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Make Outlook Faster by Disabling Unnecessary Add-Ins

If Microsoft Outlook loads slower than dirt and hangs every time you try to do anything, there’s a very good chance that your problem is an Outlook plug-in gone haywire—but we can easily disable them.

You’ll want to be careful not to disable an add-in that you actually need, but I’ve used this technique many times over the years to make Outlook run much faster.

Disable Outlook Add-ons

Open up the Trust Center by navigating to Tools –> Trust Center on the menu.

Outlook Menu

On the left-hand pane, choose Add-ins, and then near the bottom of the window you’ll see a button that will let you manage your COM Add-ins.

Trust Center

From this window, you can disable anything that you aren’t using. My recommendation would be to start off by only disabling non-Microsoft add-ins, restart Outlook and see if that solves your slowdown problems.

COM Add-Ins

You’ll notice that some of the add-ins in the list won’t let you remove them under Windows 7 or Vista—for instance, if you want to remove Microsoft Outlook Mobile Service, which lets you send text messages to cell phones—you will need to close Outlook and re-open it as administrator.

image

If you are using Windows 7 and have it pinned to your taskbar, you can close Outlook and then hold down the Ctrl+Shift keys while you click on the taskbar icon. Repeat the steps above, and you should be able to remove the other Add-ins without problems.

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 06/9/09

Comments (55)

  1. Wouter

    Thanks for the article, I’ve disabled some add-ins I never knew I had! For instance, why is there an iTunes add-in for Outlook?

  2. Larcant

    Itunes can pull your calender from Outlook into your iphone/touch

  3. Steve

    WOW!
    That is phenomenal.
    I had forgotten how zippy Outlook could be. Over time I realize I’ve been settling for a very slow operation and imagining it had something to do with the amount of data or I don’t know what.

    THANK YOU. Went from about 30 seconds to load down to about 8.

    :D

  4. scott

    I purchased a laptop with a preinstalled trial of Mcafee. I used windows and mcafee uninstaller to remove it. Now when i open outlook i get a popup that says that the add-in Mcafee anti-spam cannot be loaded. I am trying to make the popup go away.

  5. John A

    Thanks!
    That stinking I-Tunes add-in slowed it down badly.

  6. Richard

    wow what a difference! perhaps a 70% increase in start time ( I blew off 4 add-ins including the iTunes)

  7. Richard

    sorry a 70% DECREASE in start time / 70% increase in speed…;-)

  8. Chris Hart

    Outlook tells me c:/windows/system32/fxsext32.dll cannot be loaded and should be updated or deleted, but it doesn’t appear in the list of add-ins?

  9. marilyn coates

    Every time I try to delete a message in the Outlook Inbox or Sent box, my system “hour glasses” and hangs up. I just added some memory to may laptop in hopes to make it run faster, but I still have this same problem with deleting messages. I am sick of this! Who can help?

  10. Dave

    With reference to “Outlook tells me c:/windows/system32/fxsext32.dll cannot be loaded and should be updated or deleted, but it doesn’t appear in the list of add-ins?” – at the bottom of the Trust Center Add-Ins page, in the ‘Manage’ drop down box choose ‘Exchange Client Extensions’ and this fax extension add-in should be found there – at least that’s where I found it on my machine as I had the same problem – now fixed.

  11. Rachel

    Nice! Thank you so much for the info…that Business Manager startup keeps nagging me each time I start up my outlook! Geez! It was driving me nuts!!I just wished Ive had a chance to go to this site months ago! Thanks so much!
    Rachel

  12. Unionhawk

    @Wouter I was having the same question…

  13. Samantha

    This is wonderful!

    Outlook had been hanging almost constantly and had a delay between keystroke and character appearing on the screen of up to 20 seconds! Now it’s fast, responsive and out of my hair.

    Thanks a million!

  14. amarillopm's

    We are trying to get the printer hook up to the computer.Please help us…..

  15. Gus

    Thanks for posting info on how to disable add-ins. The one that fails to load doesn’t show up in the list. Any ideas? Vista OS, MS Office/Outlook 2007. Add-in failing each time I create new email – “Fax Extension” c:\windows\system32\fxsext32dll and has been disabled by Outlook….. It just doesn’t show up in the Add-ins list. Also, the dll is not lolcated in system32 folder. Any ideas?? Thanks much.

  16. Frank m

    trying to open Microsoft Office 2007 Outlook, Receiving error message
    Cannot start Microsoft Office Outlook. Cannot open the Outlook window…

    Tried some of the items listed to clear this up but no help… any ideas?

  17. Debi

    in my Outlook program, upon trying to start a msg pops up telling me that the add-in exchange scan C:\Program Files\McAfee\ManagedVirusScan\VScan\OtlkUI.20090825133928.dll cannnot be loaded and has been disabled by Outlook. Please contact the Add-In manufacturer for an update. If no update is available, please uninstall the Add-in. I am new at the computer and don’t know what this means, can you help me out or tell me who to call. Any help will be appreciated.

