is this Outlook abuse

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Outlook version
Email Account
I have a client using Outlook 2007 with a PST file that is 14 GB. When he works, he always has up to 20 e-mails open at one time, each e-mail could have a 1-15 page PDF file attached and opened. The inbox has 22,000 files and because of this, Outlook crashes or freezes quite often. I have moved a lot of the older e-mails to separate PST files and was able to cut the size of the main PST file to about 12GB. I tell him that working with everything open is causing these issues. The rest of the specs are:

  • Dell Latitude E55 20
  • 4 GB RAM
  • 500 GB Hard Drive
  • Windows 7 64 Bit
My questions are:

  1. Is this abuse of Outlook?
  2. Is there a remedy for this client (The way his business is laid out it is hard to change his work habits)
  3. This is a POP account, would exchange be more appropriate?
I am in need of any suggestions

Thank You very much

Diane Poremsky

Senior Member
Outlook version
Outlook 2016 32 bit
Email Account
Office 365 Exchange
I wouldn't call it outlook abuse. :) Reducing the inbox to under 5000 messages and keeping it that way should make it feel faster. (file mail as you finish it to keep the inbox clean)

With 4 GB ram, he is overtaxing the system though - more ram or fewer files open would be better. Depending on how he opens the attachments, they may not be linked to outlook and would count only as open files. If he is opening the messages in a window (not preview pane) and then opening the attachment, outlook is trying to keep the files and messages linked, 20 can be a bit much. If he opens the attachment from the reading pane, outlook 'forgets' the connection as soon as he views a new message or changes folders. This can create other problems though (securetemp folder isn't emptied & you can save changes back to the attachment on the message).

I don't think exchange would help much - the message store might be a bit smaller (due to how exchange stores messages) but its not going to make a big difference in speed or eliminate crashes. He might find it helps with productivity as it will give him easy access when traveling or from other computers, smartphones etc.

Have you checked the processes when he's working? Task manager, processes tab - its possible something else is being a resource hog and affecting outlook. (Here its web browsers and SugarSync utility, occassionally Jing (screenshot utility) that hog resources and cause outlook to be a bigger slug.)
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