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Outlook 2003 System Requirements

Outlook 2003's "System Requirements" indicates the (official) minimum system configuration criteria under which you can (or can feasibly) run Microsoft Outlook 2003.

Unlike some older versions of Office, Microsoft Office 2003 is not fully "backward compatible". In other words, it will not run at all on some older version of Windows.

Software Requirements for Outlook 2003

Windows (operating system) system requirements in Outlook 2003Microsoft Outlook 2003 will run on Windows 2000 SP3 (i.e. with Service Pack 3 installed), Windows XP, and subsequent Microsoft operating systems (like flavors Windows 2003).

Which version of Windows am I running?If you are unsure about the version of Microsoft Windows you have on your computer, please see our Which Version of Windows Am I Running? tutorial.

Microsoft recommends that your PC meet at least the following hardware requirements for Processor, RAM, Disk Space, and Monitor + Resolution.

Processor (CPU) System Requirements for Outlook 2003

Processor (CPU) System Requirements for Outlook 2003The recommended processor (CPU) system requirements for Outlook 2003 are "Intel Pentium 233-megahertz (MHz) or higher processor, Pentium III recommended". Intel is mentioned for commercial reasons, but any "x86" architecture processor (like some AMD chips) will work just fine.

If you are running Windows 2000 or Windows XP, you CPU will work with Outlook 2003. As far as performance is concerned, a "Pentium III"-type processor is recommended; in measurable standards, this means a processor whose clock speed is at least 700 Mhz.

Simply put: since the processor does much of the processing work in your PC, the faster your processor, the more responsive Outlook 2003 will seem.

Memory (RAM) System Requirements for Outlook 2003

RAM (memory) system requirements for Outlook 2003RAM (Memory): 128 Megabytes or more — 128 Mb of RAM is the suggested minimum to run Outlook 2003. The real minimum of RAM needed to smoothly operate Outlook depends more on your operating system. For example, Windows 2000 runs best on at least 256 Mb of RAM (twice the suggested minimum), and Windows XP runs best with at least 512 Mb of RAM.

Microsoft Outlook 2003's low footprint on memory (RAM).Within limits, the more memory (RAM) you have, the better: anytime your PC runs out of RAM, it will not crash, but instead will use your hard drive as RAM.

Running out of memory will have a noticeable impact on performance, whose magnitude will depend on how well you maintain your computer. (Why defragment your hard drive)

It is also important to note that, in spite of its rich functionality, Microsoft Outlook 2003's has an extremely low footprint (or cost) on memory (RAM).

Outlook 2003's actual memory cost to your machine depends on your system configuration, as well as how you are using Outlook at any given point. But, all things considered, Outlook 2003 is not a memory-hungry application.

Disk Space (Hard Drive) System Requirements for Outlook 2003

Disk Space (Hard Drive) System Requirements for Outlook 2003Disk Space: 150 Megabytes or 350 Megabytes — 150 Mb of free disk space are required for Outlook 2003 alone. However, Microsoft recommends with good reasons that installation files be left on your computer after installation. These 200 extra megabytes of data are very useful for two main reasons.

First, the Outlook 2003 200 Mb installation files will be used to validate the authenticity of your Office validation whenever you run Microsoft's free Office Updates service, and spare you from having to insert your Outlook 2003/Office 2003 CD for verification purposes.

Installing Office components after the fact in Outlook 2003Second, these installation files contain other Outlook 2003 features not installed by default, but which you may need later on. By leaving a copy of your Outlook/Office installation files on your computer, Outlook 2003 will use these files whenever you are trying to use a "non-installed" feature. There too, no need to insert your Outlook/Office CD to update or install new features.

Display (Monitor) System Requirements for Outlook 2003

Microsoft recommends a "Super VGA (800 600) or a higher-resolution monitor" for Outlook 2003 and the rest of the Office suite.

Monitor (Display) system requirements for Outlook 2003 Since "Super VGA" is not an actual standard, here is a practical translation. Outlook 2003 (and other Office 2003 applications) use "high color" icons (i.e. icons which use more than 256 colors). Using a monitor or graphics card which does not support "high color" will result in a messy display of dithered colors.

Changing and previewing Windows' screen resolutionNotice that Microsoft also recommends a screen resolution of 800x600 pixels at least. (How do I check or change my screen resolution?) This is more a "convenience" requirement than a strict system requirement for Outlook. Using Outlook 2003 at a screen resolution below 800x600 will "cram" the interface elements with one another.

Again, if you are running Windows 2000 or Windows XP, your monitor's profile most probably matches Outlook 2003's display system requirements.

"Other" System Requirements for Outlook 2003

Microsoft Outlook 2003 comes "out of the box" equipped with functionality who depends on your usage and environment.

Speech tools toolbar in Outlook 2003For example, like other Office 2003 applications, Outlook ships with built-in speech recognition, digital ink support, and Microsoft's Information Rights Management support. These additional features obviously require other hardware and software, such as voice input and sound output hardware for voice recognition.

Official Outlook 2003 System Requirements Microsoft Office Outlook 2003 system requirements open in a new window

Upgrading To Outlook 2003 From a Previous Version of Outlook

Buy Outlook 2003Installing Outlook 2003 on your PC will let you import most or all of your settings from previous versions of Outlook (and some other email clients), but purchasing Outlook 2003 will not entitle you to a reduced price: there is no discounted "Outlook 2003 Upgrade" edition, as Microsoft often did in the past.

Outlook 2003 Tutorial Meet Outlook 2003 System Requirements Installation & Overview Outlook and the System Tray Microsoft CEIP Setting up Outlook 2003 Setup an Email Account Setup Hotmail in Outlook Setup Yahoo! Mail in Outlook Setup Gmail in Outlook Setup AOL Mail in Outlook Change email password Import email accounts Import emails and contacts Add an email signature Set as default email client New Mail desktop alert Interface and Toolbars Outlook 2003's Interface "Outlook Today" The Standard toolbar The Advanced toolbar The Web toolbar Customize Outlook's toolbars Outlook 2003 email icons Address Book & Contacts Using the Address Book Search for contacts Backup/export contacts Email Distribution Lists Add contacts to distribution list Emailing distribution lists Email Management Using Favorite Folders Using Multiple Profiles Personal PST files Manually archive emails AutoArchive emails AutoArchive settings Email Accounts Settings General Settings Outgoing server settings Connection settings Advanced settings Outlook 2003 Email Options General Email Options Advanced email options (1) Advanced email options (2) Tracking options Mail Setup Options Send-receive options PST Data files options Spelling options AutoCorrect options Custom Dictionary options Customize Toolbars Customize Commands Customize Options
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