PC and Outlook Slow down when downloading mail ?

A lot of you might have noticed if you are using Windows that there is a bit of a problem when it comes to downloading POP3 email in Microsoft Outlook 2007. The problem is that the download is extremely slow when you initiate it from a POP3 mail server. Outlook will take a long time to load the full email message even if the email is quite small, for example, an email that is only half a megabyte in size could take around half an hour to fully download. Obviously, this is not the way things should be but luckily, and before we start with the solution, we need to diagnose the problem.

Now, Microsoft KB935400 will blame the problem of the slowness in Outlook 2007 on the network hardware such as the router that you are using if it does not support TCP Window Scaling. However, this is not a problem when you are using Outlook 2007 in Windows XP so it can’t be the problem in Windows . Instead, the problem lies within the poor implementation of the TCP Scaling Feature in Windows Vista or in some cases the problem is that the feature doesn’t have backwards capability for older network hardware.

Luckily, there is a relatively simple fix for this problem as all you have to do is to disable the Vita Auto Tuning function. Follow the steps below to do this:

  1. First of all, click the Windows Start button and click ‘All Programs’. When the screen has loaded, click ‘Accessories’.
  2. Next, you need to right-click on the ‘Command prompt’ option and then click’ Run as Administrator’. At this point, if you are asked for you administrator password for confirmation, simply enter the password and click continue.
  3. Thirdly, you will need to type the following command into the Command prompt window and then press the ‘Enter’ key. The prompt is as follows; netsh interface tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled.

At this point, your problem should have been solved. We recommend that you test it by downloading the emails using Outlook 2007 again and seeing whether or not they are still slow. Microsoft do suggest that users isolate the hardware that doesn’t support TCP window scaling and replacing the hardware before re-enabling the aut0 Tuning Level parameter.

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