How to keep Outlook clean and neat

I work for a non-profit company which is turning from a mom & Pop shop business into a big corporation, and let me tell you, these people are lousy using Outlook. They complain about Outlook being too slow, freezing up, archive folder not opening, etc.

An entire list of crap, I usually run with them to their cubes and take care of the problem right away, and most of the times the problems are because there is a lot of crap on their Outlook. They have 102,0000 Junk E-mails , 50,000 e-mails in the “Deleted Items” and a whole lot more on the spam folders. They download a lot of stuff from the Internet, RSS readers, Add-ins for Outlook, toolbars and everything they find that fits in Outlook.

The result? The freaking application can barely open and when all these toolbars and add-ins kick in, duh…. go for a coffee and a donut that you won’t be able to read an e-mail for about a half hour. I explain them how to use Outlook efficiently and keep it neat, they don’t give a damn care. They know next time they call me, I will run to their Cubes like a fool again.

But anyways back to the title, how to keep Outlook clean and neat? Follow these recommendations and you shouldn’t have any problem with Outlook, unless there is a bug that is causing the problem; for that, drop me a line describing the problem and I hope we find a solution for it.

1. Keep your mailbox at a reasonable size, don’t expect Outlook to run at the speed of light when you have a 2 GB mailbox size, yeah yeah yeah says the guru I’m running Outlook on cache mode. Outlook is a client side application that is always connected to the exchange server, every time you open Outlook, all e-mails needs to get transferred to your local Outlook through the network and that takes time.

Unless you’re using a POP, HTTP and other internet e-mails provider which download e-mails to your computer hard-drive. How to minimize the size? Archive it, on your Outlook go to FILE and then select ARCHIVE make sure you change the path to where you want to archive it, put it on your “DOCUMENTS” select the date of your mail you want to archive and hit OK.

2. Every day when you open Outlook in the morning, remember to check the “junk E-mail” folder. Those junk e-mails utilize space on your mailbox, delete them, clean them up every morning.

3. Another thing I’ve noticed with users , when they delete e-mails from their inbox, junk and sent item folders, they think they’re gone?’ Nope they’re still there in your   “Deleted Items” folder. Unless you deleted them using “SHIFT + DELETE” keys they’re still sitting in your mailbox. Make sure you delete that too.

4. Remove every toolbar, Outlook plug-ins, add-ins, spam filters, and whatever else   you think makes Outlook look pretty and safe. Outlook is pretty by nature and security is implemented on the higher level, on the exchange server that’s where the spam filter is, so if you’re getting a lot of junk, call your system admin and ask him why he is not doing his job.

This is if you haven’t put your e-mail address in every registration form you see on the Internet, otherwise bear with it. You screwed up; the only way to stop junk e-mails from coming is removing your e-mail account.

5. And the last but not least, keep your Outlook updated, on the MENU bar on your Outlook click on HELP and select check for UPDATES, and run the check for updates wizard, install any new updates there might be. Otherwise be happy that Outlook is running smoothly.

Comments [3]

  1. Barbara says:


    These are great tips for keeping Outlook running smooth.

    I already set Outlook up to automatically empty my deleted items folder whenever I shut down, so that alone, saves me valuable time.

    Keep up the great posts.

  2. Tina says:

    All the sudden one of my heaviest OUTLOOK users has a MILLION toolbars showing up! If she tries to forward an existing email or to send a new one, all these toolbars show up! She actually went in a closed each one — one at a time. But they come right back — even more! Any suggestions? She can't function like this…

  3. Aseem says:

    Tina, are these toolbars in Outlook showing up for several users or just one? It sounds like it could be some kind of virus or spyware as many toolbars popping up is usually associated with an infection, possibly caused by opening a malicious attachment, etc.

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