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LIS Documentation

Slow Entourage and Spinning Beachball

Entourage is very slow and shows the "spinning pinwheel" constantly.

Possible Causes/Solutions

Contents

Database Integrity Checking

  • Cause: Entourage constantly checks the integrity of its database, when the database size is very large this constant checking can slow down Entourage considerably.
  • Solution: Disable Database Integrity Checking. Hold down the Option key when starting Entourage, this will start the Database Utility, Select Set Database Preferences and click Continue. Uncheck "Perform Database Integrity Check". Click Save. Click Continue.
Note: if you choose this option you should probably manually check the integrity of your database every so often. Hold down the Option key when starting Entourage, this will start the Database Utility, Select Verify Database Integrity and click Continue. If errors are found you might be prompted to rebuild your database which might take a while

Mailbox Size

  • Cause: Entourage is constantly synchronizing with the Exchange server. If the total number of combined messages in Inbox, Sent Items, and Deleted Items is approaching 10,000, Entourage will start to slow down.
  • Solution: Cut down on the number of items in those key folders (Inbox, Sent Items, and Deleted Items) and rebuild the Entourage database (see below)

Rebuild Entourage Database

  • Cause: Entourage keeps a local database of your Exchange mailbox. This database can easily exceed several GB of space. When the database reaches this size accessing it can become very inefficient. The database can be found here:
    • Macintosh HD\Users\<username>\Documents\Microsoft User Data\Office 2004 Identities\Main Identity\Database
    • Selecting the the Database and click File ->Get Info will tell you the size of the file
  • Solution: Rebuild the Entourage Database. Hold down the Option key when starting Entourage, this will start the Database Utility, Select Rebuild Database and click Continue. Note: after the database has been rebuilt you will need to re-synchronize your entire mailbox with the Exchange server this could take some time.

Spotlight

If Entourage is still very slow, preventing Spotlight from indexing the messages may help:

1. Open Entourage

  • From the Entourage menu (top left corner), select “Preferences”.
  • When the “Preferences” window opens, under “General Preferences” select “Spotlight
  • Remove the checkmark next to “Include Entourage items in Spotlight search results”
  • Click on the button named “OK”
  • Quit Entourage

2. Open System Preferences -> Spotlight and select the “Privacy” tab. Click on the icon with a plus sign “+” and from the left hand side select “Documents” -> Microsoft User Data -> Office 2004 Identities and click on “Choose”

If Entourage is still slow, prevent Symantec from scanning the Entourage folder:

  • Open System Preferences -> Symantec Auto Protect Settings and select the “Safe Zones” tab.
  • Select the option “Everywhere except”
  • Click in the empty area.
  • From the window that appears, open “Documents” -> Microsoft User Data -> Office 2004 Identities and click on “Choose”

More things to try

Here's some more things to try When entourage starts it freezes for 3-6 secs (semi-normal as it needs to check ALL folders for updates). It periodically (every 5-15 minutes) does this again but it doesn't always freeze. There seems to be no way to turn this off. This is what I did:

  1. Upgrade to Entourage 2008, 12.1.x or later
  2. Reduce the number of items in each folder, so that they are under 1000
  3. Open each Address Book in Entourage and re-sort the contacts by name -- click on the name column to re-sort your contacts. That should cause Entourage to re-sort the list and speed things up.
  4. Open the Projects Center and see if there are more than 50+ projects -- archive old to speed-up
  5. Use the Activity Monitor (Macintosh HD => Applications => Utilities) to view YOUR system activity. Sort by CPU usage to find memory hogs other than entourage
  6. Check for duplicate daemons. You should have only one Microsoft Database daemon in System Preferences => Accounts => "Startup items". If you have more than one, delete all and let Entourage create a new one when it launches.
  7. Disable unneeded schedules: Tools => Run schedules => Edit Schedules
  8. Check for 3rd party add-ons and scripts in Entourage and Word
  9. Empty deleted items and junk-email folder (ctrl-click on each of them) -- there may be a malformed spam message that's hanging-up entourage
  10. Disable the "what you see is what you get" font menus. Go to Entourage > Preferences, and then, under "General Preferences", click "General" in the left pane. Uncheck the box for "WYSIWYG font menu". That will disable the preview of what the fonts look like in the Font menu, but it should appear faster as a result.
  11. flagged messages -- if there are many of them, unflag some (tip: to find them: edit => advanced find => set it to look in "All Folders" (instead of this folder), then set the search term for "status => flagged")
  12. Remove this font cache file: ~/Library/Preferences/Microsoft/Office Font Cache (11)
  13. Disable global auto font activation from within Suitcase. Easy way to test if Suitcase is part of the problem: Simply quit Suitcase and test launch.
  14. Keep your Inbox as small as possible
  15. How big is your message store? In Entourage you can (ctrl+click or right-click) your Exchange account in the folder list and select Folder Properties --> Storage. If it's bigger than 1GB consider archiving some messages, calendar items, or move some messages/calendar items to Folders on My Computer.
  16. Open Macintosh HD => Applications => Utilities => Disk Utility and repair permissions
  17. In Entourage, open any message, under File => Print, uncheck Truncate Long Recipient lists

Entourage 2004 and Intel Macs

Entourage 2004 may run slower on newer Macs (with Intel Processors) the first time when you open it after the computer has been turned on. This is because Entourage was made for the older (PowerPC) Macs and it is not "optimized" for the new ones. It also takes some time for Rosetta, the software that assists such applications (made for older Macs) to run on newer ones to load. If you quit Entourage and open it again it should be running faster.

Solution: Microsoft has released an update for Entourage (Entourage 2008), contact the Helpdesk to get this installed

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