Outlook Performance Update


The Short Story


Last Friday, we released an update to Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 that will help to address some performance issues that are discussed in Knowledge Base Article 932086. You can find a description of the update and a link to the appropriate download page for your version of the update in Knowledge Base Article 933493.


 


(Users of the Business Contact Manager features of Outlook should see the note at the end of this post about a separate update that should be installed first.)


 


The Long Story


We’ve been investigating some reported performance problems with Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 for some time. Our investigations revealed that these specific performance problems affected users who had large mailbox files (.pst and .ost files) stored on their computers.


 


As part of our continued effort to improve our customers’ product experiences, on Friday we released an update to Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 that addresses these specific performance problems. You can find a link to the update below (or above, for that matter).


 


Some of these performance problems have been discussed in external blogs and other forums written by our customers. We certainly appreciate learning about everyone’s individual experiences with the product. We hope that this update will address many of the performance problems that people have noticed. As of today, the update has already been downloaded by more than 12,000 times by people around the world. 


 


This particular update includes several performance improvements rolled into one patch. It’s designed to improve the general responsiveness of Outlook during common operations including reading, moving, deleting, and downloading e-mail messages for users who have large mailbox files. For those out there who care about the technical details, there are two specific changes are worth mentioning:




  • We improved our handling of large table data structures inside of the Outlook storage subsystem. “Large tables” are created whenever a user has tens of thousands of items in a single folder, and they are also created by our search index infrastructure which is new for Outlook 2007. It’s important to note that this is NOT a problem with the search indexing mechanisms for Windows XP or Windows Vista. Rather, it’s a change to the way Outlook stores data that lets Outlook use the index efficiently.


  • We made some changes to the way we handle data replication information in PST and OST files.

It’s important to note that these changes do NOT change the format of either .pst or .ost files. There is no need to rebuild these files, and files created with this updated version of Outlook are backwards-compatible with previous versions of Outlook.


 


Customers who install this update may notice generally improved performance and responsiveness when Outlook is reading or writing data. Examples of these improvements include:




  • An improvement in speed when opening and reading messages


  • A decrease in the amount of time it takes to copy or move messages from one folder to another.


  • A decrease in the amount of time it takes to delete messages.


  • An increase in the download speed when downloading messages from the Exchange Server.

This update was specifically designed to address performance problems which occur with large mailbox files, but you may see an improvement in performance with this update even if your mailbox file isn’t “large” due to the specific data in your mailbox. Our efforts in analyzing the performance of Outlook are continuing, even after these changes.


 


As I mentioned above, we appreciate hearing about the experiences of our customers and we certainly hope that this update improves your experience with Outlook 2007.


 


Here are some links to the important information:



I do hope that this update improves your experience with Outlook 2007!


 


Comments (17)

  1. Even een update over de Outlook post van afgelopen zondag. Will Kennedy gaf op de Outlook 12 blog extra…

  2. wasserja says:

    WillKennedy,

    I heard about this Outlook patch from Ars Technica on Friday and installed it at work on Monday.  I haven’t noticed much of a speed difference yet, but I was wondering if this was going to be put out as an Automatic Update.  We have a WSUS server and I noticed that is wasn’t in the list.  Maybe it will be part of next month’s patches.

  3. wasserja says:

    I do have a question about the change in Public Folder appointments.  With Outlook 2007 if I create an appointment in my department’s public folder and invite my whole department it does not give me the option to Accept the invitation from Outlook 2007 since I am the "Meeting Organizer."  I have to then use my PDA or the webmail to accept the appointment which then adds it to my calendar.  Is there a new practice we’re supposed to use now?

  4. begood says:

    I have around 60,000 items across Cached Exchange and archived PSTs. About 20,000 on my OST the rest in PSTs.

    I have experienced the performance problems mentioned in the post as well as frequent high CPU usage by the outlook process and 100% CPU on my dual core machines as long as 5-10 minutes each time the machine is resuming from suspend while outlook is running.  Same behavior on both my laptop and desktop.

    In addition the new integrated WDS (which is the reason I was not going back to 2003) will only show the first 30,000 items or so (I index 10 years, and index shows all PSTs fully indexed but when searching directly in 2004 and prior psts no result will come up).

    I have installed the update did a restart and this is my experience:

    First time outlook crashed immediately on start with the following error (which was sent to MS through error reporting)

    AppName: outlook.exe      AppVer: 12.0.6014.5000     AppStamp:46031a52

    ModName: emsmdb32.dll      ModVer: 12.0.4518.1014      ModStamp:45428079

    fDebug: 0       Offset: 000cc0dd

    Second time oulook started although slow to respond as usual, and messages from exchange folder slow to download(10 mins). Outlook stopped responding when trying to navigate to pst so I forced restart after 5 minutes.

    Third time much snappier than before, no more cpu hog also after resume from suspend.

    I am now rebuilding indexes in hope that the new update will cause it to include all my items. Will let you know how it goes.

    So far, the upgrade seem to address the problems but need few tough runs before it works well. Can’t tell if the new hangs are a result of the update or something else.