  18. Tracey

    Answer for Debi: close outlook
    browse to Documents and Settings\\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook
    delete extend.dat

    open outlook and you should be good to go.

  19. Don

    I keep getting a Microsoft Office Outlook Security Notice every time I open each of my Outlook email accounts. The message states that there is a potential security concern regarding an iTunes Outlook Add-in. I have checked the disable box and the message states that the add-in has been disabled. But the message shows up every time I open my email. How do I stop this message from popping up every time?
    BTW, I have checked the Trust Center and it shows that the iTunes Outlook Add-in is in the Inactive Add-ins list. Since I do not have an iPhone, I want to get rid of this add-in permanently. Any suggestions?

  20. Andy

    Outlook 2007 cannot connect to Hotmail..! ( Andy )

  21. Nancy

    I was getting the McAfee Addin was being disabled each time I went into Outlook 2007 and the Fax Addin was being disabled each time I created an email. Thanks to Dave’s tip, both addins were found under Outlooks’ Tools/Trust Center Add Ins Page and in the ‘Manage’ drop down box ‘Exchange Client Extensions’ both extensions were there to disable.

  22. sarah

    Thanks for that my outlook is now really speedy – just need to get the rest of the pc as fast and we will be laughing

  23. Adriano

    Thanks Dave! Darn add-ins…

  24. Gerard

    in my Outlook program, upon trying to start a msg pops up telling me that the add-in exchange scan C:\Program Files\Symantic Anti Virus vpmsc3.dll cannnot be loaded and has been disabled by Outlook. Please contact the Add-In manufacturer for an update. If no update is available, please uninstall the Add-in. I went to the trust center and the Symantics addins are no longer thier. In fact the Symantic Anti-Virus has been removed from the machine and McAfee has replaced it.

  25. Julia

    Thanks for posting info on how to disable add-ins. I have the exact same issue as Gus – I tried Dave’s approach to no avail. Ever since this issue started (last week) my outlook is very messed up and keeps freezing….Vista OS, MS Office/Outlook 2007. Add-in failing each time I create new email – “Fax Extension” c:\windows\system32\fxsext32dll and has been disabled by Outlook….. It just doesn’t show up in the Add-ins list. Also, the dll is not lolcated in system32 folder. I have been looking all over, seaching folders deep w/in the system to no avail.
    thanks for your help!
    Julia

  26. Mike

    I am running Vista with Office 2007-
    Which of these Outlook add ins can i disable safely:
    MS Exchange Unified Message
    MS Sharepoint Scheduler Colleague Import
    MS VBA for Outlook Add in

  27. Don

    I have Windows 7 (64-bit) and Office 2007. The Snagit add-in is causing frequent Outlook and Word crashes. I disabled and deleted the Snagit add-ins in all the Office products, and in IE8 too. My problems disappeared. Techsmith says that all of their Office add-ins are 64-bit but acknowlede their have been problems with Outlook and Word (I had problems with Excel and PowerPoint too, but that may be ascribed to my particular system. To disable and/or remove add-ins in Office or IE 8 it is not enough to run as administrator. I was and could not disable or remove them. I had to temporarily disable UAC and then I could disable or remove them. Hope this helps some of you.

  28. MarCya

    I need to synconize all my calendar events, alarms and contacts from outlook 2007 on my laptop to my husbands laptop (same program) How can I do that? I am not a computer Guru so I well need really specific directions please….
    Thanks so much for any help you can provide! I am desperate

  29. Mike

    Why do I have to disable addins in a brand new program that is supposed to be faster than its predecesor? As well, I’m running a dual core processor. On my previous version of Outlook I had a much slower computer and yet the program was far more responsive. I think Microsoft needs to rethink their strategy. We want our programs to run fast. Us city people dont like to wait for anything, let alone a high end computer that is supposed to be fast. Outlook 2003 is much faster. I dont see why I wouldn’t run that untill Microsoft can work out the bugs in their new version.

  30. hb

    Dave – thank u so much!!! i didn’t know i had to switch to the “Exchange Client Extensions” part at the bottom to rectify the problem. finally it worked.

  31. Guy

    I don’t see Mcafee listed in my add ins, yet i’m recieving an error message that outlook disable it. What now? anybody?

  32. Zoe

    Scott – did you work out what to do with McAfee anti-spam thing in Outlook. I have the same problem

  33. John

    Outlook will not permit me to open attachments to emails. Example 1: I open an email form Princess Cruises regarding a trip we are taking. I click on see rooms and I receive an alert saying restricted file cannot open. See administrator. Example 2: Same if I receive an email from AT&T. Their site opens, but when I click on see my bill I get the same restricted message. Outlook is restricting seeing items I want or need to see.

  34. Ian

    Also had unwanted pop-up message following uninstall of McAfee.
    Followed advice of Tracey (Sept 27 2009) and all apears OK.
    Thanks Tracey.

