Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I've been using outlook for years now, and I've never run into this problem before. Using Microsoft Outlook 2007, with only 1 email account, and no more than 100 emails in my inbox (though I have many many folders, with emails in them), Outlook can sit around and eventually get up to > 700mb of ram usage.

I've tried different types I've read, like compacting my folders, or not using Internet Calendars / RSS features, and right now I've even disabled Xobni...but still no effect.

Any ideas?!

Thanks! Ben

share|improve this question
What Add-ins are you running (Tools-Trust Center-Add-ins)? Is it possible that something in there has a memory leak? – Michael Todd Feb 3 '10 at 17:59
Good question Michael, I will post an image of my memory usage, as well as what add ins are installed in a bit. – Ben Baril Feb 3 '10 at 18:25
How are you measuring the memory usage? Actually calculating the memory used by an application is a complex science, if you're just looking at one of the columns in the process manager, it may not be accurate. – davr Feb 3 '10 at 18:51
Good point davr. I'm using Process Explorer to look at the memory usage. Will post snapshots once it builds up again. – Ben Baril Feb 3 '10 at 20:26
I bet you're actually measuring virtual memory usage, not RAM usage. – David Schwartz Aug 11 '13 at 0:38

There's an excellent article on reducing Outlook memory usage here. There are a number of reasons that Outlook will hog memory, and this article shows a number of approaches to take to reduce it. Another thing you can do is remove all the Add-Ins that Outlook installs by default. There's a little blurb on doing that here.

share|improve this answer

While viewing task manager, minimize Outlook and you will see your memory usage plummet. Mine went from 130MB to 7M. Just minimize Outlook every once in a while.

share|improve this answer

Is it Outlook or WINWORD? I got that issue a while ago and the only way I fixed this was by formating the whole computer. I tried to reinstall Office so many times, System Restore, Updates, some fixes on some forum... but no luck at all.

Take a look which process is taking so much RAM... And let me know.

share|improve this answer
It's definitely Outlook, never had any problems with Word that I can think of. – Ben Baril Feb 3 '10 at 18:25
@Ben Baril - Keep in mind that MS Word is the default (oh, and ONLY) email editor for Outlook, so anytime you write an email, Word kicks in. In older versions, prior to Outlook 2007, users had a choice not to use Word, but that freedom is a thing of the past :) – Molly7244 Feb 3 '10 at 19:17
Can you confirm which process is taking so much ram. OUTLOOK.EXE or WINWORD.EXE Thanks. – r0ca Feb 3 '10 at 19:23
It is definitely Outlook. Word does not show up in process explorer if I'm not actively editing a document. – Ben Baril Feb 3 '10 at 22:32
@Molly7244: I didn't know that. It must be a lot better integrated, because a) I've never had any problems with it, b) Word doesn't show up in the process list, and c) apparently it works fine even if you don't have Word installed. Still, that was news to me. +1 – boot13 Aug 4 '10 at 2:55

Try temporarily moving all the messages in the main Inbox folder to a subfolder. I know Outlook treats messages in the main folder a bit differently than those in subfolders. Although that may have been more to do with network use...

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.