First message in Outlook takes a long time to open
December 9, 2007 6:29 PM   Subscribe

Why does it take forever (well, almost a minute) for the first message to open in Outlook (2002)?

And what can I do about it? This started about a month ago and I'm getting really tired of it. Whenever I open Outlook (2002) and click on a message to open it, it takes a very long time to open. The same thing happens if I want to compose a new message or if I start in Calendar and try to open an appointment. Opening subsequent e-mail or calendar items is quick; it's only the first item I try to open after starting Outlook that takes forever. I don't use the preview pane. I just added 2 GB of memory but that didn't help this particular problem. My Outlook.pst file is 280 MB. My Inbox is about 50 MB, but I have lots of subfolders. I have Auto Archive set to run every 7 days and archive everything that's more than a week old. And in case it matters, I'm running Windows XP (Media Center Edition) with SP2.
posted by Joleta to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Archive your pst. Defragment your disk. See if there's still a delay, if so it may be attributable to Outlook polling for new mail, and may be a slowdown on your network, your mail host's network, somewhere in-between, or due to a virus checker that is acting as a proxy mailserver.
posted by orthogonality at 6:42 PM on December 9, 2007

Those kinds of first-time-only delays are usually caused by libraries being loaded. Once the library is loaded, there's no comparable delay on the second and subsequent repetitions of the same task.

My guess would be that a month ago you downloaded an update, which changed which libraries need to be loaded and in what order.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 6:50 PM on December 9, 2007

libraries . . . where do I find and how do I fix the problem?
posted by Joleta at 6:57 PM on December 9, 2007

Unfortunately, you don't. If that's the problem, you either find a new program or you live with it. Or you pray that Microsoft changes things again and some new update will make things faster again.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 7:14 PM on December 9, 2007

I should mention that defragging your drive might help a bit, but it won't be a radical improvement even in the best of cases, and it might not make any difference at all.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 7:16 PM on December 9, 2007

If you use the option to use Word as your email editor and viewer, that can slow it down too, as it has to start another program to get it running. Try this, load up Word before Outlook one day and see if the first message is still slow.
posted by slavlin at 10:48 PM on December 9, 2007

Thanks, everyone. I guess I'll have to wait it out. I defrag my hard drive regularly, and I'm not using Word as my email editor and viewer. I'll just go off and read Ask Mefi while I'm waiting for that first message to open in Outlook!
posted by Joleta at 5:17 AM on December 10, 2007

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