Outlook Slow?

Is your Outlook S-L-O-W? Do you sometimes get messages such as Requesting data from Server or Outlook is retrieving data, and you sit and look at the pretty little twirling circle? If so, Outlook may be trying to tell you that you have so many items in the folder you are trying to open that it is having a hard time retrieving it for you.

Outlook (Office 365) does not do well if you have several thousand items in a folder. At 5000, it really gets unhappy. So how do you keep your Outlook working for you?

What to do? Create sub-folders that group your items for easy searching. For example, you might put items together by years.

**IMPORTANT** this is not just for your INBOX, but also your SENT mail or any other folder under your mail account.

How to know how many items you have in a box

  • Place the cursor on the box you want to check (INBOX, SENT, etc)
  • Look at the bottom of the screen in Outlook. You will see the number of items in that box.

Outlook email information

How to move mail into folders

  • Create a sub-folder by placing your cursor on the mail box you are trying to clean up. These instructions use the INBOX as the example.
    • Right click on the INBOX, and choose NEW FOLDER from the menu

    Create new folder

    • Give the folder a name. This example is 2012
    • You are now ready to  move mail out of the INBOX, into the 2012 folder
      • From the INBOX, your mail (by default) is sorted by date. Scroll down until the 2012 mail begins.
        • You can control how your mail is displayed. You may want the oldest to show first in the list.

        How to sort

    • Highlight a section of 2012 emails and either drag them to the 2012 folder or right click and MOVE them to it.

    Move to new folder

    • DO NOT try to move a huge number of items at once
    • DO NOT go out of Outlook until it tells you it has completed the move
    • Remember that you may need to also do this for your SENT mail

    **NOTE** Microsoft recommends that you use no more than three levels of folders. For example, the Inbox is the top level. Then you have a sub-folder labeled “2012” for all email messages that were received in 2012. And then you have a sub-folder inside of the 2012 folder named “January” for the January email messages. This folder named January is the third level.

    If you only use OWA, there IS NOT a way to see the total number of items in a folder.  If you keep a lot of mail, you can set up folders in OWA.