  5. JasonG says:

    It’s been said that Exchange is moving (hopefully in v13) to SQL as the backend storage.

    Maybe Outlook v13 or v14 could go the same path, utilizing some derivative of the compact edition?  A side effect win would be much improved interoperability  vs. the proprietary pst binary format. :)

    Changing the storage engine might not bring huge gains in speed, but the necessity of a thorough redesign of the storage schema surely would.

  6. dunker1 says:

    not much enhancement.. but I deleted VISTA home premium and installed xp pro- now it sings.. except I get this error:

    Send test e-mail message: An unknown error occurred, error code: 0x80040607

    when trying to test email send , when I do a send receive I get a relay denied..no ssl or outgoing security is set.. hwere do I look for a solution…

    kevsharp@writeme.com

  7. mickatdunge says:

    I had the same error ‘Send test e-mail message: An unknown error occurred, error code: 0x80040607’ with outlook 2007.  I changed the settings of my email account (tools, options, mail setup, email accounts – select and change) more settings, outgoing server.  I had to change to ‘use same settings as my incoming mail server’.  ‘Test account setting’ and then it should lose the error message.  Hope this helps – mickatdunge

  8. msapc says:

    Hello.

    Good to hear that you guys work on Outlook’s performance.

    For me, the real performance hit in Outlook 2007 (that makes 50%+ of my dissatisfaction, when working with it) is using Word as HTML rendrer. Yeah-yeah, that’s an old story and a lot of fuss was already about it.

    But this REALLY hits performance a lot, as WinWord process in the background eats significant amount of memory. This also makes preview pane rather useless, because O2007 lags even when previewing plain-text emails!

    Now, I rarely use HTML/RTF feats when composing mail (maybe, 1 of 80 emails), so plaintext is OK for me and I agree with added burden of going to options and manually turning "Compose HTML emails" feature every time I need to make something pretty.

    The rest of time I have a TOTALLY USELESS Word in the background that eats up my RAM, slows down viewing email and makes no added value when composing emails (actually, makes them even bigger, eating up my traffic expenses).

    Is there a way to completely get rid of Word and revert to plain-text compose/MSIE email preview in these cases?

    Thanks.

  9. mjwills says:

    Whenever I launch Outlook I get BITS entries being queued up (I can see one appear using bitsadmin.exe /list every time I click Send/Receive in Outlook 2007).

    My Outlook connects to three email accounts. Two of them are with a local PST file, and the third is an Exchange connection (accessed over a VPN).

    Any suggestions?

    (The BITS entries look like below:)

    C:UsersOwner>bitsadmin /list

    BITSADMIN version 3.0 [ 7.0.6001 ]

    BITS administration utility.

    (C) Copyright 2000-2006 Microsoft Corp.

    {43D05E0F-318D-4BD0-8687-8B05185F7D3C} ‘Microsoft Outlook Offline Address Book’

    TRANSIENT_ERROR 0 / 1 0 / UNKNOWN

    {F0EF7C0B-4359-41BE-A149-F783586D5B69} ‘Microsoft Outlook Offline Address Book’

    TRANSIENT_ERROR 0 / 1 0 / UNKNOWN

    {F799AAAC-62F1-4A37-AF87-27E76725FF46} ‘Microsoft Outlook Offline Address Book’

    TRANSIENT_ERROR 0 / 1 0 / UNKNOWN

    {5B4A8215-34B6-4A62-9C00-CFDA401D1557} ‘Microsoft Outlook Offline Address Book’

    CONNECTING 0 / 1 0 / UNKNOWN

    {96F41CEB-9042-4533-BEAA-A5ECBED3D7E1} ‘Microsoft Outlook Offline Address Book’

    QUEUED 0 / 1 0 / UNKNOWN

    Listed 5 job(s).

  10. iPhoneKönig says:

    I installed the Outlook Patch kb961752 and noticed this happen on Outlook startup.  I then deployed Office SP2 and it is occurring on all of the clients that have DLO 12.5 (latest updates as well) and Outlook 2007 (Standard and Professional).

  11. iPhoneKönig says:

    I installed the Outlook Patch kb961752 and noticed this happen on Outlook startup.  I then deployed Office SP2 and it is occurring on all of the clients that have DLO 12.5 (latest updates as well) and Outlook 2007 (Standard and Professional).

  12. Evrent says:

    An unknown error occurred, error code: 0x80040607′ with outlook 2007

    Greetzzz Evrent

  13. Stoffe Lagerverkauf says:

    Hi there,

    if you find out please let us know how you solved the problem.

    Greatings,

    Stoffe

  14. iPhone says:

    As James mentioned, the updates are now going to be rolled out via Windows Update so there’s no need to download the hotfixes or click on buttons (assuming that you have WU set to download and apply patches automatically).

  15. Brancho.com says:

    Hi Mr WillKennedy,

    big thx for the Info

    Greatings Brancho

  16. Personal Training says:

    So my outlook’s performance is nice with more than 300k Mail’s

    Thx for that

  17. Vivek says:

    Send test e-mail message: An unknown error occurred, error code: 0x80040607