Constantly freezing Outlook 2010

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chupacabra

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Outlook version
Outlook 2010 64 bit
Email Account
IMAP
My Outlook 2010 with 1 Gmail IMAP account is constantly freezing.
I know for a fact that Send\Receive Settings of IMAP account could be a reason of it.
Could someone explain me what is the best configuration of it; shallI choose option to download header only or custom behaviour?
Are there any other settings that I should check or adjust that may be causing freezing?
Once I go through them and the problem persist I will look for other solutions, but I would like to start from Outlook settings.
 
Make sure all updates are installed - there were some that addressed imap issues. Does it work better in Safe mode? If so, look at the addins - i'd disable any installed by your antivirus and disable the email scanner in the AV software too. (Microsoft Security Essentials doesn't scan mail.)

I'd set Outlook to download full messages, not headers only.
 
Also try running ScanPST.EXE , on my system it is located at C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office15. Most likely you need to run it a number of times. You want to run it until it does not find any errors. I've had to run it as many as 8 times to get error free.
 
Thank you very much for your help. I thought that it was caused by too slow WiFi connection (there are another 25 computers on the network), but disabling AVG add-in seems to fixed the freezing problem. I will be testing it tomorrow, but it looks all good now. If not I will try to run ScanPST.

Just one more thing. Is it safe to disable antivirus add-in? How much does it increase a risk to get a virus from email?
 
And what is the difference in practical terms between "Downloading full messages" and "Downloading headers only"?
 
When you download full messages you can work offline and open the pst in other profiles. Other than that, and the data file size, there is no difference.

It is safe to disable the AV addin - it acted as an early warning system. Outlook won't run active content and it saves attachments to the hard drive before opening them so your AV will scan them at that time so you're just as safe.
 
OK, so AV addin is gone and I don't really need any of those benefits of downloading full messages.
But which option gives better performance for Outlook; downloading full messages or headers only? I heard that downloading full messages is is faster, which seems to be correct if you don't have a lot of emails. But if you have email account with 100 000 emails then the .pst file will be like 15GB so obviously it will be too much too handle even for a computer with i5 CPU and 8GB (is that correct that 15GB .pst file would take whole or most of 8GB RAM memory?).
Please correct me if I'm wrong but

wouldn't be Outlook working faster if I configure it to download headers only (considering that my internet connection is at least 5Mbps)? The .pst file would be smaller, so it wouldn't be hogging system memory.
Also how exactly emails are downloaded when I set up IMAP account (headers only and full messages); are all of them being downloaded, beginning from the oldest one or only the latest ones and the older ones are being downloaded only when I search for them? I'm asking because when I deleted 13GB account from Outlook and set it up again the size of the same email account was less then 2GB.
 
The data file size won't affect the available ram, only disk space. Once the mail is all downloaded, it won't affect the internet connection - outlook won't redownload it. The benefit is that you can work offline if you have full messages.

So... initially, it might be faster to get headers only, but in the long run, full messages is better.

Newest messages are downloaded initially, then outlook switches to oldest to newest - this allows you to work with new mail while it downloaded everything.

How much mail is in your mailbox if you log into it using a web browser? Outlook's data file should be just a little larger. Based on the 2 GB size of the new pst, I suspect that the 13 GB was from corruption.
 
The data file size won't affect the available ram, only disk space.
Newest messages are downloade

I always thought that huge .pst files are drastically slowing computers down because they take most of RAM. Since .pst is only one file then it has to be whole uploaded to RAM for Outlook to be able to use it. Isn't this correct?

Once the mail is all downloaded, it won't affect the internet connection - outlook won't redownload it. The benefit is that you can work offline if you have full messages.

So... initially, it might be faster to get headers only, but in the long run, full messages is better.

Newest messages are downloaded initially, then outlook switches to oldest to newest - this allows you to work with new mail while it downloaded everything.

Which configuration is better in terms of internet bandwidth; Downloading full messages or Headers only? There are around 25 computers on the network, average download speed is between 7 and 9 Mbps.

Does it mean that when I set up IMAP account to download headers only then when I open email is it opened on the server or is it actually being downloaded to the computer's hard drive and next time I open it again it will be opened from local hard drive?

If change settings to "Download full messages" will I be able to use that IMAP .pst file for a backup of all emails that are on a server (by copying it to external drive)?

