C-Command Software Forum

Outlook 2011 is very slow while SpamSieve 2.8.5 scans

I have a MBPro 13", 2.66 Ghz wih 4 Gb of ram and a 500 GB Seagate Momentus XT drive. SpamSieve basically locks out Outlook, and slows down the rest of my programs while scanning email.

Why? If I have more than 15-20 new emails when I launch Outlook, it can take several minutes before I regain control of Outlook. Very frustrating.

I’ve not heard other reports of this. The next time Outlook stalls, please open the Activity Monitor program and select Outlook in the list. Choose Sample Process from the View menu. Then save the resulting data to a file. Also sample SpamSieve and then send me the two files with the sample data.

The Outlook sample that you sent looks as though it’s waiting on the POP server. It does not seem to be applying the rules or waiting on SpamSieve.

What happens if you select some messages that have already been downloaded and choose Rules ‣ Apply All from the Message menu to run them through SpamSieve? Does that lock up Outlook?

I’m getting a real long pause from completion of email download and being able to click on emails to read them. This is same as it was in Entourage, but much longer and now I’m on a i7 Quad Core. I too suspect SpamSieve because of when this occurs. Are the “Run AppleScript Script… SpamSieve - Move if Spam\cmM” rules still supposed to be in place for all the mailbox rules that sort mail into special mail folders? Or, did Outlook transfer them from Entourage and they are no longer needed?

How about following the instructions above so that we can measure and see for sure?

If you follow the Setting Up Outlook instructions, they say to delete any SpamSieve rules transferred from Entourage and create new ones for Outlook. There should not be any rules or actions that run the “SpamSieve - Move if Spam\cmM” script; that is only for Entourage.

Slowness Confirmed
I see I’m a year late to this thread, but I Googled it up today because I was searching if any other SpamSieve users had this issue like I do. Sure enough, the person who started this thread has the same problem I do. Then again, I think most SpamSieve users do – they just endure it.

I’ve endured this slowness for a long time, even when I was using Entourage. It was slow with Entourage and after updating to Outlook 2011, the speed did not increase at all. Yes, I followed your Outlook instructions precisely, and I don’t have any Outlook rules that call the “SpamSieve - Move if Spam\cmM” script. I know my Outlook setup with SpamSieve is 100% correct. And yet, whenever I check email, if there are a lot of new incoming messages, Outlook always locks-up until SpamSieve is finished. When I say “lock-up” I mean it too. I cannot do anything at all in Outlook until SpamSieve is finished. I know it is SpamSieve because this lockup only occurs when I see the little white dot flashing on the SpamSieve icon in the Dock.

I’ve somewhat learned to live with it, which is why after all this time I’ve never reported it here. I always thought that was the trade-off for having a reduced number of SPAM messages! But honestly, there is a point when it can be frustrating. And I did wish it could be multi-threaded (if it isn’t already) so as to speed up whatever it is that SpamSieve does during these slow-downs/lock-ups.

I still love SpamSieve and would never do without it. It’s just slow when it filters through incoming emails, whether that be POP or IMAP.

How about some specifics? The original poster reported that Outlook locks up for several minutes for 15–20 new messages. I don’t think that’s typical. Is that what you’re seeing?

SpamSieve is only processing when the white dot is visible. So if the white dot is predominantly flashing (rather than solid) that would indicate that much of the delay is not due to SpamSieve itself.

It would be helpful if you could follow the instructions above to sample Outlook and SpamSieve so that I can see what each is doing during the lock-up.

SpamSieve is already multi-threaded, and it will become more so in future versions. However, I suspect that the core problem is that Outlook isn’t. Rule processing need not bog down the user interface. If you look at Apple Mail, for example, it can download and filter messages from multiple accounts simultaneously, but this all happens on background threads and the user interface remains very responsive.

