Outlook and the Personal Storage Table

When the district changed our email system to MS Outlook, all of us initially used the web-based, ‘lite’ version of MS Outlook WebAccess (OWA).

Some of you may still be using OWA – if Outlook opens with Internet Explorer, you are using OWA.

Recently, many of us had the MS Outlook desktop client software (Office Outlook 2007) installed and configured on our computers.The desktop client is the full version of Outlook that has ‘Office-like’ features (the text editor is MS Word, for example), and a few other capabilities not available or supported in OWA (viewing multiple calendars is one, I think).

To put it kindly, few people on earth are impressed by MS Outlook 2007’s speed and performance. My desktop client loads like cold ketchup out of a bottle. It’s a good idea to have a book to read while you wait for it to load…

According to strangers on the internet that sound like they know what they are talking about, here’s one of the main reasons it is sooooo slow to load: Each and every time you start MS Office Outlook, it opens a .pst file (Personal Storage Table) that contains ALL of your messages, contacts, calendar items, and any other bit of information Outlook may have. All of that info in a single file. So if you have a lot of contacts and a lot of messages and a lot of calendar items, you’ve got yourself a big, ponderous .pst file that has to be lifted and carried every time you open Outlook.

(GroupWise did it differently – its client established a connection to a database that contained all those items and retrieved only the info that was requested.)

There apparently is no quick fix for the issue, but may the knowledge of why it happens give you the peace and tranquility to patiently wait for Outlook 2007 to load.