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Improving your Outlook

Ever notice that your Microsoft Outlook account is slowing to a crawl? The good news is that you’ve obviously been in your job a long time! Have you notice your email functions like Send/Receive are acting a little funny? Perhaps consider checking the size of your mailbox… You might be shocked to discover just how bloated it is!

For most versions of Outlook, clicking on File > Folder > Properties > Storage — or right-clicking on any folder and selecting Properties — will display the total size, not only of a chosen folder, but also of any associated subfolders.

Outlook’s Auto Archive function is set to automatically back up Deleted Items, Sent Items, and expired tasks and calendar items. But if you get hundreds of messages per day and don’t delete them or move them from your Inbox, you run the risk of sabotaging your account. Exceed10GB of storage (which is in all honestly quite a lot) in an overstuffed Inbox and Outlook really starts to run slow.

Yet solving the problem is doable. We say that if you don’t need it – DELETE, DELETE, DELETE!! However, if you MUST store your correspondence, here is a Quick Tip:

  • Run a new rule on existing email folders. If you set a new rule that all emails over six months old will be archived, don’t let ageing messages received before that rule was implemented continue to clog up your Inbox. Select the preferred mail folder, click Messages>Rules>180 Day, Auto Archive, and wait patiently while your email account reorganizes itself. Remember, you’ll have to perform this function on each desired folder; also, Outlook uses “Last Modified Date” to archive, not “Received Date.”

Of course, archiving can’t cure all email diseases. If you access your mail via an Outlook Web App, any emails archived on your local computer won’t show up online — archiving them means they’re no longer hosted on the Exchange server.

Also, remember that Outlook is not a real email archiving solution — this ‘Quick Tip’ will simply help you free up storage space within the program, NOT keep your email secure via offsite backup or searchable across years of accumulated messages.