9 Ways to Speed Up Outlook

Last Updated Aug 25, 2009 11:07 AM EDT

It's the rare Outlook user who hasn't had cause to pound his/her head on the desk while waiting for the program to hurry the hell up already.

Good news: There are many ways to goose the program. In fact, Lifehacker has rounded up 9 ways to make Outlook run faster. Here's my pick of the litter:

Download Complete IMAP Items (Like POP Does)
When you are using IMAP to access your Gmail (or other email) account, you'll probably notice that Outlook can hang, stutter, and just generally become completely unusable -- but it works just fine with POP accounts. You can make the whole experience a lot better by telling Outlook to download the entire message every time you synchronize so you won't have to wait while it slowly grabs the message off the server. Head over to the Send/Receive Groups panel by using the Ctrl+Alt+S hotkey, then drill down into your account and choose "Download complete items including attachments". The first time Outlook syncs with your mail server, it might take a little longer, but you should notice a significant improvement overall.
Other recommendations include configuring auto-archive to keep your inbox clean, compacting your PST file, and disabling Outlook's RSS feature (unless, of course, you're using it).

And speaking of Outlook tips, don't miss these gems from previous posts:

Got an Outlook tip of your own to share? You know where: the comments!
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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.