Microsoft’s Outlook 2007 SP2 speed report

The poor performance of Outlook 2007 has driven many users to Google for solutions, and a good proportion arrive at this blog, which is why there are nearly 200 comments to this post.

Microsoft says it has fixed the problems with Office 2007 Service Pack 2 – though this comment disagrees. Personally I’ve not installed SP2 yet, but I did apply a February update which as I understand it has most of the performance fixes, and I’ve found noticeable improvement.

On my 64-bit desktop, with Outlook 2007 set with cached mode turned off (not the default) I’m enjoying excellent performance despite a huge mailbox.

Microsoft has sponsored a benchtest [pdf] that shows (as you would expect) substantial speed gains in SP2, and claims that the number of disk writes the latest Outlook makes is much reduced. There’s also a performance tip buried in there: turn the To-Do bar off if you want best responsiveness.

I’m sceptical about tests like this which often don’t match real-world experience. I wonder if the testers had anti-virus software running, as highly recommended by Microsoft, but which slows down performance a lot particularly where there is intensive disk activity.

Still, it’s encouraging that Microsoft has taken the problem seriously.


I installed SP2 shortly after writing this post. So far, no noticeable impact on Outlook vs the February update.

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