Help! My Email Opens Slow

Last reviewed on September 12, 2011

A common complaint about Outlook goes something like this:

"The reading pane in Outlook 2003 is slow when I switch from different folders. The pane takes about 20 seconds to come up to the current email. I have XP with SP2 installed. I have no other problems except this one."

There are three possible causes to the problem:

  1. Instant messenger. The fix is to disable the link to Instant Messenger on Outlook’s Tools, Options, Other tab.
  2. Network connectivity issues when you are using mapped network drives, including slow networks or inaccessible mapped drives. The fix is to uncheck the box for the dialog to always ask whether to open/save the attachments or disable mapped drives.
  3. Alternative input support in Office 2003. This allows you to use speech or handwriting instead of typing. Disable alternative input following instructions in How to turn off the speech recognition and the handwriting recognition features in Office 2003.

Written by

Diane Poremsky
A Microsoft Outlook Most Valuable Professional (MVP) since 1999, Diane is the author of several books, including Outlook 2013 Absolute Beginners Book. She also created video training CDs and online training classes for Microsoft Outlook. You can find her helping people online in Outlook Forums as well as in the Microsoft Answers and TechNet forums.

Please post long or more complicated questions at Outlookforums.

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