Most common reasons Outlook is slow

This will be an article about troubleshooting Outlook and the most common reasons Outlook is slow.

Outlook is really the core program for many Microsoft office users. They use it even more than Word or Excel. The problem comes that when it is used, it often doesn’t do well with the demands placed upon it and it slows down. Outlook is probably one of the slowest end-user email programs, and I will help you understand why and what to do about it.

Most common reasons Outlook is slowMicrosoft imaged that people using Outlook would primarily use it to read emails and to delete them. What most people do is create folders and stuff them with emails and never let emails go. So just like any filing system, this creates a burden on its storage mechanism which is Outlook. Microsoft says that when email gets to be above 10GB, that it starts to have moments where it slows down and freezes. I have seen this first hand very often. The problem is that MS doesn’t make it easy for the average person to see how much space their email is using, so it is a bit of a mystery for most people.

So the first cause of Outlook slowness is just the data that is stores. Outlook slows down when it has more than a few thousand items in a folder. Microsoft says the folder limit is 50,000, but it would be unsuitably slow at that point. Most people tend to move things into folders and not reach the 50k limit. However then they start to nest folders, i.e. put folders inside of folders. Then it starts gets very slow. Outlook actually needs a little bit of ram for every email that is in a folder, so you can imagine that with thousands of emails in multiple folders, your computer can get bogged down pretty quickly.

Most people are not willing to delete their email. So then it becomes a matter of either adding memory to their computer, or seeing if optimizing Outlook could solve the issue. Disabling unneeded add-ins is a great quick fix for most people. Most small business users don’t tend to use things like the Microsoft Office connector or so on.

One of the popular options that many businesses like is putting email in PST’s. These are special folders that are saved on the local computer. This enables Outlook to take some of the pressure off its resources, and for many people just moving their online folders into a PST is enough of a performance boost to make them happy. The downside of this of course is that if they need those emails on a second computer, they won’t be available.

However if this isn’t enough, then you have to dig deeper and start to look if this might be a problem with the outlook profile. Many times outlook profile can become corrupted with a great deal of emails, so rebuilding it/creating a new one, often increases performance substantially. If this doesn’t fix it, then you can start to disable unneeded system services or applications to free up ram for outlook to use. Normally at this point however, your time and the client’s time might be best served by getting a faster computer since these are really only short-term fixes.

Ideally the best solution is to copy emails, attachments in places that the team or company can use them rather than just on your email program. Treating email like a phone is ultimately more value for the company than forcing others to sift through email if something ever happened to you.

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Nisus Writer Pro is the best Word Processor on the mac

Full disclosure: I have not been paid to write this but I have been given a Not for sale copy of the program so that I could evaluate this past the 15 day limit. I will continue to use this and update this story if I run into problems or find useful information.

Yes, even better than Microsoft Word. Let me explain why.

I support Mac users everyday with Microsoft Word and other word processing programs. Let me tell you that when the average person tries to use Macintosh Word they don’t like it at all. It isn’t that Word doesn’t have enough features, it just has so many and they are hidden so it makes it hard to use.

Nisus Writer Pro is the best Word Processor on the macI used Nisus in a way that many people are going to use it. To work with their resume. I had my resume in PDF and just on a lark, I tried opening the PDF in Nisus. It worked! Not only did it import it, but it kept much of the formatting. It imported more of the formatting than Word has when I have tried it, and it was immediate. This started things off on a great foot.

So then I thought that I should probably run a spell check. I couldn’t find the spell check option. Do you know why? Because Nisus already had done the spell check!  I noticed the words in red and a simple right-click and I had the correct word pop up in a list. Much easier than Word.

Ok things were going great. I wonder if this thing could export to PDF? Yes, a paid version exports just fine without any watermarks. This is incredible. Adobe PDF is very expensive, but a program that imports and exports PDF avoids the need for an expensive purchase. For 90% this is all they need with PDF editing. What a fantastic bargain this is $79.99. They have an express version for $19.99 and that is a deal as well.

Since we are talking about money, lets talk about its competition. For one copy, the cheapest you could get Office 365 is $69 a year which includes the Word, Excel, so on. For about the same cost of a year with Office you get a program that does 95% of what most people use Word for, and you aren’t tied to MS yearly pricing. This is a great deal for most people. Avoid using Apple Pages. Apple took out much of the functionality of Pages from the 09 version they had, and never really replaced it. In addition people who try to use it now say that it is unreliable and hasn’t had many updates. This is the same thing that happened to iWeb and other Apple software that was abandoned. I think the writing is on the wall for Pages. Apple will kill it just like they killed the great AppleWorks program I loved to use.

Going back to the functionality of Nisus. I think what makes this a clear winner is not only its speed, but its interface. Most people can’t remember the commands and locations of how to change things in Word. This shows you most of your options on the same screen. You don’t need to remember, you just look over and you will probably find what you need. This isn’t a dumbed down interface however. It is more intelligently designed. If you want to do more advanced things they are there, you just need to click on another tab to change things like tables, shapes or margins.

I have to be honest that I looked for a problem with this program and I couldn’t find it. Every advanced feature that anyone uses in Word was here. It has macros, comments, ability to change styles. It even lets you manage documents in its file menu. Features that Word doesn’t have. The only thing that I could wish for is that it had cloud integration like with Box, google drive or so on. Perhaps they are working on that. Still this is a very solid program that any Apple using person would find useful. I recommend this.

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