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Outlook high CPU

Posted on 2014-04-02
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Last Modified: 2014-04-12
I have a serious problem with high CPU (100%) which is definitely related to Outlook 2013 and probably the search indexer.

The computer will be running normally (5-10%) CPU but if I start Outlook within an hour or two CPU usage will be 100%, even though Outlook itself is only occassionally receiving email. When I exit Outlook the CPU usage will drop below 10% without my doing anything else, although this make take 20 minutes or more. When I am experiencing 100% CPU I notice that the taskmgr itself may be showing 30-50%. An initial look at the Resource Monitor (CPU and Disk) has not given me any further clues.

I also notice that when looking at indexing status sometimes it will say 100,000+ items indexed and Indexing complete. At other times it will say 200,000+ items indexed and either Indexing complete or indicating it was still indexing. This seems unrelated to whether Outlook is running.

I tried
Deleting and rebuilding the index
Running chkdsk on the hard drive and again deleting and rebuilding the index
Running ScanOST and ScanPST on the Outlook data files and rebuilding the index.
Running Repair on the Office 2013 Pro installation

I would like to avoid having to do a clean install, but I am reluctantly coming to the conclusion that this may be the best option.
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Question by:jamccomb
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by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 900 total points
ID: 39973467
Seen Google desktop do funny things to Outlook.

You aren't by any chance running it?
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by:jamccomb
jamccomb earned 0 total points
ID: 39973482
I am not running Google Desktop although I am using Google Calendar Sync.
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by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 900 total points
ID: 39973528
Hmmm...Try disabling it and see if your issues go away.

Look at the add in's too, to make sure there's nothing you don't recognize.
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by:n2fc
n2fc earned 300 total points
ID: 39973734
How big are the PST files? Have they been recently compressed?

You might try splitting out older emails to an archive PST file that is not updated frequently to alleviate access time to current data.
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by:JurajUQU
JurajUQU earned 300 total points
ID: 39974000
Outlook 2013 has it's own index if you're running in cached mode. If not, it utilises search from the server (Exchange 2013)

Try disabling cache mode and only use server side search which is usually faster and more accurate anyway.
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by:jamccomb
jamccomb earned 0 total points
ID: 39974064
I am beginning to think that indexing Outlook PSTs are part of the problem. They are large, but have not gotten larger recently. This weekend I am going to move the most of these to Office 365.

By itself this may help - but I would like to leave the cached mode on so that I could work on my email offline like when travelling by air.
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by:pgm554
pgm554 earned 900 total points
ID: 39974123
I have customers with 20 gb psts,no issues.
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jamccomb earned 0 total points
ID: 39983320
I had a lot of good ideas and comments. Thank you. In the end it appeared to be related to OneDrive/SkyDrive. Unchecking "Use Office to sync files ..." option seemed to solve the problem.
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Author Closing Comment

by:jamccomb
ID: 39995862
It worked, although I am still puzzled why this started with no apparent change in system configuration.
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