmost folder(s) in your Outlook folder list) then choose Properties, then click the Folder Size button.
    • If your folder is bigger than, say, 500,000KB, consider starting a new one or splitting its contents over two or more .pst files.
    • To create a new .pst file in Outlook, click File > New > Outlook Date File.
    • Once created, simply drag ‘n’ drop items from one .pst folder to another.
    • And, always remember to backup your .pst files to an external storage location like an external hard drive or USB memory stick!

It’s a good idea to get into the habit of creating a new .pst every once in a while. How frequently depends on how much email you send and receive. I typically start a new .pst file annually, but may move to a six monthly regime to help keep my .pst file sizes down. I also delete all rules and recreate my folder structure from scratch each year as this encourages me to spring clean and unsubscribe from distribution lists that no longer interest me. Maybe a bit of spring cleaning is exactly what your Outlook world needs?!