Outlook 2010–High CPU Usage <Solved>

I noticed yesterday that whenever I had Outlook 2010 open on my home PC that my CPU utilization was very high.  Outlook appeared to be taking up 50% of my processor.  I had no idea why it was doing this, and I wasn’t sure how long it had been doing so.  I rarely use Outlook since I manage most of my emails via my smartphone, so it could have been doing this for weeks.

I have Outlook hooked up to my Exchange server (hosted locally), plus a Gmail and a Hotmail account.  I checked my Exchange connections to see if there was anything pending, but every connection seemed to be stable.  Eventually, I selected “Work Offline”, which had no effect immediately.  However, I then closed Outlook and re-opened, and the CPU utilization seemed to be normal.  I then unchecked “Work Offline”, and immediately my CPU spiked back up (and stayed there).

Next, I started Outlook in safe mode (by executing “outlook.exe /safe” from the Run prompt).  The CPU utilization was fine.  I was then convinced that the problem was one of my many Outlook add-ins.  I proceeded to move through my list of add-ins, disabling one, restarting Outlook, checking my CPU usage, then disabling the next add-in, and so on.  I was worried when I saw there was an add-in referring to Exchange.  I was hoping this wasn’t causing the problem, since I need to be able to access my Exchange account.  However, this wasn’t the problematic component, and it turns out that add-in is only for Unified Messaging features, anyway (something I don’t use on my Exchange box).

Finally, I came to the Outlook Social Connector add-in.  This is the plug-in that allows Facebook, Linked-In, etc. to integrate with Outlook.  I was unable to disable the add-in without Outlook locking up (which was awfully suspicious), so to disable it, I exited Outlook, browsed to the file location that Outlook listed for that add-in, then renamed it to .old.  For anyone wondering, the location for me was: C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Office\Office14\SOCIALCONNECTOR.DLL.  If you’re running the 64-bit version of Outlook, or if you’re NOT running a 64-bit version of Windows, the file location would be: C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office14\SOCIALCONNECTOR.DLL.  Once I restarted Outlook my CPU utilization was normal.

Now, the Social Connector isn’t a mandatory part of Outlook for me, but it’s nice to have, so I decided to attempt to fix the issue.  First, I went into the Outlook add-ins dialog and removed the add-in.  Next, I wanted to re-install the Social Connector, but couldn’t find the installer in Programs and Features.  Then I remembered that the RTM version of Office 2010 ships WITH the Connector, so to re-install the add-in, I’d need to run a repair install of Office.

Before running the repair install, I first decided to remove the Facebook, Linked-In and MySpace (not that I use that one anyway; it can stay off) Social Connectors.  These are listed individually in Programs and Features (which is Add/Remove Programs, for you Windows XP users).  Once I removed those, I then ran a repair install of Office.  After that finished, I launched Outlook, checked to see if the Social Connector was enabled (which it was), then exited and installed my Facebook Connector, re-launched Outlook, and voila!  Problem solved.

While it may not be entirely necessary to rename the SocialConnector.DLL file .old, I highly recommend it, as the Office repair installation may skip over the file if it detects it’s still there.  By renaming it, you’re ensuring you get a fresh copy of the proper file.

TL;DR: Outlook Social Connector was the culprit for high Outlook CPU utilization.  Rename the add-in’s DLL file (SocialConnector.DLL) to .OLD, run a repair install of Office, ???, PROFIT!!!

9 thoughts on “Outlook 2010–High CPU Usage <Solved>”

    1. If it’s high in normal mode, that means it’s an add-on causing the problem. Go through the steps I listed and try to identify the problematic add-on.

  1. Hi,
    I am glad you solved your problem and tried it with my Windows 7 Ultimate, 64-bit o/s. I have Outlook 2007..couldn’t find the 2011 when I had to rebuild this replaced HP All-In-One Desktop. Last week I was warned of the high CPU usage. Today I decided to tackle it and found your site. It was very helpful, but I do not have a socialconnector.dll on this system. I did however remove my facebook entry under install programs but that did not help.

    I set the gadget meters to always be on top. When I opened Outlook it went sky high. Outlook also does not close all the time, so I have to go to task manager and shut down the process. That worked. The meter went back to normal, so I was lucky to find the problem so fast. Now I have to find out what to do about it. Do you have any ideas?

    Thank you for taking the time to document your ordeal.


  2. [Vista 32bits + Outlook 2010]
    Disabling the social connector did the job.
    Will try the repair part in a few days.
    Many Thanks.

  3. Thank you! I’ve had this exactly same problem for ages. Some days Outlook would work just fine but often it would use little under 10 % processor constantly. Renamamig that social connector dll seems to have solved the issue.

  4. hi thanks a lot, disabling one of the IM (Instant Messaging) related addin did the trick for me. Win7(64bit), Outlook 2010(32bit)

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