How much mail is in your mailbox if you log into it using a web browser? Outlook's data file should be just a little larger. Based on the 2 GB size of the new pst, I suspect that the 13 GB was from corruption.

This most problematic Gmail account has 32GB (there is a lot of graphic attachments in most of emails). It's around 3 years old. For this sort of account is it still better to configure account to "download full messages", "headers only" or is there a different solution?
 
I always thought that huge .pst files are drastically slowing computers down because they take most of RAM. Since .pst is only one file then it has to be whole uploaded to RAM for Outlook to be able to use it. Isn't this correct?

No. The whole pst isn't loaded into ram. A huge pst can slow outlook down, but its more when you change folders, because outlook has to redrawn the screen and load the messages. I usually recommend keeping the inbox under 5000 messages, because that is the most used folder.

Which configuration is better in terms of internet bandwidth; Downloading full messages or Headers only? There are around 25 computers on the network, average download speed is between 7 and 9 Mbps.

It really depends. If you don't need most of the bodies, headers only is better, but the bandwidth used is about the same otherwise, with headers only spread out more, as you do a burst to get headers then load bodies as you need them.

Does it mean that when I set up IMAP account to download headers only then when I open email is it opened on the server or is it actually being downloaded to the computer's hard drive and next time I open it again it will be opened from local hard drive?

If change settings to "Download full messages" will I be able to use that IMAP .pst file for a backup of all emails that are on a server (by copying it to external drive)?

When you use headers only, outlook only gets the header until you open the message to read it, then it goes out to the server and grabs the body. The body will stay in outlook for at least few weeks - if you don't view it for a few weeks and outlook refreshes the pst, it'll remove the body. If you get full messages, yes, you can use it as a backup and open it in any outlook profile to read the messages.

This most problematic Gmail account has 32GB (there is a lot of graphic attachments in most of emails). It's around 3 years old. For this sort of account is it still better to configure account to "download full messages", "headers only" or is there a different solution?

Are the messages all in the inbox? Make sure you don't subscribe to the All Mail folder - that will download everything twice. If you don't need to view the old messages or don't need a backup copy, I'd consider using headers only.
 
Thank you so much Diane for a very comprehensive answer. That helps a lot.

Around 70% of emails are in Inbox. 20% in sent and 10% in other folders. I unsubscribed All Mail folders from downloading.

What is the difference between unsubscribing folders (in IMAP folders options) and unchecking folders from Send\Receive Settings?

What happen if I uncheck a folder from "Downloading headers only" option? I would assume that the headers of this folder will stop syncing with a server, but I thing I unchecked the inbox folder for some time before I realized it but I was still getting emails from that inbox. Is that possible?

Is it still OK to use Gmail account that has over 30GB, in Outlook 2010 (or is it better to switch to Outlook 2013)?

Which option would you recommend me in this case; "Download headers only" or Download with attachments or maybe custom behaviour? This user would like to have access to oldest emails (Inbox and Sent) mainly to fetch contact (email's sender).

If I choose to download full messages with attachments does it mean that my .pst file will be around 40GB? Is it going to be functional?

Are there any other solutions or settings that I should check for email account of this size in Outlook?
 
Unsubscribe doesn't download anything in the folder, ever. Unchecking the folder in S/R means it will still download if you open the folder. You really don't want that with the All Mail folder. Unchecking 'download header' has the same effect - nothing happens if you don't open the folder but if you click on the folder, everything downloads.

Either outlook 2010 or 2013 should work fine with a mailbox that large - however, outlook 2013 removed the headers only option - you get full messages for every subscribed folder. You can set Outlook 2013 to only download newer messages - like in the last year - to help reduce the size of the mailbox. This is a good option on smaller drives and is a good option for many people because while they need to keep older mail for historical reasons, don't need to access it frequently.

If the user needs the older messages to get contacts, i think full messages is better.

Yes, if you download full messages, the pst will be about the same size as the mailbox on the server. Outlook 2010 can handle it.

If you use an antivirus that scans email, I'd disable that feature. It'll be really slow if the messages are large. it'll scan the messages when you open the attachments. (Microsoft Security Essentials does not scan email as it downloads.)
 
That's great. Thank you again, Diane. I thing that's all I need to know for now about Outlook settings. Will be testing it tonight and will get back to you in few days about results. Best Regards
 
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