Maximizing Performance with Outlook, Office 365 & MacroView
Basic and advanced suggestions for ensuring better performance of Microsoft Outlook running MacroView DMF / Message with SharePoint on-premises or an Office 365 tenant.
Score quick wins with some changes requiring very little effort.
Delay Non-Critical Updates
Frequent Microsoft updates can be extremely frustrating. There is no reason to have all their software set to update continuously on your computer. Delaying non-essential updates in some cases allows Microsoft to further refine them before they are installed. We recommend that you don’t have monthly updates enabled for Office 365 ProPlus as these have been known to cause intermittent issues. The most practical version to use is the semi annual release.
Clean Up & Compact
A smaller Outlook mailbox size will perform better especially if your computer is a few years old. Start with the often overlooked Outlook ribbon Clean Up button and select Clean up folder. This will move all the redundant emails from your conversations to the Outlook recycle bin. You can set MacroView to automatically delete the emails from Outlook on successful completion of the Bulk Save or you can delete them manually as required.
Ensure that your Outlook recycle bin is empty and then run the Compact Now command to complete the mailbox housekeeping exercise.
Tip: Detach any PST files attached as this will consume memory and slow things down.
Disable Non-Essential Add-ins
Over time a number of add-ins would have been installed into your Outlook user profile. Each of these add-ins needs to be loaded into memory prior to the startup of Outlook. Add-ins that are no longer used still load contributing to the slower startup of Outlook. Disabling the non-essential add-ins should see an improvement in start times as well as stability.
Note: We have sighted environments where there are over 25 Outlook add-ins being loaded on startup hopefully yours is not one of them.
Ensure that your level of logging for the MacroView client is set to exception rather than information, especially on a shared server disk system. Even on a single workstation information level logging can noticeably slow things down as all current processes are being recorded to the c: drive.
Note: Only enable the information ‘transactional’ logging if requested by the Support team.
Unlock your Memory
It is most likely that your Windows is running 64 bit with Office 32 bit. Ensure that your version of Outlook supports LAA which unlocks 300% more usable memory than normal. Better still if your organisation supports it go with the Office 64 bit release.
Tip: Use System Internals Vmmap, available as a free download, to determine the available application memory.
Cache your Outlook
By default recent versions of Outlook have the offline email cache set to 12 months. If you plan on archiving your older emails then we would suggest caching all your emails as it is a lot faster to save them when the emails are stored on your c: drive. This of course assumes that you have plenty of free disk space.
Reduce your File List
It is very tempting to increase your file list count from 50 upwards as ‘scrolling’ is generally more preferable to ‘paging’. We have seen cases where people have increased the setting well beyond 500 and then complain of slowness. To display 500 files in one page rather than the default of 50 takes a lot longer as there are more metadata details to be retrieved. We recommend that you don’t change the the default file list setting and make use of the column filters available in your file list. Alternatively use the search this location feature with a metadata search term.
Get a Fast Disk
Going back a few years performance problems were usually related to the processor or lack of system memory. Times have changed and especially with Windows 10 the hard disk has become the bottleneck. Starting Windows, compiling applications and ongoing updates means a solid state drive (SSD) is now a must have going forward.
Exclude Program Files
Some security programs continuously scan the entire workstation for threats leading to poor computer responsiveness. Making some minor changes to your virus scanner software can have a positive impact without compromising security. For example the contents of the MacroView program files folder were already scanned on installation and are not updated during general use so why not create an exclusion path for this location. We have seen greatly improved Outlook startup times when the exclusion path is set.
When sharing hardware resources for Citrix Xendesk, Remote Desktop Services and other virtualized environments you need to ensure that there is sufficient memory, very fast disks and a good graphics adapter. MacroView software relies on Microsoft WPF to create it’s modern interface which in some cases can be graphics display intensive. The MacroView client also passes most write operations via the appdata folder which when shared could slow performance.
Tip: To minimize disk activity ensure that logging for MacroView is set to exception rather than information.
Expand your Pipes
Software usability can vary between internet programs. For example when using a web browser or an email program you will generally not notice poor performance as they either work in the background or only transmit very small files. Slow performance only becomes noticeable when you are downloading or uploading larger files such as emails and documents. MacroView products, due to their very nature, retrieve and save files frequently so a good internet connection is required for SharePoint Online.
Note: Where possible the MacroView product will cache ‘objects’ to minimize network activity. The MacroView client also utilizes Microsoft technologies such as ‘shredded storage’ and the ‘cell storage service’ which greatly reduces storage requirements and network data traffic.