It does NOT lock up for “several minutes” on my 2.8GHz QuadCore i7 iMac, no. But it does lockup anywhere from 10s to 30s, depending on the number of incoming messages. My contention is that it shouldn’t lockup at all, regardless of what SpamSieve is doing. I can understand the Mac slowing down, but slowing down is very different from a lock-up. And again, it only locks up when I see the white dot flashing on and off. Outlook never locks up at any other time.

I will do that. However, I just tested that right now (when Outlook is not locked up), and I see it takes a fair number of seconds for Activity Monitor to generate that file and then time for me to save it. And like I said, the lockup is for “seconds” not “minutes,” so I am unsure if the lockup would last long enough for me to create and save both files in the same session. I am quite sure I’ll have enough lockup time generate one Activity Monitor file for “Outlook,” but the lockup may not last for the entire duration I am making the second file for “SpamSieve.” Or does that matter if the lockup ends while I am generating the Activity Monitor file for SpamSieve?

Sounds like a different problem than what the original poster was seeing. Still, I’d like to see what’s causing it.

Well, I don’t know what “should” means here. I agree that it would be nice if it didn’t. But, the way Outlook is designed, it will. Virtually any rule that uses AppleScript (whether or not it uses SpamSieve) will make Outlook lock up to varying degrees.

Again, the fact that you see the dot flashing, rather than solid white, means that for much of this time SpamSieve isn’t processing (and yet Outlook is still locked up).

You only have to start the sample process in Activity Monitor during the lockups. That’s what records what Outlook or SpamSieve is doing. The saving to a file can be done after the recording has been made. You can take multiple samples before saving any of them, and you can also sample two different applications at once.

That’s what I am seeing. The AppleScript that SpamSieve uses to do its work initiates the lockup, and the lockup continues (while the white dot flashes and even a little after it stops) until all the incoming emails are processed. I know when its finished because Outlook will then beep at me, and then I can switch back to Outlook and I find it is usable once again. But again, the same exact thing happened when I was using SpamSieve’s older version scripts with Entourage. (And yes, I’ve confirmed I upgraded everything for SpamSieve correctly when I switched from Entourage to Outlook.)

At any rate, I just emailed you the Activity Monitor samples you requested.

Thanks for the samples. It looks like one of the SpamSieve samples was taken after it was done filtering the messages. So it was updating its statistics database and playing the notification sound. In the other two samples, it was processing messages some of the time but mostly was idle. So, if these samples are representative, it does not appear that speeding up SpamSieve’s processing would make much difference for you.

If you’re interested in doing some testing, I could try optimizing the AppleScript itself, although I suspect that most of the overhead is in Outlook and the OS, not in the actual script.

Its getting heavy
I have had the same problem on my Mac. When I open my computer and it downloads the “morning mail” it takes appx 1-2 minutes before I can do anything in Outlook. I can not go from mail to calender either.
When looking into this I discovered that Spamsieve is eating up a lot of memory. It goes from 100 MB to 1 000 MB (right now its 1014 MB).

What can I do to solve this?

Please follow the instructions that I gave the other users for sending in a “sample” report.

Which kind of memory are you looking at? It’s normal for Virtual Memory to be several GB. The important number is Private Memory, which should probably be under 100 MB.

When looking at Activity Control Panel it says that Spam Sieve is using 1 GB of actial memory and 1 GB Virtual memory.
Do I have too many spam rules (1975) or too many on my white list (21073)?

What does it say for Private Memory? You may need to add this column via the View menu.

You could certainly reduce the memory use by deleting whitelist rules that have 0 hits.

Thanks, I found the optional Private memory now. It is basically the same as real and virtually.
SpamSieve is now using 904 MB of private memory.

I still recommend sending in a sample report. In the Statistics window, how many messages does it say are in the corpus?

SpamSieve 2.9 makes processing incoming messages with Outlook more efficient. To take advantage of this change, choose Install Outlook Scripts from the SpamSieve menu.

No problems here
FYI, I’m using SpamSieve 2.9, Outlook 14.1.4 on MacOS 10.6.8. Haven’t noticed any slowdowns in Outlook that seem to be SpamSieve related. But thank for updating the scripts anyway!