Outlook 2007 Performance Issues when Configured to Exchange Server

Microsoft Outlook 2007 supports both UNICODE and ANSI format for PST (personal folder) and OST (offline folder that resides on computer system) files. In addition, this version supports several advanced features that were missing in Outlook earlier versions. Thus to maintain these features, Outlook 2007 uses a different and new PST and OST data structure. But due to its disk writing method, you may find Outlook being slow and showing slow performance while configured to Exchange Server. This behavior is more apparent when PST grows to large size (generally 2 GB or 4 GB or larger). Thus, to resolve the issue, Split PST is one of recommended steps.

Outlook 2007 performs slowly while you perform any of the typical tasks:

Ø Access email messages

Ø Move email messages

Ø Receive emails

Ø Synchronize Outlook with Exchange Server


The new data structure introduced doesn’t allow normal data writing to hard disk. Instead of it, as the number of PST or OST items increases, the frequency of writing data to the hard drive increases simultaneously. As its result, when PST or OST grows in size, Outlook starts being slow while normal operations.


To make Outlook relatively faster in its normal operations, you should consider following these methods:

Ø The size of PST or OST is directly dependent upon the size of Exchange mailbox. So, if you reduce Exchange mailbox size, OST size will get reduced. With reduced size of OST, Outlook takes less time to synchronize and download emails. To do so, you can manually delete unimportant items from your mailbox, archive PST items in one or more files or use Mailbox Cleanup tool. Based on a specified time period, Mailbox Cleanup tool allows you to empty deleted items folder, archive PST items automatically and delete duplicate copies of mailbox items.

Ø Install update 933493 for Outlook. Using Outlook with this update installed permits to optimize the way which Outlook 2007 uses to write data to a large sized PST or OST file.

Ø One method to fix Outlook 2007 performance issue is to exclude certain items from OST file that are not necessary to be synchronized. You can accomplish it by filtering OST items and thus preventing them from being synchronized with Exchange Server. To do so, right-click the folder and click Properties->Synchronization->Filter. In this Filter dialog box, you can specify the filter criteria and items. The next time Outlook will start, it will synchronize with reduced OST size.

Ø Outlook cached Exchange mode is the powerful way to work both in online and offline mode as you can have a local copy of your mailbox on your computer. If you are using cached mode profile and Exchange mailbox size is large, the OST file will be much larger than Exchange mailbox itself. You can instead use online mode profile and overcome slow Outlook 2007 issues.

Ø Hard disk speed could be one major concern affecting Outlook 2007 performance. This behavior is more pronounced on portable computers because of slow hard disk speed.

Ø Since these issues occur due to large PST file size, you can solve it by splitting PST file into several smaller PST files. You need to perform this task manually because Outlook 2007 (or any other earlier version) doesn’t include any utility to Split PST File. Consider these methods to do this:

· Archive the PST file. Using Archive feature allows you to move PST items to a newly created PST, which is entirely dependent upon the data you specify.

· Alternatively, you can use Move to Folder feature. It permits you to move PST items to a new Outlook data file

· Use commercial Split PST utility.

About Spilt PST Utilities

These are safe applications that can be used to Spilt PST File into several smaller PST files, each usable with Microsoft Outlook. Such software empower you with basic file splitting features together with rich user interface and added options to enhance the results. Since they are designed as read-only, Split PST applications don’t perform any write operation and hence maintain data integrity.

PST File Splitter is an advanced utility to Spilt PST File. It is a non-destructive tool that supports Outlook 2010, 2007, 2003, 2002 and 2000. You can split a PST file on two criteria: by date and by e-mail address. Besides splitting PST file, it can also repair a damaged PST file and recover lost PST password. It is compatible with Windows Vista, XP, 2003, 2000 and NT.

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