  35. web design hoffman estates il

    Thank you that was a great tip that saved a web design project I was working on. Unchecking the option for mobile service is what sped up outlook for me.

  36. Bruce

    Thanks for the fix! I’ll definitely be back for more…

  37. Cliff

    I’ve done all the above and still get an error when starting Outlook 7:

    “The Add-in “Kapersky Mail Checker” (c:\Program Files\PCSecurity Shield Deluxe 2009\mcou.dll) cannot be loaded and has been disabled by Outlook. Please contact the Add-in manufacturer fr an update. If no update is available, please uninstall the add-in.”

    I’ve even gone to regedit to get rid of this issue and accomplished nothing. HELP!!

  38. Phil

    Ok, but how do I enable add-ins that have become disabled and I actually want to run?

  39. Naijacomputers

    Thanks for the tip you gave to Debi. I was having the same issue and that was was brought me to this site. Thanks for sharing.

  40. Phil

    This company has a rotten way of doing business, extra fees for extra basic options, extra fees for updates and bug fixes,… after you already paid too much for what turns out to be a simplistic and featureless program. The outlook duplicate remover is s, $30, no features, won’t even let you search sub-folders. For that one defect it’s a total waste of time.. Shows you what an MS recommendation means I guess.

  41. Ariana

    There’s a lot of great info here. Maybe someone can help me?… I’m running Vista and Outlook with Contact Manager (which was a waste $$ for me) But suddenly out of no where I cannot click hyperlinks. I get an error… It says I have to contact the system administrator. Even if I start Outlook “Run as Administrator” it doesn’t work. I’m at my wits end. If anyone has any suggestions I’d be soooo grateful!

  42. Amit

    Please help me i do face this problem whenever i start my outlook,

    The Add-in “Enterprise Vault” (C:\Enterprise Vault\EVClient\Valkyrie.dlll) Cannot be loaded and has been disabled by outlook. Please contact the Add-in manufacturer for an update. It no update is available, Please unistall the Add-in

  43. Maria Moore

    The Add-in “Kapersky Mail Checker” (c:\Program Files\PCSecurity Shield Deluxe 2010\mcou.dll) cannot be loaded and has been disabled by Outlook. Please contact the Add-in manufacturer fr an update. If no update is available, please uninstall the add-in.”

    HELP!!!

  44. rita gomes

    cannot open microsoft office outlook off start menu or otherwise??

    //

  45. Daniela

    Thank you for being the only source I could find that explained how to get around the “This add-in is used by all users, only an Administrator can connect or disconnect.” I AM an administrator and it still wouldn’t let me. Your trick to open Outlook while hitting CTRL-SHFT to open as Admin worked and I successfully killed the add-ins I didn’t want.
    Now, if only the Microsoft Help article about connecting/removing Add-ins were as good as your post!
    Thanks!

  46. Jorge

    Thank you for the article. Very useful. I couldn’t figure out how to dissable/enable add-ins.

  47. Joe

    Thanks for this advice. Have finally stopped Outlook 7 crashing on delete or exit. AVG add-in was the culprit for me.

    Now faster, stronger, and better.

    Much appreciated!

  48. Tova

    Happy! Happy! Happy! Thank you so much – finally stopped getting nasty error message!

  49. Dave

    Hi I’m running exchange 2003 and outlook 2007. I have two users who are having Outlook close on them for no reason. From all of the research that I have done it looks like I need to remove sone addin’s. Can you tell me what addin’s to remove that won’t affect exchange?

  50. Philip

    Have just started using Microsoft Security Essentials and, previously had AVG installed [major complications] However, AVG had an email check with text appearing at the bottom indicating date/time/-does MS ‘Essential’ have this function installed-if so where do I find it in MS Outlook 2007? Thank You. Thanks for previous help with Add Ins and removal of AVG addin.

  51. Cathy

    I tried to disable my add-ins this way, but I get the error “This add-in is installed for all users on this computer, and can be connected or disconnected by an administrator.” This does not make sense because when I am doing this, I am logged in as the administrator. I am the only administrator on this computer. The only other account is my one account for my kids, which is not an administrator account and I have verified I am logged in as the administrator.

  52. Kevin

    Hi!
    on opening outlook i get the error msg: outlook has disabled google desktop search outlook addin.
    I uninstalled Google desktop.
    still the problem persists.
    i opened the trust center to check the add-ins, but found no active or disabled add-in by this name.
    What should i do, its very annoying!
    I am running Win 7 on my Notebook.

    Thanks for the good work, guys!

    Kev

  53. nicholas

    Outlook 2007 on my Windows 7 machine was crashing a lot, so I went into the TRust Center and by mistake DELETED instead of disabled various add-ons. Now I can’s search addresses (contacts) or emails. Is there a rememdy?

  54. Leanne

    Thank you soooooo much – I’ve been trying to work out how to disable the WinZip automatic zipping of attachments in Outlook forever. The control-shift thingy was the key, and so easy – very grateful!

  55. Kevin

    How do you get the Tools menu to show?

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