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  1. Assign additional memory to Entourage 2001
  2. Understanding Memory in Entourage 2001 and Other OS 9 Applications

Q: How much Preferred memory should I assign to Entourage 2001 and how do I do it?

A. Start with about 10% above the default number, unless you're working with and/or receiving messages that are complex and large (with lots of graphic attachments, for instance). Go as high as necessary to prevent Entourage crashing and enable it to display graphics (without getting Red Xs). 15000K or even 20000K may be necessary, but don't assign more memory than you need.

For more about memory, including why you don't raise the Minimum setting and why raising Preferred memory too high may cause crashes in other applications, see below.

To assign more Preferred memory to Entourage 2001, navigate to the Entourage application in the Finder, select it and Get Info (Command i). Click on the Memory tab and proceed as above. Also, be sure Virtual Memory is turned on (Control Panels> Memory); Office applications run better when Virtual Memory is available.

For more about assigning memory, including why nothing may happen when you Get Info and where to see how much memory your applications are using see:

Giving More Memory to a Mac OS 9 Program Adapted From: Macs For Dummies, 7th Edition

Understanding Memory in Entourage 2001 and Other OS 9 Applications

Q: In Entourage 2001 (or any OS 9.x application), why do I read that I should adjust the Preferred memory, but not the Minimum memory?

The following explanation applies to Mac OS 8 & 9, and pertains to any application created for those operating systems; Entourage is used merely as an example. A more detailed article on memory is available here.

The default setting for Entourage's Minimum memory represents the amount of contiguous memory that Entourage needs just to open (plus some "wiggling room"). As long as Entourage is running (in the foreground or background), no other application has access to this memory block; it is "dedicated" to Entourage . Raising Entourage's Minimum memory unless advised to do so by the application's manufacturer will do nothing for Entourage; and since it reduces the amount of memory available to other applications, it can lead to crashes and errors.

Preferred memory is reserved for the functioning of the application once open. When set to the optimum level, there should be sufficient memory (and no more) to meet the user's demands. The amount of Preferred memory allocated also helps determine how efficiently and quickly the application performs. The Preferred memory assigned to Entourage is "owned" by Entourage, but can be "lent" to other applications if Entourage doesn't need it when Entourage is running in the background, for instance. If Entourage's Preferred memory is not set high enough and if there is no memory elsewhere for Entourage to grab or "borrow," Entourage will crash or hang. If Entourage's Preferred memory is set too high, other applications will either not be allowed to start, or they will crash when Entourage asks for its "loan" back.