24 Sep 2013

Speed up Outlook While Securing Email Records

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Tech Tip:

Speed up Outlook While Securing Email Records

When you open up Microsoft Outlook in the morning, does it take a long time to open?  Do you have thousands of emails in your mailbox? If the answer is yes, it’s time to empty, archive and compact those files. Chances are you haven’t purged your “Sent” or “Deleted” folders either.  This necessary step is something that you must do regularly in order to keep Outlook running smoothly.

To help you understand how your Mailbox works, view it as you would an outline for a research paper. The Mailbox would be the Title and the Inbox the sub-title. When you open Outlook, it has to open all emails indexed in your Inbox and Sent folders. For this reason, creating sub-folders within your Inbox and Sent folders will cause Outlook to run sluggishly. This is why you should create sub-folders under your Mailbox, NOT your Inbox. You want to create more Titles instead of sub-titles. In the box below, does your Inbox resemble the image on the right or the left?


If your Inbox is similar to the image on the left, you are likely experiencing some slow loading Outlook issues. If this problem is not corrected it will eventually cause your system to crash, which in turn could cause you to lose all of your Mailbox data. There are two things you should do in order to prevent this: archive existing files and compact the Outlook file.

Creating an archive file is a great way to protect and organize all of your Mailbox data. Once you have created an Archive folder, create sub-folders in which to move your emails. This allows you to move entire sub-folders from your Inbox to the Archive folder as well as easily drag and drop your emails into it.

If you do not already have an Archive file set-up, please follow the links below to see the step-by-step process.

For Outlook 2013

For Outlook 2010

For Outlook 2007 or 2003

After you have finished creating and moving all of your files into the Archive, you will then need to compact the original Outlook file, also known as outlook.pst. Anytime mail is moved or deleted from the main Mailbox it will need to be compacted. Think of a compact file the way you would a pair of socks. The longer you wear them the more they stretch, and unless you wash them they will not shrink to their original size. Your outlook.pst file works in a similar way. No matter how diligent you are about deleting unwanted emails, clearing out your “Sent” folder or emptying your “Deleted Items” folder, the .pst file will NOT get smaller on its own. It needs to be compacted, or washed, in order to shrink to its original size. Once the file is compacted, Outlook will run faster from the start.

Depending on which version of Outlook you are using, please follow the correct link to learn how to compact your outlook.pst file.

For Outlook 2013 or 2010

For Outlook 2007

For Outlook 2003 and earlier versions

These two steps will help to ensure the protection of your Outlook files. If you have any questions or concerns regarding the setup of Archive folders or compacted outlook.pst files, please contact the BMS Hardware Support team. They can walk you through the step-by-step process. Contact them via email or call directly at 800-634-7734, ext. 6.

Have you already performed these updates? Tell us how the process worked for you.