How to Speed Up Indexing in Outlook

By Ruby Neusom

Microsoft Outlook can speed up your workflow, increasing productivity. Sometimes indexing can lag, causing searches to take longer than usual. There are several techniques you can use to speed up your indexing. These strategies will help alleviate lag in Outlook and allow you to maximize your productivity once more. One method is to reduce the number of locations Outlook searches. If you suspect indexing is damaged, you can rebuild the index. If you suspect only one location or file on your computer is causing the problem, you can disable that location from indexing and add it again to rebuild that part of the Index without having to rebuild the entire index.

Reducing Indexing Locations

Step 1

Close Outlook so you can specify its indexing locations. From the Windows 8 Start screen, type "Indexing Options," then click "Settings" under Search and select "Indexing Options." In the window that pops up, you can see all the locations that are currently indexed.

Step 2

Click the "Modify" button.

Step 3

Uncheck the box next to any location you no longer want indexed. Click the "Show All Locations" button to see the default locations, if you want to remove them from the list of indexing locations. To maximize indexing speed in Outlook, you can remove all locations except for Outlook in the list of locations.

Rebuilding the Index

Step 1

Type "Indexing Options" at the Windows 8 Start screen, select "Settings" in the Search section and then click "Indexing Options."

Step 2

Click "Modify," then clear the "Outlook" check box. Click "OK."

Step 3

Click "Advanced" in the Indexing Options dialog box. Click "Rebuild" in the Advanced Options dialog box, then "OK" and then "Close." Leave your computer idle overnight so it can rebuild the index.

Disabling and Re-enabling a File for Indexing

Step 1

From the Windows 8 Start screen, type "Indexing Options," then click "Settings" under Search and select "Indexing Options." Select the "Modify" button, then expand "Microsoft Outlook."

Step 2

Deselect the file that you think is causing the lag. Close Outlook for five minutes.

Step 3

Reopen Outlook and reselect the file you deselected previously. Leave the computer idle again. The status eventually should reach "0 items remaining."

Tips & Warnings

  • Information in this article applies to Outlook 2013 on a Windows 8 computer. It may vary slightly or significantly with other versions or products.