Error Solved: Slow to Receive Emails on Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 & 2007

Summary: Is your Outlook taking forever to receive emails and load attachments? This may be a sign of a damaged PST file or problem with a storage device, such as a hard drive, where the PST file is stored. In this post, we cover solutions to fix this issue of slow Outlook performance while sending or receiving emails in Outlook 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, and 2019.

Outlook works smoothly when set up on a compatible system. However, with time and as the mailbox (or PST) size grows, Outlook often starts showing signs of degraded performance.

A most common outcome of this degraded performance and a recurring Outlook issue is that the application starts taking more time to send or receive emails and download attachments. Even after several refreshes, the new emails and attachments are displayed only after a while.

Expert’s Opinion: Outlook experts suggest to check the health of Outlook PST file using SCANPST.EXE or a trusted PST recovery softwareIn most cases, error/damage in the Outlook PST file is responsible for the delay in receiving Outlook emails. 

Read on to know more about the issue. Also, learn solutions to fix the issue of slow receiving or sending emails on Outlook 2019, 2016, 2013, 2010 & 2007.

Why is Outlook Slow to Send or Receive Emails?

Whenever an email is received in your inbox, Outlook takes the default action of writing it to the PST file. So naturally, if Outlook is taking more time to receive emails, the “writing to the PST” part is the first place to look for possible problems. The problem could be fragmentation or damage to the PST file or an oversized PST.

A large size PST file is more prone to corruption and hence, you should split PST file or keep backup to avoid Outlook errors.

If that’s the case, Outlook could be spending all its time not in downloading the email but in trying to save it within the faulty PST. So you should focus your efforts on trying to fix and repair Outlook PST to resolve this error.

How to Resolve Outlook Send or Receive Slowdown Problem?

If emails are taking a long time to arrive in Outlook or Outlook is slow to download emails and attachments, try the following solutions to get rid of the problem:

Backup the PST file before applying these solutions.

1. Check hard drive for bad sectors

In case your hard drive has developed bad sectors and your PST file is stored at a location on the hard drive that includes one of those sectors, it could be a cause of this Outlook slowdown problem.

Thus, as a first step, use a tool such as CrystalDiskInfo and check hard drive health status and SMART information. Make sure drive health is good and there are no Reallocated Sector Count warnings.

You can also run a Check Disk command in Command Prompt window. Close all programs before running the following command.

running chkdsk command

Type ‘Y’ and press ‘Enter’ if asked to force dismount volume.

The CHKDSK command will find out and repair hard drive errors. After this, restart the system and open Outlook. Try sending a few emails and check if Outlook sends/receives emails normally.

2. Defrag the hard drive

Disk fragmentation is a process that occurs naturally, as files are constantly being written, edited, deleted, and resized. When a large file is spread across several locations on the drive, it takes much longer to read and write.

And it’s quite possible that your PST file may be fragmented and that’s why Outlook is taking time to load emails and attachments.

So defragmenting your hard drive would be a good idea here if you haven’t done it recently. To defragment, simply type ‘defrag’ in search and click on Defragment and Optimize Drives.

Defragment and optimize hard drives

Select the drive volume where your PST file is stored and click ‘Optimize’.

Select hard drive volume to optimize

Also, optimize other partitions and then check your Outlook.

If the drive isn’t fragmented or Outlook is still slow to receive emails, head to the next solution.  

3. Compact or Compress Outlook PST

As mentioned earlier, a large PST could also cause Outlook to slow down. Defragmenting your hard drive also squeezes out unnecessary empty spaces from within the PST that might have been created due to regular email deletion/moving.

Further, you can compress or compact the Outlook PST file. Compacting the PST file size helps keep a check on growing PST size. To compact Outlook PST:

  1. Launch Outlook
  2. Right-click on Personal Folder or Outlook PST
  3. Click on Properties -> Advanced 
PST file properties
  • Check ‘Compress contents to save disk space’ box and click ‘OK’, then ‘OK
Advanced attributes of PST file

Compacting of the PST is a time taking procedure depending upon the PST file size. You might have to leave it to run overnight.

4. Disable Faulty Add-in

An incompatible or faulty Add-In may also cause a delay in receiving and loading Outlook emails and attachments. Follow these steps to find the faulty Add-in and disable or uninstall it.

  • Go to Outlook Options -> Add-ins -> Go in Outlook 2007 or 2010. In Outlook 2013 and later, go to File>Manage COM Add-Ins. This opens up a dialog box listing all installed add-ins
  • Uncheck all Add-Ins names to disable them
Outlook COM Add-In Disable
  • Now try to send/receive or reply / forward messages and check if it works
  • Enable each plugin one-by-one and check Outlook. This will help you find the Add-In that is creating the problem.

5. Repair PST

If none of the above solution works, you would have to explicitly repair Outlook PST to fix the issue. Microsoft ships an Inbox Repair Tool with its MS Office suite. This utility finds and repairs minor faults within the PST file and make it workable again.

Locating Scanpst.exe utility in WIndows Outlook

You can find this utility within your Outlook installation folder. Double-click on SCANPST.EXE to launch the Inbox Repair Tool and browse the PST file. Then follow the wizard to repair it.

Repairing PST errors with SCANPST.exe tool

However, if for some reason ScanPST.exe cannot fix the faulty PST, you don’t need to despair. Use Stellar Repair for Outlook—an ultimate solution to resolve PST and Outlook errors.

This automated and user-friendly software is equipped with algorithms dedicated to resolving minor as well as major PST corruption issues. It can even let you perform advanced tasks such as compressing PST, splitting it, etc.

Stellar Repair for Outlook to fix PST error and corruption

Free Download button

Final Words 

Once you have fixed the ‘Outlook slow to receive emails’ issue using the solutions mentioned above, defrag your system once more. This is to ensure that whatever data was moved around to rectify the Outlook PST error is placed back where it belongs, safe and sound.

If you’re still facing a delay in receiving emails on Outlook, leave a comment or reach us via the Support page.

Comments(13)
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