Fix Sluggish Outlook 2013

I finally made the jump from Outlook 2010 to Outlook 2013 last week on my primary work desk computer. There are many things that I really like about Outlook 2013, which I will put in a separate blog post.

But almost immediately on using it, Outlook 2013 appeared to be “sluggish” (is that a technical term?) compared to Outlook 2010. No hard facts, just end user observation. Switching from mail to contacts to calendars, for example. Also emails with graphics appear to take more time to open than before.

It turns out that I am not the only one with these observations. You can do your favorite web search to find similar remarks.

But, the purpose of this post is simply to identify how to speed up the interaction between Outlook 2013 and the end user, because out of the box, I’m not ready to drop 2013 on my customers who are heavy Outlook users.


Here are the three changes that I have implemented to date to help speed up performance:

  1. Open up Outlook 2013, click File –> Option –> Advanced
    1. Scroll down to the Display section and check (turn on) the ‘Disable hardware graphics acceleration’ option
    2. Then scroll down to the Other section and UNcheck the ‘Use animations when expanding conversations and groups’ option
    3. Click OK, then restart Outlook 2013
  2. The other recommended change is via Registry Editor:
    1. Open up Registry Editor
    2. Drill down HKey Current User –> Software –> Microsoft –> Office –> 15.0 –> common –> Graphics
    3. Right click on Graphics in the left pane, and then click New –> DWord (32 bit)
    4. Click to name this new key: DisableAnimations
    5. Double click on the new key, and change the value from 0 to 1
    6. Close registry

You may find that a reboot may be necessary as well.

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